Topic: Case studies of failed projects
June 16, 2019 / By Zubin Question:
I am planning on going to collage to get a masters or preferably a PhD in quantum mechanics/physics. About how long will i be in collage?
Sol | 8 days ago
It depends on what country you are studying in and what type of physicist you want to be. In the US, you will typically take 4 (sometimes 5) years to get a bachelors degree. Then you will start graduate school which will last somewhere between 4 and 7 years. At the end of that, you will get a PhD. The masters degree is typically not a degree you plan to get. Masters degrees are often awarded when you drop out of a PhD program. This occurs either when you get fed up with it and want a real job, or when you get fed up with your school and want a different school, or when you fail the candidacy exams to continue on for the PhD (it's a consolation prize). In all cases those cases, you will be eligible for a masters after 2 years of graduate school. Some people will go ahead and get a masters degree from their institution even though they are continuing on for the full PhD, though there is typically no benefit in doing so, since a PhD will make your masters degree irrelevant.
Whether it takes you closer to 4 years or closer to 7 years to get a PhD depends on two things. First, it depends on whether you are a theorist or an experimentalist. Theorist will typically spend less time getting the PhD than experimentalists. The main reason for this is not that theory is more simple, but that to graduate, you need to have a successful project. Theory projects are more likely to be successful faster (since they are just ideas and paper), while experimental projects often get delayed by equipment failure or something technical like that. The other thing that will dictate how long it takes to get your PhD is how well your project works. If it you succeed quickly, you will graduate quickly. If not, then you wont. This is related to the theorist/experimentalist issue, in that theorists are more likely to have a project work out quickly. But there are always experimentalists that finish quickly and theorists that do not, based on their project.
So in total, it will take 8 to 11 years of university education to get a PhD in physics.
If you are in a European university, the system is different and it will depend on the country. In many countries, it takes about 5 years to get to the masters level and another 3 or 4 years to get a PhD. The English, in particular, seem to graduate PhD's much faster then the in the US. Germans are more in line with the US.
A bachelor's degree usually takes 4 years. A master's degree usually takes 2 years. A doctorate degree can take 2 to several years pending the research required. This assumes you go straight through at each level and are attending school full time. Some terminal degrees require internships and residencies that add 1-2 more years. (We're not talking about medical school or law school.) Some fields of study and programs will allow you to go directly from an undergraduate degree into a graduate program that will earn a masters and a doctorate simultaneously and can take 4-6 years, again if you are attending full time. Many graduate schools will not take applicants immediately upon receipt of a bachelor's degree, they want the applicant to have some years of real world experience. So, there are a great many variables in a correct answer. Some undergraduate degrees take 5 years at most schools; such as engineering, architecture and interior design. If you are a real go getter, you can take a boat load of AP classes in high school, ace your AP exams and enter college with enough hours to be a sophomore. With full loads, and summer school, you can finish a bachelor's in an additional 2.5 years. And yes, the PhD is the degree that comes after the masters. (As a final caveat, all three degrees can be in different subjects if you choose and meet minimum standards for the masters and PhD degrees.)
4 years for BS, 2 more for Masters and 1 more for PhD. Total of at least 7 years. Great degree though and worth the education.
Originally Answered: Is a human observer needed for a quantum mechanics event to occur?
The electron doesn't say, "Oh crap! Somebody's watching... do something different!" Physicists kind of mislead people on the subject of uncertainty without realizing it. This is what they really mean:
The electron goes about its business. The trick, though, is that in order to observe anything, you have to shine a light at it (or in the case of a sub-atomic particle, bounce other particles off of it and watch where they go).
Imagine being in a pitch-dark football stadium. You suspect there is someone throwing a football, but you can't see it.
Throw a hundred glow-in-the-dark baseballs in the place you think someone is throwing the football. If you're lucky, you'll hit the football once. When you hit the football, you'll know where it was when you hit it because you'll "observe" that the baseball bounced off it, but you're "uncertain" where the football goes after being hit mid-flight.
This is what is meant by "observing" and "uncertainty". Remember that on sub-atomic scales, there are no flashlights, there are only more sub-atomic particles.
In your CCTV solution, you can't see because it's all dark. If you turn on lights so that your camera can catch some reflected photons (that's all seeing really is), you're changing everything, not because you're watching, but because now you've flooded the area with billions of photons.