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Found 71 results

  1. Hello everyone, Here is my SOP for Physics PhD. programs. Please take a look and give me some feedback. Also, recommendations and suggestions for my target grad schools would be really helpful. Some details about me: GRE general: 153 V, 157 Q, AWA: 4; TOEFL: 98/120; GPA : 3.7/4; GRE physics: results yet to be declared. I plan to specialize in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics, particularly in Topological Insulators. I would like to appreciate for your help, in advance. Thank you very much !! I had an influencing fascination towards science right from my school days. Honestly put, those are the days, when I was not able to distinguish between scientific accomplishments and technological inventions, yet the curiosity I had all along, had driven me to constantly search for the scientific inquiries and to inculcate scientific temperament from the sources that were available in and out of classrooms. My Bachelor’s Program (B.Sc 2014-17): I got admitted in a Bachelors course (B.Sc) with a triple major in Physics, Electronics, and Mathematics in the prestigious [University___X]. Apart from the curriculum done in the classrooms, I had a great enthusiasm for taking part in various science fests and competitions both at inter and intra-college level. It was during one such fest, I along with two of my batch-mates devised a “Voice - commanded wheelchair for disabled people”. In this project, I wrote a JAVA code to accept voice commands using audio sensors which were then processed by Arduino UNO microprocessor. This was the first time I was able to realize the immensity of computation in everyday life. By staying in [location] which is a hub of basic sciences with research institutes like [institute names] around, I had an excellent opportunity to participate in and attend many inspiring lectures and seminars by luminary physicists from all over the world. The lecture in a state-level seminar on “Science from Space-new Findings and Challenges Ahead” sponsored by [institute name], has drawn me towards the beautiful world viz., the field of plasma physics. I was particularly captivated by this unique state of matter because of its wide-ranging applications in various fields like solar physics, nuclear fusion and so on. This led me to do a term paper entitled [title] under [Dr.A]. In this term paper, I studied the basic equations (M.H.D equations) of plasma physics in the context of astrophysical plasmas using the fluid description of plasmas. To widen my understanding of plasma, I did a research project at the [Institute name] under the guidance of Prof. [Dr.B] and Prof.[Dr.C]' during the summer of 2016. In this project, we studied the acoustic waves in a classic fluid model. By taking a linear perturbation, we solved the fluid equations analytically to get the dispersion relation. Further, by using LCPFCT (Flux corrected transport) code, - an algorithm to simulate generalized continuity type equations - we solved the equations computationally and plotted the velocity and density profiles at different time steps. Secondly, We modified fluid equations to simulate plasma oscillations and followed the same steps as above to understand how plasma oscillations propagate. During this tenure of two months, I was able to acquire some knowledge on the different computational techniques which are being used in physics. This exposure helped me to get motivated towards having an in-depth understanding of the field of condensed matter physics. My Master’s Program (M.Sc 2017-19): After having completed my B.Sc, I proceeded to do my Masters majoring in physics at [University___Y]. I have undergone many important courses both basic(core) and advanced courses(electives) - to name a few - like advanced condensed matter physics and soft condensed matter physics to explore different sub-fields of Condensed Matter Physics on one hand and Quantum Field theory on the other hand. It was during this time that I came across a more exotic phase of materials in solid-state systems called Topological Insulators by Prof. [D]. This prompted me to do my Master’s thesis, under him entitled “Study of Topological Insulators in 1-D and 2-D”. We studied the basic models for topological insulators in 1-D, the SSH(Su-Schrieffer–Heeger) model and 2-D, the Haldane model. We considered tight-binding Hamiltonian of these models and solved them both analytically and numerically by applying periodic boundary conditions to get the band structure. Also, we computed the Berry phase and the Chern number analytically to specify the distinction between a topological insulator and a normal insulator. Another unique characteristic property of topological insulators is the Bulk-edge correspondence (i.e insulating in the bulk and conducting at the edges). To see this edge peculiarity, we applied Open boundary conditions and analyzed the characteristics of these edge states by plotting their wave functions. This thesis turned out to be a major factor in shaping my current interests towards Topological Insulators. After my masters, I have been reading about the 3-D Kane-Mele model and also attempting to understand a new situation wherein we keep the complex (arbitrary phase instead of the spin-orbit coupling term where the phase can only be either maximum or minimum) second nearest hopping Haldane's term and the Rashba coupling term in the Kane-Mele Hamiltonian and compare their competing effects upon the topological phase. The way forward: Having gone through these varied experiences of computational and theoretical studies, I want to pursue my P.h.D in Theoretical Condensed matter physics. It is true that Topological Insulators are quite captivating due to their intimate association with the concepts of topology, solid-state physics, and symmetry. But I am equally fascinated to explore new vistas in physics if opportunities are available. With topology having wide applications ranging from topological insulators to quantum computation, I believe that there are many unexplored areas for me to pursue my career in this emerging field. Therefore, I consider P.h.D as a platform for fulfilling my immediate goal of extending my understanding of Topology in Physics and also a necessary condition for a good research career in the future. To sum up, with the aforementioned knowledge I hitherto acquired and with my realistic understanding of the challenges of contemporary research I am fairly confident that if I am qualified to get an opportunity to pursue research in the Department of Physics of this highly esteemed institute, it will certainly shape my career in my quest to understand nature through physics. My love for listening, learning, conceptualizing and discussing science and its pursuits with my teachers and classmates and the experience I gathered in giving informal lectures to my juniors, impacted to a greater extent to develop a strong penchant for teaching. I am equally confident that I will create a niche for myself in the world of teaching. Thanks for reading !!
  2. Hello everyone. I have been accepted to two really great physics schools for my Ph.D. - MIT and Princeton. However, the admission to MIT is through the EECS department’s applied physics route while Princeton is just traditional physics (I also applied to MIT’s physics program but have not heard back from them. Considering all the acceptances that were sent out on Friday, I will assume that I have been rejected). My area of focus at the current moment is experimental condensed matter (CME) and quantum computing (QC). In this respect, MIT is stronger, but I am anxious about how the decision might affect a career path in academia. Ultimately, I want to be a professor of physics somewhere. I do NOT want to be a professor of engineering (I don’t have anything against engineers, I just would prefer to teach pure physics topics over engineering topics). Consequently, I don’t want an applied physics degree if it is going to significantly hurt my chances of getting a great physics postdoc or teaching position in the future, even if the degree is from MIT. I should also mention that I’m not entirely set on CME/QC - I very much enjoy these topics and most of my experience is in these areas, but I also have interests elsewhere. In particular, atomic physics (AMO, both experimental and theoretical) as well as condensed matter theory (CMT) seem fascinating to me. It does not seem likely that, if I were to do applied physics at MIT, I would be able to study theory. I’m sure I could squeeze in experimental AMO though. On the other hand, Princeton excels in theory altogether. As a disclaimer, I do not yet know of all of the academic restrictions at MIT’s applied physics route. That is, I don’t know whether or not I would be allowed to take pure physics courses (e.g., E&M, quantum, QFT if I go into CMT, etc) as an EECS student. This probably doesn’t matter too much if I go into experiment, but I better have access to these classes if I decide to go into theory (assuming I can even work with theorists as an EECS student). Lastly, I don’t know anything about how happy Princeton’s graduate students are versus MIT’s graduate students are, but this is obviously a big factor into where I go (how will I be able to do great research if I’m miserable?) Thank you you in advance for helping me come to a decision!
  3. I am interested in pursuing my Doctoral studies in X-ray Astronomy. I was introduced to this field in the first semester of my M.Sc. programme, when I was looking for a subject of study for my thesis project. I started reading in detail about the field of study and some major science missions launched since the very first discovery of extraterrestrial X-rays. During the same time I familiarised myself with the methods of studying X-ray sources and the tools and techniques as explained by NASA’s HEASARC.I read on review papers and worked on my analysis skills by attempting to reproduce the results of thoroughly studied X-ray Binary systems. I started the literature survey on Neutron Star X-ray Binaries which were studied by RXTE and familiarised myself with the various spectral and timing characteristics observed. The initial idea for my thesis work was to conduct a long term study on a few such sources to understand the development in their behaviour over the years of operation of the RXTE mission. It was during this time when I attended a workshop on India’s first multiwavelength satellite ASTROSAT. After attending one such workshop where we were taught the nuances of comprehensive spectral analysis of ASTROSAT data, led by Professor Ranjeev Misra of IUCAA, my M.Sc. thesis work eventually was finalised to be on “SPECTRAL-TIMING ANALYSIS OF SWIFT J1658.2-4242 USING ASTROSAT DATA” where I worked with Dr. V. Jithesh at IUCAA. For this thesis, I then started to understand the literature of Black Hole X-ray Binaries, their spectral and timing characteristics and the association of them to the accretion process. With the other major missions like XMM-Newton observatory, INTEGRAL, NICER, Chandra and SWIFT, I hope to get more insights on understanding the core physical processes taking place in an accretion disk and how it leads to the various features which we see. I have been fortunate to be a part of a majorly X-ray driven workshop conducted between University of Southampton, UK and IUCAA, India where I got an opportunity to interact with doctoral, post-doctoral students and professors from India and UK who are pursuing their research in the same field. Some of those lectures were aimed on accretion processes, X-ray binary systems and timing analysis methods which motivated me to pursue my further education and a research career in this field. Currently, I am working on AstroSat data analysis using LAXPC-SXT data where I have been performing comprehensive spectro-timing analysis using some standard analysis techniques established by well cited research papers under the guidance of Prof. Ranjeev Misra. During the course of my M.Sc thesis and for the current project I have trained myself with various X-ray data analysis tools. The current project demands comprehensive use of those techniques to analyze the LAXPC-SXT data of galactic X-ray sources which add to my skills. I believe that I am well suited for the Ph.D. position offered as my field of interests, skills and experience acquired by working on X-ray Astronomy suits it well.
  4. Hey! Prospective physics applicant. Looking to apply to MIT Converge this fall to visit MIT. Has anybody done the program? If so, how was it?
  5. I'm about to enroll in a University of Phoenix online "Fundamentals of Physics" course. Does anyone have experience with this class (quality of teaching or difficulty?) or any other prerequisites with University of Phoenix? I've seen plenty negative reviews on Univ. of Phoenix, but since I'm just doing a single course, I'm hoping it won't be too bad. The math placement exam was HARD for me! Is the difficulty of that test indicative of the difficulty of the course?? Thanks!
  6. Hi, i am an international student in UCB double majoring in math and physics. I just took my first general GRE test with a verbal:159, and quantitative: 169 and wonder how competitive this score is for a grad school application, either a phd in physics or a master program in math? In other words, do I need to take the test again to boost my verbal score? Thanks!!!!
  7. I'm doing my Masters at GRAPPA, University of Amsterdam. I'm soon going to start doing my thesis on Gravitational Waves (computational relativity) and I wanted to get a headstart on PhD applications. I'm open to options both in Europe and USA. What should my realistic target universities be? And do I have to write GRE/Subject GRE when applying to the US for a PhD program?
  8. I got into both Universities(fully funded PhD) , wish to specialise in Nuclear Physics. Pros and Cons please?
  9. Anyone waiting for the admission results of the Physics and Astronomy programs of the University of Calgary? Are you already admitted or rejected? I don't want to bother my prospective professor or the administrative coordinator (Ms. Evans) by emailing them. I would appreciate it if we can share our information about this program.
  10. I want to give a GRE Physics exam in september. Considering that I have not begun my GRE Physics prep, please suggest the materials/books for GRE Physics. I tried looking online and I could not find any relevant books. Thank you
  11. Hey! I am an international student and cannot go for the open day. So, I thought that we start a thread for people who are going to or thinking to join the physics department at UCSD. I haven't firmly decided yet but I am accepted for hep-th. Which field did you apply for?
  12. Hi all, Well I got into UCSB in Physics and I am really excited, I wanted to see if anyone else is feeling the same thing. So is anyone else here going to UCSB this fall for Physics? Excited? Any idea where you are going to live in Santa Barbara?
  13. Hey everyone. I recently graduated this semester. My plan is to work for two years in order to save up money for a masters program. Right now I have my sight set on the masters program at University of Houston in ME/Aerospace Engineering. However, I am in a bit of a predicament. I graduated with a BS in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. My GPA was low. I got a 2.94 gpa on 63 credit hours. I only had 63 credit hours since I transferred from the University of Texas at San Antonio. My GPA there was a 3.78 on almost 80 hours. However, when you combine the GPAs, it comes out to 3.42. My questions are: will grad schools look at the combined GPA, or will they only look at the GPA of the institution I graduated from? And also I have 2.5 years of research with two projects done. Could this possibly help my chances? And will working for two years up my chances of getting into a masters program as well? I have yet to take the GRE. I’m
  14. I am planning on pursuing a PhD in astronomy (extragalactic/cosmology). I hear conflicting advice on contacting potential PhD advisors, but I figured I'd try to be a little proactive even if it might not be too helpful in my application process. What's the best way in contacting professors - especially in the sciences? To those who have had successful correspondence, how did you go about this? What kind of questions did you ask? Did you find it helpful? Forgive me for asking the dumb questions...I'd rather sound dumb here than in the email or the application! haha I'd appreciate any insights! Thanks:)
  15. Hi, everybody. To be honest, I come from a rural community and don´t have the money to apply to several graduate programs. That is why I want help so I can narrow my choices and avoid spending money on application fees for universities I don´t even have a decent chance to get accepted at (I don´t know how my profile compares to average international students). Here is my profile: Major: Two at UNAM in México. One in Physics and other in Mathematics GPA: both 9.5/10 Research experience: Several posters, seminar talks and worked as associated student at various institutes TOEFL: 113 GRE: 163 V / 169 Q / 4.0 AWA Awards: Some summer schools, scholarships and finalist at math competitions I would really appreciate if anyone can have a look at my profile and give me some advice. Thank you very much in advance.
  16. Hello all, this is my first time on the forum. I went to an unnamed Ivy League school for undergrad and I regret it. While it had many resources and has forced me to become a better self-advocate, the intellectual environment has been boring, intellectually conservative, closed off, defensive, and selfish. It has not been a place that fosters creativity, collaboration, or kindness, nor has it offered good mentorship. It has been, in the words of one of my friends, emotionally vacuous. The physics department makes gestures towards intellectual rigor, but no one seems to have the time or energy to do pedagogy well. I want to be able to be a good mentor some day and I need to learn those skills from someone. Additionally, I do really think that better science can be done when people aren't miserable. As a result, I am looking for alternatives to the major research universities for PhD programs as I want to avoid a repeat of the above. Are there places that have a reputation similar to that of small liberal arts colleges, but for their physics PhD programs? I know that a lot of good mentorship is on a professor by professor( or lab by lab) basis, but a lot of it is also connected to the overall culture of a department. For example, I have heard some good things about the University of Washington. Alternatively, which of the major research institutions have physics departments with particularly good reputations for mentorship? I'm specifically interested in particle physics, gravitation, or optics. Thank you for any advice.
  17. I have a concern. I am in final year student of Mechanical Engineering. I wish to apply for Masters program in Physics. I have no prior experience in research in physics. However, I am currently preparing for GRE General and GRE Physics Subject tests. Assuming I get good scores in both the tests, what other things do I need to get admissions in good grad schools? P.S. My long term goal is to get a PhD.
  18. Hi, I am scheduled to begin my physics PhD at Uconn this fall. I was hoping to connect with some grad students or alumni so I can ask some questions. I would really appreciate it. I can definitely provide more details about my background if needed. Thanks in advance.
  19. necessary credentials for admission in Harvard and MIT and also scholarship details for Indian Student
  20. Finished my undergrad two years ago. Graduate admissions didn’t work out too well (applied to top hep-th schools, so no surprise there). I may apply again, not sure. Either way I’d like to have some solid research experience before I do. Maybe a publication or two in a good journal. However, most summer research option, like REU’s, are impossible now that I’m out of college. So what options do I have? I could just start emailing professors, but that seems disorganized and I’m not sure how I’d be able to arrange the logistics, funding, etc. How do I go about this? Anyone here have experience with this stuff? I’m open to anything in high energy physics theory.
  21. I need to add my physical science after I graduate and I have to choose between physics and chemistry. I took geology for the sake of not destroying my gpa with the former two, but now my grad school that I'm attending (Texas State University) does not take geology. Thoughts?
  22. Hey Everyone! Trying to get some last second opinions about a physics MS. I'm intending to continue on to a Ph.D in astronomy, astrophysics, or cosmology. I got into Case Western, Stony Brook, UCSC, Miami of Ohio (17k stipend), and NYU. I've talked a bit with some professors and I could probably get into a research group at Case and Stony Brook. I'm leaning between those two, but money isn't much of an issue, what do you guys think?
  23. Hello all! I am a BSc student at the University of Manchester. Now I have two offers. One is a one-year MSc by Research astrophysics programme at the University of Manchester. The other one is a two-year MSc Physics programme at the Imperial College London. Manchester is famous for its Jodrell Bank Observatory and the research in radio astronomy. The programme is basically purely research-oriented with only three lectures in the first semester. I have already found a good supervisor. I don't know much about astrophysics research in Imperial College. From what I saw on the website, the astro group at the Imperial College is very small. It seems that Imperial is better at quantum physics and theoretical physics. However, the programme structure is better than that at Manchester, it contains one-year taught course and one-year research. I want to do an astro PhD in the States after the master degree. Which is more suitable? Does anyone know astro or physics research at the Imperial? Please give me some suggestions.
  24. I just realized... 20 years from now... some of you will be Nobel laureates...
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