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Prelims Resources

This page contains both digitized versions of past problems and the notes that I used to prepare for the prelim. I hope this is helpful; feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions!

My Suggested Resources

As far as general physics knowledge goes, my list of textbooks is pretty standard: Thornton and Marion and Goldstein for Mechanics, Griffiths and Zangwill for E&M, Townsend, Griffiths, and Shankar for Quantum, and Tong's notes for Statmech.

One of the older students has also put together Undergraduate Physics in a Hurry, a really well-typeset prep guide which is "one-third exposition, one-third worked prelim problems, and one-third bad jokes" – the worked examples here in particular are incredibly valuable.

You should also be aware of the solutions dropbox contributed and maintained by some of the older grad students, as well as the older solutions website and a newer version of the site which allows community solutions that anyone can edit.

There are some other heirloom Princeton resources which should be emailed out to you at some point, but this is my attempt at centralizing some of them and making them easier to navigate.

E&M Notes

Maxwell's equations, potentials, energy and momentum in EM fields, multipoles, fields in matter, Laplace's equation, the method of images, capacitance and inductance, and radiation. More …

QM Notes

Quantum postulates and principles, pictures, the harmonic oscillator, angular momentum and spin, identical particles, 3D quantum mechanics, approximation methods, scattering, and quantum particles in EM fields. More …

Statmech Notes

Classical thermodynamics, the thermodynamic ensembles, quantum information, classical gases, quantum gases, the Debye model of solids, gases in EM fields, phase transitions, the Ising model, polymers, and Brownian motion. More …