I've been lurking in the shadows here for some time and really appreciate what you all put in to this forum. That being said, desperate times call for desperate measures.
I've reviewed previous years grad profiles and can't really seem to find ones that mirror my scores/experience so I'm just going to throw mine out there and see what you all think.
I took the Oct. 10 PGRE and, for the second year in a row, got a 610. Terrible by most accounts but hopefully not prohibitive. I have very solid research experience and graduated from UCSC with a degree in Astrophysics with honors. I did research as a part of the VERITAS collaboration for 2 years as an undergrad and am entering my second year as a research assistant at a national lab as a part of the Gemini Planet Imager project. I have personally developed a technique that will be used on our optics testbed and may in fact be used on the final version of the device. I've presented these results at the CfAO retreat this year and will be publishing my simulation results in Optics Express with hopefully a follow up paper in a more prestigious journal once I've applied it to our testbed.
I would like to get my Ph.D in physics (except where noted) and am planning on applying to the schools below. I'm interested in plasma, optics, and QM. Do you think any of these schools is out of reach and/or what would you add to this list? Thanks for taking the time to read this.