Saturday, May 31, 2008

Physics Studies, exams and Interviews

I receive many querries by students pursuing graduation and post-graduation in Physics, and following are summarised guidelines for them.
Books to read during BSc Physics:-

  1. Resnik Halliday, Fundamentals of Physics
  2. Berkeley Physics Course, 5 Volumes
  3. Feynman Lectues on Physics
  4. Concepts of Modern Physics:- Arthur Beiser
For problem solving :- "Physics by Example" - Rees

Books to be read during MSc Physics:- Follow your Professors..! Don't get too lost in the treatises!

How to prepare for exams, and how to face the entrance interviews for MSc or PhD:-
  1. Sit back and revise your BSc/MSc syllabus.
  2. Close the books and write down all the Physics you know, from formulae to ideas, concepts.
  3. While you are doing step 2, you will recall certain things that you know, but don't remember exactly. Open the books and fill in such gaps.
  4. Repeat 2 & 3 until you have good list of ideas in Physics. Now, THIS is Your Physics. What you read till then, was just what others knew. THIS much Physics you know. Its yours, congratulate yourself! One night before the exam you need to revise only this.
  5. Give as many entrance exams as possible. In any one exam, lets say NET, you don't do well, then come back home and figure out what you didn't do well. e.g you may not have understood Statistical Mechanics well. Then study that before the next exam, and give the next one with confidence.
  6. Don't gamble, be careful of negative marking.
  7. Do YES!+ program:- . Its important not to have just bookish knowledge, but also to have the ability to apply it well, in a relaxed and focussed state of mind, during exam as well as when you face the interview. This is one of the many important benefits you get out of YES!+ workshop.
Projects:- Its a good idea to engage yourself in summer and winter projects in various research Institutes. Alternate your projects in terms of theoretical, experimental or simulation based.


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