To prospective graduate students:
If you are interested in doing PhD research with me, I feel obligated to “disclose” a few things. Please read them carefully:
§ For many people doing theoretical research might turn out to be more boring than working in the lab. Please understand that you will need ability to carry out a lot of and often very tedious calculations and at least minimally enjoy it. And just when you hope your sweating is done, the real test of your patience and determination begins, as you will have to sort out all the mistakes that invariably had crept in along the way. Does that sound like your definition of fun? It better be.
§ You will work mostly alone, unlike students in experimental physics, and thus will not enjoy lab camaraderie or use other students as the source of your own motivation. Are you capable of “willing” yourself through difficult periods of work?
market for theorists, at least as far as the lifetime academic employment
concerned, is not rosy at the moment, it probably has never been. Of course there
are other employers in the bigger job market out there who might value the
skillset that PhD in theoretical physics entails, but have you really thought
about your long-term goals?
If nevertheless you are not discouraged and want to proceed to the next step please test your enjoyment of physics by solving and thinking through these problems in quantum mechanics.