Physics GRE


Classical Mechanics - 20%

Kinematics, Newton's laws, work and energy, oscillatory motion, rotational motion about a fixed axis, dynamics of systems of particles, central forces and celestial mechanics, three-dimensional particle dynamics, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism, non-inertial reference frames, elementary topics in fluid dynamics.

Electromagnetism - 18%

Electrostatics, currents and DC circuits, magnetic fields in free space, Lorentz force, induction, Maxwell's equations and their applications, electromagnetic waves, AC circuits, magnetic and electric fields in matter.

Optics and Wave Phenomena - 9%

Wave properties, superposition, interference, diffraction, geometrical optics, polarization, Doppler effect.

Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics - 10%

Laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamic processes, equations of state, ideal gases, kinetic theory, ensembles,     statistical concepts and calculation of thermodynamic quantities, thermal expansion of heat transfer.

Quantum Mechanics - 12%

Fundamental concepts, solutions of the Schrodinger equation (including square wells, oscillators, and hydrogenic atoms), spin, angular momentum, wave function symmetry, elementary perturbation theory.

Atomic Physics - 10%

Properties of electrons, Bohr model, energy quantization, atomic structure, atomic spectra, selection rules, black-body radiation, x-rays, atoms in electric and magnetic fields.

Special Relativity - 6%

Introductory concepts, time dilation, length contraction, simultaneity, energy and momentum, four-vectors and Lorentz transformation, velocity addition.

Laboratory Methods - 6%

Data and error analysis, electronics, instrumentation, radiation detection, counting statistics, interaction of charged particles with matter, lasers and optical interferometers, dimensional analysis, fundamental applications of probability and statistics.

Specialized Topics - 9%

Nuclear and Particle physics, Condensed Matter physics, mathematical methods, computer applications, astrophysics.