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Physics degree programs.

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How hard (or easy) are the physics degree programs at Waterloo or University of Toronto?

Which university is better for physics?
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A photo of Dakkers Dakkers
well it depends on what you want to specialize in! both are solid for their physics programs (from what I've heard). for your BSc it doesn't really make that big of a difference.

all I really know is that UW has the Perimeter Institute, and the Quantum Cryptography center.

if you wanted to focus on theoretical physics I'd suggest UW because of the Perimeter Institute. not sure what you're interested in though
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I don't know at this point.

Is it possible to study quantum field theory at the undergraduate level at Waterloo or University of Toronto?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_field_theory


At Toronto, quantum field theory is listed as a graduate level course. (At Waterloo, it is not listed this year).
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A photo of Dakkers Dakkers
I don't think you would be able to specialize in quantum physics during your undergrad since it's a bit more intense than say Astrophysics. you can take courses though! I've already planned out what I want to take during all of my years and I'm taking Quantum Physics 1, 2, 3 and Quantum Theory 1 & 2.
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Do you know what is going on in quantum physics?

I've been looking through some recent lecture notes of a University of Toronto course which covers intro quantum mechanics.

http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/~phy294h1/p294_quantum.html

I was only able to minimally figure out the "infinite square well" notes, by plugging in the solution to the equations with derivatives.

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@Dakkers wrote
I don't think you would be able to specialize in quantum physics during your undergrad since it's a bit more intense than say Astrophysics. you can take courses though! I've already planned out what I want to take during all of my years and I'm taking Quantum Physics 1, 2, 3 and Quantum Theory 1 & 2.



Looking at the Waterloo course listings, Quantum Theory 1 (AMATH 373) looks like it covers the same topics as Quantum Physics 1 and 2 (PHYS 234 and 334).
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I couldn't understand the math part of it if I tried.

and yeah, it probably does but I'm taking what I need to for an Honours degree and it says to take all of them (especially if you want to go into theoretical physics, which I plan to)
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@Dakkers wrote
(especially if you want to go into theoretical physics, which I plan to)



What area of theoretical physics specifically?
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A photo of Dakkers Dakkers
Experimental/accelerator, I really really really wanna work at CERN and research things like dark energy and the Higgs boson.

Where did you apply?
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@Dakkers wrote
Experimental/accelerator, I really really really wanna work at CERN and research things like dark energy and the Higgs boson.



Cool.

I thought about going into this area, but haven't decided yet.

I think my decision as to whether I really want to do this, will be whether doing quantum mechanics (and quantum field theory) is really what I think it is. Lately I've been trying to figure out some of the math from first and second year university level, to understand some of the ideas in basic quantum theory and relativity (ie. where does E=mc^2 come from, etc ...). So far I've been finding the math part easier to figure out, than the underlying physics. The underlying physical motivation is not always obvious.


@Dakkers wrote
Where did you apply?



I didn't apply this year. (I'm presently in grade 11).

Will be applying next year.
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make sure you focus on what you enjoy in high school, compared to focusing entirely on academics! you'll enjoy your last year a lot better
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@Dakkers wrote
make sure you focus on what you enjoy in high school, compared to focusing entirely on academics! you'll enjoy your last year a lot better



Next year will be somewhat lighter than this year. I already finished grade 12 physics, advanced functions, and calculus/vectors last semester. This semester I have grade 12 chemistry and biology.

(I fast tracked slightly).


I haven't decided yet, but I'm thinking of possibly taking first year university calculus, linear algebra, and maybe physics at a local university this summer.
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if that's what you wanna do, go for it!
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