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Some much appreciated advice needed

  1. Dec 6, 2007 #1
    Hello everyone, hope all is well.

    I have a couple of questions that I hope someone could give me some advice or insight on.

    1) Which field of physics is most closely related to the study of black holes, white holes, and other theoretical phenomena (Obviously black holes are excluded from the "theoretical" portion of my statement) of the cosmos? I'm thinking it would be astrophysics, but I just want to be certain.

    2) In relation to question number 1, if the field is indeed astrophysics, what would the best career path be? Should I major in just plain physics for undergraduate, and then delve into astrophysics during graduate school, or is it better to major in astrophysics in undergraduate and graduate school? Or what other concentration of undergraduate physics might help me (or I probably need)?

    3) Can anyone suggest some books on Relativity. I would like a book that not only explains the concepts through words, but also through mathematical procedure. I have two years of Calculus under belt in case you need to know. I really enjoy mathematics, which is one of the reasons theoretical physics interests me.

    4) One last question. I am looking into transferring to Stony Brook University in New York. If possible, could someone shed some light on what they think about the physics program and how it might rate among some other colleges. I know that the college has some great research opportunities, especially with Brookhaven Lab (which houses RHIC) nearby.

    I thank anyone who is willing to share their knowledge or experiences
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2007 #2
    1. Yes, the field is astrophysics.

    2. It doesn't matter much what the degree it called, whether physics, astrophysics, astronomy, space science, or space physics, it's just a name with slightly different degree requirements ranging from program to program. What matters more are the skills you've learned and experiences you've had as an undergraduate. It would be helpful to take a couple classes in astrophysics as an undergraduate and possibly get involved in research, if possible.

    3. A classic book that I'm currently learning a lot from is Special Relativity by A. P. French.

    Best of luck!
  4. Dec 6, 2007 #3
    For the relativity book, once you've finished AP French's special relativity book, I suggest you read Bernard Schutz's "A First Course in General Relativity" or James Hartle "Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity."
  5. Dec 8, 2007 #4
    I thank both of you for your responses.

    I shouldn't have any problems with the book by A.P. French with two years of Calculus (Calculus I and Calculus 2), right?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
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