Saturday, January 27, 2007

Comps Finished!

Finished my comprehensive exams (physics) last week, after a month and more of studying and freaking out. I clearly understudied for some subjects and overstudied for others. One note about them, and then back to vents on political travesties.

Our comprehensive exams consisted of:
1) Mathematical Methods for Physics (2.5hrs)
Didn't do as well as I wanted to here, but I understand it well. I think I hosed up a Laurent Expansion problem, as that was my weakest point going into this exam. Another day of focus on this subject probably would've saved me.

2) Classical Mechanics (2.5 hrs)
This was a relatively trivial test, but there was a rotations problem that many others perhaps didn't get, and a question which was effectively "Do you remember this diatribe I went on in class?" I happened to remember it, some probably didn't.

3) Electricity and Magnetism (2.5 hrs)
Felt pretty confident coming out of this exam, though I made a few mistakes. It was probably the most technically difficult part of the comprehensives.

4) Statistical Mechanics (2.5 hrs)
Definitely the weakest subject for me in this exam. The questions made little-to-no sense, their numbers didn't come out cleanly, and they were largely focused on Thermodynamics. There were a few questions which likely tricked me as well. Others taking the test also felt stat mech was the most obscure exam.

5) Quantum Mechanics (2.5 hrs)
I think I nailed this one. Understood all the questions and almost all of them worked out cleanly with reasonable numbers. I know that some of my calculations didn't work out exactly right, but they certainly weren't far off. I have more confidence in this than any other portion of the exam.
6) Modern Physics (2.5 hrs)
This was a joke. Essay questions and conceptual problems. It was difficult to take this portion of the exam seriously.


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