I am currently a graduate student in Theoretical chemistry/Chemical Physics at one of the higher-ranked R1 universities in the US. After a year of taking graduate-level courses in Physics, I have realized that an academic career in theoretical physics is something that I really want to pursue. Soon I would be graduating with a MS in chemistry from my current graduate program in August and I plan to re-apply to graduate school again, specifically to programs in Physics. Here are a few things that aren't clear to me about executing this transition:
- Will it be possible for me to make this transition given my academic background in chemistry?
- Can anyone who's been through this before, made a similar transition.... give me a couple of pointers?
I don't know if most or any of this matters but, here are a few details.
Prior to joining my current program I went to a college in India to get my bachelor (3 years) and Masters (2 years) in chemistry. I did have rigorous coursework in basic mathematics covering most of the essentials in Differential Equations(ODE and PDE), Linear algebra, Multi-variable calculus, etc. In terms of Physics, I have taken courses in classical mechanics, optics, electronics, and basic E&M. Beyond this most of my advanced knowledge in quantum physics and statistical mechanics comes from personal reading. From both my degrees I have had slightly more than above average to really excellent grades. After I came to the US in the past year I have taken about 6 graduate-level courses ranging from quantum mechanics to quantum optics, offered by the Physics department at my university and some reason to believe that I have had a fairly decent performance in them.
In terms of research I do not have any research publications yet. But, I have worked for a year in an experimental lab during my masters in India and two summer research internships in experimental condensed matter physics and chemical physics(theory). Also currently, I am working on a summer research project in theoretical condensed matter physics with one of the faculty members at my current university in the US.
I am mainly looking to transition into a Ph.D. in either condensed matter field theory or something more aligned towards quantum physics(like quantum information or ultra-cold physics).