I'm a chemical engineering student (just completed BS and am started the PhD program), but I'm very interested in particle physics as a hobby. I'm dismayed though with the sheer amount of information and math that is required to understand this stuff. I feel like a physicist could learn all of my engineering knowledge in a couple of weeks, but it would take years to learn concepts such as:
- Gauge symmetry
- Lagrangians, Hamiltonians
- Noether's theorem
- Feynman diagrams
- General relativity
- Standard model
- Holographic principle
I don't even know what most of these things are -- I just see them in answers to questions, look them up on Wikipedia, glaze over at all the math I've never heard of, and continue on just as confused as before.
And it's not that I'm bad at math either -- I scored quite well on the AIME in high school. It's just that I've never learned these things (quaternions, spinors? No idea).
So when do most physics students learn concepts like this? Undergrad, grad school?