Insights Surviving the First Year of College - Comments

Quantum Defect

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Gold Member
There is at least one typo: "... you are a year subscription to Physics Today..."

I believe that one of the useful skills to begin to learn in the first year laboratory course is the ability to keep a good lab notebook. My first year physics lab instructor liked to give everyone a copy of a section from "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mechanics" that discussed what a good notebook should contain. I enjoyed reading this, and as I got older, I appreciated the material even more.

I also think that the first year is not too early to think about summer research. Funding agencies, as well as educators are stressing the importance of early engagement in research for STEM students interested in becoming a scientist. If this is what you want to do, you should talk with your professors. Make sure to tell them that you are not going to medical school! (Pre-meds are notorious for seeking out these types of things as med school application burnishers. I believe that Professors are more interested, though, in working with people who are interested in doing science.)


Gold Member
Thank you for your wonderful insights.
I want to join the society of physics students, but I will be studying in Germany. Is it worth paying the $30 annual due, or should I just subscribe to the Physics Today? Are there be SPS events outside US?
Apparently if you are a SPS member, they don't even give the Physics Today if you don't live in the US, you only get an online copy.

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