Lab methods

noospace
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:14 pm

Lab methods

Postby noospace » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:34 am

Does anyone know of any guides available to the lab methods section of the pgre?

e.g., coax cables, negative feedback, waveforms etc.?

I'm a theorist so a lot of this stuff is quite new to me.

Thanks.

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twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Lab methods

Postby twistor » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:14 am

If you're taking the PGRE then you're an undergraduate or you're not getting a degree in physics. In either case you are not a theorist.

At best you are a student that didn't pay attention during lab classes.

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grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Lab methods

Postby grae313 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:14 am

lol twistor.

noospace, that is a tiny portion of the exam. You can easily get a perfect score while still missing the handful of lab-related questions on the exam. I would just study up on the four practice exams available and check the answer to the ones you don't know on physicsgre.net. The basics of what lab questions you will encounter are there. I'm not sure it would be worth doing a lot of book studying for this part. If you insist, however, I would consult your lab manuals and brush up on error analysis and propagation. But really, there are a few tricks you need to know, which you'll see in the practice exams, and the rest are kind of common sense.

cooper
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:57 am

Re: Lab methods

Postby cooper » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:22 am

grae313 wrote:lol twistor.

noospace, that is a tiny portion of the exam. You can easily get a perfect score while still missing the handful of lab-related questions on the exam. I would just study up on the four practice exams available and check the answer to the ones you don't know on physicsgre.net. The basics of what lab questions you will encounter are there. I'm not sure it would be worth doing a lot of book studying for this part. If you insist, however, I would consult your lab manuals and brush up on error analysis and propagation. But really, there are a few tricks you need to know, which you'll see in the practice exams, and the rest are kind of common sense.


Thanks, Jessie, I was about to start a thread asking what book I should get to study for the Lab part of the Physics GRE. What you said makes sense though, maybe just checking the answers to the practice tests on physicsgre.net would give me all of the information I need for any lab questions.

By the way, if you don't mind me asking you for advice, what do you think about this study plan: I plan to read (and, in fact, am already reading) University Physics (virtually all of the 44 chapters), concentrating on learning (and memorizing) the formulas that are highlighted. Additionally, I am reading (rereading) Griffiths QM, and I may also read (reread) my Modern Physics textbook. I am using the last two books because I found from practice test 0177 that University Physics appears to be enough to answer virtually every problem about Classical Physics, but the same doesn't appear to be the case for Modern Physics (although I just started studying Modern Physics so I am not completely sure yet). In addition to the three books I just mentioned I intend to do (probably a few times) every problem on each of the four practice tests. What do you think about that study plan? Thanks.

Edit: I felt I should elaborate on my question so you understand what I am asking. What I am asking you is, do you think the books I am using are too much or too little, or does it sound about right (keep in mind that I am trying to get a high score on the exam, somewhere in the top ten percent)? In other words, should I also reread my Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and E & M textbooks? On the other hand, is just University Physics good enough, and using other books would be unnecessary studying?

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grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Lab methods

Postby grae313 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:31 am

That sounds like a really ambitious study plan, the kind that you make and vow to follow but don't, or at least I never would :P If you can actually follow that, hats off to you and it sounds like a good plan.

I would also recommend reviewing the answers for all four practice exams on physicsgre.net, and keeping a running list of useful equations for these problems as you go and memorizing those equations. This is something I wish I had done. Take a practice exam and see what kinds of questions you are missing. If you are missing some of the problems covered in University physics, focus on the fundamentals because that will give you the most score increase in the shortest amount of time/effort. If you pretty much have those down and want to tackle the harder/fringe questions, see which ones you are missing. If you are missing quantum questions, study that book, if you are missing E&M, study that. It's really impractical to think you're going to go through and read all of the books from undergraduate physics IMO, and practice problems are more useful than reading.

cooper
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:57 am

Re: Lab methods

Postby cooper » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:23 am

grae313 wrote:lol twistor.

noospace, that is a tiny portion of the exam. You can easily get a perfect score while still missing the handful of lab-related questions on the exam. I would just study up on the four practice exams available and check the answer to the ones you don't know on physicsgre.net. The basics of what lab questions you will encounter are there. I'm not sure it would be worth doing a lot of book studying for this part. If you insist, however, I would consult your lab manuals and brush up on error analysis and propagation. But really, there are a few tricks you need to know, which you'll see in the practice exams, and the rest are kind of common sense.


The address is grephysics.net. I often type in physicsgre.net accidentally (once I was even scared that the website was taken down :shock: )

cooper
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:57 am

Re: Lab methods

Postby cooper » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:30 am

grae313 wrote:That sounds like a really ambitious study plan, the kind that you make and vow to follow but don't, or at least I never would :P If you can actually follow that, hats off to you and it sounds like a good plan.

I would also recommend reviewing the answers for all four practice exams on physicsgre.net, and keeping a running list of useful equations for these problems as you go and memorizing those equations. This is something I wish I had done. Take a practice exam and see what kinds of questions you are missing. If you are missing some of the problems covered in University physics, focus on the fundamentals because that will give you the most score increase in the shortest amount of time/effort. If you pretty much have those down and want to tackle the harder/fringe questions, see which ones you are missing. If you are missing quantum questions, study that book, if you are missing E&M, study that. It's really impractical to think you're going to go through and read all of the books from undergraduate physics IMO, and practice problems are more useful than reading.


Okay, thanks for the help.




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