Hello, everyone. I'll be applying for the Fall of '07 and taking the physics GRE in Novemeber. I've been out of school for about 6 years, and have decided to start over and pursue physics graduate work. My bachelor's degree is in astronomy, but I never really aggressively pursued research or worked towards graduate studies as an undergrad.
I've been working on personal statements, and would like to pose a question to the hardened veterans out there.
Many schools ask you to discuss why you are interested in their programs. For me, this would amount to surfing through their website, and finding subjects and faculty members that pique my interest. Should I really discuss this in the PS? It seems a little bit contrived. Should I email these professors? With what goal, to create some sort of dialouge? Should I be reading the papers written by these guys? Or should I just admit that I have been "out of the game" for several years, and my physics studying has been limited to SciAm, pop-science books, and whatever I did with work?