GREPhysics.NET, formerly known as "Yosunism GRE Physics Solutions" (and hosted at http://grephysics.yosunism.com)
was launched on a spare weekend about two weeks before the 2005 November administration of the GRE Physics Exam—a week or so after I started making it.
At the time, I was taking a boring Numerical Methods course off schedule and late, and though it was the middle of the term, there was
no work from any of my other classes...
So, with basically nothing to do that weekend other than a
very-time-consuming way-too-uselessly-pedantic extra credit assignment from said NC course,
I turned to the stack of GRE Physics problems I had procrasinated from doing for far too long.
I had assumed that working through the problems would have been like blindly stuffing popcorn into my mouth, but, some turned out to require more work than I had expected for a timed exam allowing for no calculators. So, I started typing up my solutions as I worked through the problems. (I type and even LaTeX far faster than I write. Much more legibly, too. And, usually, more coherently.)
Back in this era of my life (UCSD 2002-2006), whenever I turned on my computer, Trillian and IRC and TetriNET were sure to start. (Now, it is mostly only Second Life.) I decided to set a goal. I would do two exam years a day, and finish all four years by the end of the weekend. With ample excuse set to away-message and ignore everyone online, I started LaTeX-ing my way through the problems.
As always, I underestimated the time I would need to finish something. It turned out that I needed a full day to finish each set. And, also, I got bored in the middle of one set. I started playing around with a photo I inherited at Berkeley one summer (see top right). Yeah, if I have not forgotten, it was taken from the window of the giant room where the physics majors there hung out to do problems and office hours. The room was unbearably depressing, and yes, there were actually bars in the second-story(?) window!
Anyway, so it was really hot that summer, and there was no air conditioning in the room. Walking towards the window for fresh air, I noticed that this non-homogenous coloring in the glass was actually a bullet hole. I became instantaneously paranoid that I might get shot or something. Some guy walked by, and honestly, he looked really really menacing. He was staring at me weirdly and reaching into his pocket...
He whipped out a camera, then started blurting out these fluid dynamic equations for calculating the air currents through the hole.
I asked for a copy of the shot, and that is the story of the base picture for the old site masthead.
As you can probably tell, the equations were painted on as postwork via Photoshop (somewhat half-heartedly, I must admit). Only the mechanics, em, and qm equations were first shown for the 2005 exams. The Statistical Mechanics equations, and , were tacked on later without the use of a graphics tablet. (Mouse-skills~!!!)
Right, so after I finished a draft of the picture, I started drafting out a site for it... And well, that was pretty much how GRE Physics Solutions came to be. The site and the working mechanism behind it—the dynamic text to LaTeX converter and commenting system—were made without much planning intermittently as I lost my short-attention span on working through the exam problems. Basically, other than the user-comments, original GRE questions, and the solutions to certain problems I gave up on solving, I ended up creating everything on this site (typos inclusive) the week before the exam.
Oh, and if you have actually spent the time to scroll down to this part of the page, props to you—ah, but you must be bored! Here is a task that might alleviate your boredom (slightly, at least): There is a missing equation between the old site masthead banner and the current frontpage image. Find it and devise a physical reason why, though accurate, it was omitted, and I will pay you $L100 on Second Life. Simply sign up here, and shoot me an IM a la Ina Centaur.
Words from some of my sponsors:
(Left) The old banner picture of Yosunism GRE Physics Solutions. See the gray blurb on the far left side for the interesting story behind its origins...
Donate to GREPhysics.NET!
The suggested amount is $5/solution set, but you're free to donate as much (or as little) as you wish.
Why Donate? Help keep this site free, functional, and online!
And? If I receive enough funds to pay for server fees to host this site... It might also buy me dinner so I won't faint from malnutrition! (If that happens less often, I'd be able to update this site daily for typo-alerts, etc.) ;-)
March 2007 Tentatively Upcoming Updates:
Original ETS questions and diagrams to be typed up and displayed next to all solutions;
Re-do of all solutions (I might retake the test for fun just to get that perfect 990)
GREPhysics.NET now offers printable solutions for FREE. (Donations are welcome, though. See box on left.)
The above files have only been semi-proofread—typo-alerts, etc., will be availablee on this site. ;-)
Access the latest version of a particular problem by year and problem number via the black box above. You will also find some nifty comments and alternate solutions from your future colleages.
- GR8677 — full solutions; 32 pages long; pdf
- GR9277 — full solutions; (Coming soon!)
- GR9677 — full solutions; 30 pages long; pdf
- GR0177 — full solutions; 27 pages long; pdf
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