The Physics GRE

The Physics GRE

Please find below a compilation of useful study material for the Physics GRE subject test. If you find any of the links to be invalid, or if you have additional material that will be useful for future students please e-mail the department at The contents of this page have been built by physics majors for physics majors.

A short summary of concepts and formulae can be found here: Physics GRE notes, Trinity University

Another list of Formulae can be found here:

GRE Physics Test Practice Book (
GRE Physics Test Practice Book (

Physics Formulae Flashcards (thanks to Case Western Reserve University) can be found here:

More Information for the Physics GRE including a link to Conquering the Physics GRE can be found here:


Videos for the Course

Survey of Physics 1

1.       Centre of mass of a hemisphere:

2.       Archimedes’ principle:

3.       Conical Pendulum:

Survey of Physics 2

1.       Drift Velocity and current density:

2.       Biot Savart law:

3.       Hall Effect:

4.       Capacitance with two different dielectrics:

Modern Physics

1.       Blackbody radiation and Ultraviolet catastrophe:

2.       The Bohr model:

3.       Rydberg constant:

4.       Quantum Numbers:

5.       Spectroscopic notation:

6.       Finite well, delta and step function:

Quantum Mechanics        

1.       Dirac Delta potential:

2.       Fine structure:

3.       Hyperfine Structure:

4.       Entanglement:

5.       Paramagnetism and dimagnetism:

Electrodynamics and Electronics

1.       Vector Identities:

2.       Method of Images:

3.       Field in Materials:

4.       Magnetic hysteresis:

5.       Semiconductors:

6.       Diodes:

7.       Operational Amplifier:

8.       Logic Gates:

Classical Mechanics

1.       Lagarangian example:

2.       Hamiltonian example:

3.       Coupled oscillators:

4.       Orbital mechanics:

5.       Kepler’s law:


Statistical mechanics and Thermodynamics

1.       T-ds Diagrams:

2.       Otto cycle:

3.       Partition function for a quantum harmonic oscillator:


Special Relativity

1.       Lorentz transformation:

2.       Length contraction:

3.       Time dilation:

4.       Relativistic lifetime:

5.       Velocity Addition:

6.       Total energy:


1.       Multiple Lenses:

2.       Polarization and Malus law:

3.       Single slit diffraction:

4.       Double slit experiment :

5.       Thin film interference:

Solid State Physics

1.       Unit Cells: Wigner Seitz Unit Cell

2.       Einstein’s model:

3.       Debye’s model:

4.       Drude Theory:

Particle physics                   

1.       The standard model:

2.       Fundamental particles:

3.       Conservation Laws:

Special topics

1.       Radioactive Decay:

2.       Half-life problem:

3.       Geiger Counter:

4.       Poisson Distribution:

5.       Propagation of Error:

6.       Semi log and Log-log plot:

7.       Bose Einstein Condensation:

8.       Superfluidity in Helium:

9.       Cerenkov Radiation:

10.   LASERS:

Remedial Section: This section is supposed to help you make up for the topics that may show up on the test from the classes that you have not taken already.

If you have not taken Quantum mechanics

1.       Introduction to Dirac notation:

2.       Representation of Spin:

3.       Calculating Probabilities:

4.       Calculating expectation value:

5.       Postulates of Quantum Mechanics:

6.       Angular momentum operator:

7.       Calculating commutators:

8.       Diagonalizing the Hamiltonian:

9.       Quantum Harmonic oscillator:

10.   Raising and lowering operators:

If you have not taken Electrodynamics

1.       Gradient:

2.       Divergence:

3.       Curl:

4.       Cylindrical Coordinates:

5.       Spherical Coordinates:

6.       Laplacian:

7.       Gauss’s Law:

8.       Continuous charge distribution example 1:

9.        Continuous charge distribution example 2:

10.   Stoke’s theorem:

11.   Divergence theorem:

12.   Ampere’s law:

13.   Ampere’s law example:

14.   Biot Savart Law:

15.   Biot Savart law example:

16.   Electric dipole:

17.   Force on a dipole:

18.   The Wave Equation:

If you have not taken Thermodynamics/Statistical Mechanics

1.       First law of thermodynamics:

2.       Charles law:

3.       Boyle’s law:

4.       Work done by a gas:

5.       Isothermal and adiabatic process:

6.       Isochoric process:

7.       Isobaric process:

8.       Equipartition theorem:

9.       Cv and Cp for a monoatomic and diatomic gases:

10.   Second law of thermodynamics:

11.   Calculating Entropy:

12.   Carnot Cycle:

13.   Refrigeration Cycle:

14.   Third Law of thermodynamics:

15.   Thermodynamic identities:

16.   Macrostates and Microstates:

17.   Grand Canonical Ensemble:

18.   Partition function:

19.   Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution:

20.   Fermi-Dirac distribution:

21.   Bose-Einstein distribution:

If you have not taken Classical Mechanics

1.       Introduction to Lagrangian:

2.       Lagrangian of a conical pendulum:

3.       Lagrangian of a particle inside a cone:

4.       Lagrangian of a Pendulum with oscillating fulcrum:

5.       Lagrangian of coupled oscillator:

6.       Small oscillations:

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