Hello, everyone. I will be applying to schools in Fall for physics. Following the routine on this forum, here is my current list. A ranking by safe-ness would be very much appreciated (as well as any suggestions for safe, albeit still decent, schools not currently on my list). Although I am just looking for a general ranking right now (after I take the GRE and get my scores I might be back with a "what are my chances" thread), to give a very brief overview of myself, I just received my [physical] chemistry degree from UCLA (with a handful of physics and math courses taken on the side, of course) and would like to pursue, in order, quantum computing, atomic physics, or nuclear physics. Thank you, in advance, to any input you can give.
Also, could anyone rank the safety of physics subfields as well, for a chemistry applicant? I imagine chemical physics would be the safest choice, followed by atomic, and probably something like theoretical particle physics or cosmology towards the end.
-Caltech (lottery ticket school)
-USC (first choice)
-University of Washington (tied for first with USC)
-University of Colorado, Boulder
-University of Oregon
-University of New Mexico
-South Dakota School of Mines
I would like to apply to around 8 schools (4-5 fairly safe, 3-4 otherwise).