How is physics taught and learned. Teaching strategies, class examples and demonstrations; learning resources, career advice, etc. For explicit problems, use the 'homework' tag instead.

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Why quantum mechanics?

Imagine you're teaching a first course on quantum mechanics in which your students are well-versed in classical mechanics, but have never seen any quantum before. How would you motivate the subject ...
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0answers
19 views

Link for resource on cosmology [duplicate]

I have recently just begun studying cosmology. I have a background in physics. I would like a link to download video resources on Stephan Hawking's theories on physics and/or cosmology that have not ...
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3answers
102 views

Are there any musical instruments which use resonance tubes with two closed ends?

Many musical instruments use resonance tubes with one closed end - all brass instruments (I think), clarinet, etc. There are also instruments where both ends are open (flute, pipes) Are there any ...
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0answers
27 views

Best books for high-school? [duplicate]

Please don't close this thread, I now it might sound like a dozen others but I think that every case is different... I go to the first class of high school (that's how it's called in Greece, not sure ...
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0answers
41 views

Is rigorous functional analysis useful for theoretical physics? [duplicate]

I'm an undergraduate physics without much quantum mechanics at all under my belt. I'm studying functional analysis, and I want to know whether or not this will be useful for me in theoretical physics ...
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0answers
64 views

What phenoma have “intuitive” explanations which are completely wrong? [closed]

Some phenomena in physics defy intuition. Others have very intuitive explanations which you could explain easily to a layman. Sometimes, these intuitive explanations are simply wrong. What phenomena ...
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0answers
28 views

Self-teaching physics recommendations? [duplicate]

I've been very interested in mathematics for a while now and, after being inspired by reading Feynman's biography, would also like to learn about physics. My mathematics background is fairly ...
3
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1answer
137 views

How can one learn to visualize 4 dimensional spacetime?

I was watching Professor Leonard Susskind's lecture on Quantum Entanglements and he said that there are physicists and people who study physics, who 'rewire' themselves so they can visualize 4 ...
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4answers
901 views

Explaining Newton's Laws of motion to a 6 year old

An old professor of mine once said that an effective means to get people interested in Physics is to get them started early. What would be an effective and meaningful (and fun) means to explain ...
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0answers
27 views

Nilsson Hamiltonian - looking for problem and answers

I have been looking, unsuccessfully, online for academic problems involving the Nilsson nuclear hamiltonian. I understand the nature of the terms in the equation, but have never seen actual ...
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1answer
136 views

A roadmap for learning standard model of particle physics [duplicate]

Assuming that a person has understanding of theory of Lie groups, Lie algebras and basic quantum mechanics, what is the simplest route to gain a basic understanding of the SM of particle physics? Are ...
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13answers
9k views

Best books for mathematical background?

What are the best textbooks to read for the mathematical background you need for modern physics, such as, string theory? Some subjects off the top of my head that probably need covering: ...
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0answers
30 views

Is passing on knowledge/information from one body to another and the resultant state is ever studied as any branch of physics?

Does any branch of physics, study the passing off of information/knowledge from one body to another ( body would obviously be living beings here, as they only can do so ). And resultant changes in the ...
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2answers
140 views

Good ways for learning and cramming formulas? [duplicate]

I got an exam coming up and its numerical based (its pre-university level exam) but really tough. I want to know about various ways and methods to learn formulas. I know how can I derive them but its ...
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0answers
34 views

Quantum distance ladder

There is a lecture on how facts about the cosmos can be derived form rather simple observation. Is there an analogy for the small scale? Is there a technically simple observation that would imply, ...
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0answers
52 views

Prerequsites for Zee's QFT [duplicate]

What would be a good book or books for a sufficient prerequisite for Zee's book QFT in a nutshell? I have had a course in QM and relativistic QM, but I think there are some gaps that needs to be ...
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2answers
190 views

What is an effective and efficient way to read research papers? [duplicate]

I will be a grad student in condensed matter theory starting this fall. As an undergrad, I did the basic physics and math courses as well as a few grad classes (qft, analysis, solid state physics ...
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0answers
53 views

Reasons to consider the coefficient of restitution velocity independent - conditions when this does apply

In high-school mathematics textbooks a bouncing ball is often considered as an example of an exponential decay. One can easily derive this if one assumes that the coefficient of restitution is ...
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0answers
48 views

To all experienced theoretical physicists out there, what is the step by step process in your math education? [duplicate]

I am not doing a physics degree but an engineering degree but i am planning using my free time to self study all the math in preparing myself to self study subjects in theoretical physics. (I've ...
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2answers
77 views

Are leptons, baryons and energy the only products of radioactive decay?

I recently visited my child's elementary school to speak to a science classroom about rocks and minerals. While trying to explain what a crystal is, I got sloppy and mis-spoke that an atom was the ...
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0answers
52 views

Application of wavelets in computational electromagnetics

I am a first-year graduate student (electrical eng.); wavelets is one of the courses that I am taking presently. As part of the course, I plan to explore application of wavelets in computational ...
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0answers
27 views

Textbook on Diffusion and Diffusion NMR Spectroscopy

I am looking for textbooks ( Mathematical / Theoretical Physics ) that cover diffusion in general. Although it is not necessary that your recommendation covers it, I am also particularly interested ...
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0answers
60 views

Basic concepts in quantum theory to start learning semiconductor physics [closed]

What basic concepts in quantum theory one must known to start learning semiconductor physics?
2
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1answer
302 views

Can someone be too late for being a great physicist? [duplicate]

I am a first year physics student, but I am 20 years old (pretty old for my country, average starting age is 18), because I started after leaving med school, which I find extremely jailed in ...
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0answers
57 views

How to study physics as a first year student? [duplicate]

I firstly apologise if this question is off the topic. I am a first year undergraduate student and the required textbook for the course Advanced Physics is Fundemental of physics by Halliday. This ...
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15answers
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How do I explain to a 6 year old why people on the other side of the Earth don't fall off? [closed]

Today a friend's 6 year old sister asked me the question "why don't people on the other side of the earth fall off?". I tried to explain that the Earth is a huge sphere and there's a special force ...
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1answer
116 views

Does physics need an epsilon-delta definition for the concept of limit?

This question has been inspired by a question asked on Mathoverflow about "effectiveness of (epsilon, delta) definition". Most mathematicians have a strong opinion about the need of such definitions: ...
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5answers
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Why is introductory physics not taught in a more “axiomatic” way?

I am engineer who was taught the standard four semester, two-year physics courses from Halliday and Resnick's book. However, after reading the insightful answers here (e.g. Ron Maimon's awesome ...
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6answers
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Linear Algebra for Quantum Physics

A week ago I asked people on this forum what mathematical background was needed for understanding Quantum Physics, and most of you mentioned Linear Algebra, so I decided to conduct a self-study of ...
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2answers
164 views

Learning about super-symmetric quantum mechanics and integrable systems

I'm an undergraduate interested in theory. I recently asked one of my professors, a physicist in the particle theory group at my school, if he'd be willing to take on an undergraduate for a senior ...
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0answers
25 views

Mathematics for physics resources [duplicate]

Looking for book suggestions. I have a good basic understanding of many mathematical concepts but I want to improve to a physicist level. This is mainly because I want to study atmospheric physics ...
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0answers
80 views

Learning roadmap for picking up enough mathematical know-how in order to model “shape”, “form” and “material properties”? [closed]

I am interested in picking up enough mathematical background in order to easily understand a paper like this one: Growth, geometry and mechanics of a blooming lily, and be easily able to create my own ...
2
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0answers
243 views

Looking for solutions to problems in Feynman and Hibbs path integral and QM text [closed]

I've just started reading Feynman and Hibbs path integrals and Quantum mechanics after a decade hiatus from my undergraduate math degree (including a few semesters of physics for engineers). It would ...
2
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0answers
62 views

Quantum Field Theory and Lie Theory [duplicate]

I am reading Vol.1 of "The Quantum Theory Of Fields" by S. Weinberg. However I have come to a halt when connected Lie groups were introduced. I have solid knowledge in elementary group theory and ...
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0answers
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I want to do a PhD in Quantum Computing. Which universities in English-speaking countries have prominent research groups in this field? [closed]

Most universities I checked have a Quantum Information group, and they usually mention the term "Quantum Computing" somewhere on their website, but it's not very clear how much research is actually ...
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2answers
144 views

Is it possible to derive the formula of the gravitational potential energy without using the formula for the force

Clearly one can derive the formula for the gravitational potential Energy by just integrating the force $F_{\mathrm{G}} = \gamma \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}$, i.e. $$ E_{\mathrm{pot}} = \gamma m_1 m_2 ...
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0answers
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Reference request for motion & related topics [duplicate]

I'm starting a Robotics course at grad school and I could use some help to relearn and revise my concepts in the following topics : Kinematics Rigid Body Dynamics Rotational Motion and Linear ...
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1answer
160 views

Is it feasible to measure the energy of cosmic ray muons with a consumer Digital Single Lens Reflex camera?

I have read this article SIBBERNSEN, Kendra. Catching Cosmic Rays with a DSLR. Astronomy Education Review, 2010, 9: 010111. and it talks about estimating the muon cosmic ray flux by means of a DSLR ...
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0answers
62 views

How to move from Special to General Relativity

I have understood special relativity nicely, and right now I am trying to learn general relativity from D'Inverno's book. I an finding it rather difficult to understand the pre-requisite math (i.e. ...
3
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1answer
81 views

How can I easily explain interference to a tour group?

I'm looking for unique and illustrative ways to explain the phenomenon of interference to a tour group consisting of all types of people, from elementary school kids to adults. I run into this ...
3
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1answer
668 views

How do I learn higher level physics? [closed]

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 ...
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0answers
67 views

How can I answer the critical questions of mechanics? [duplicate]

I have passed my 1st year of undergraduate study life somehow I could have managed. But recently I have decided to fill up the emptiness of knowledge over mechanics. Besides I have my studies of 2nd ...
0
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1answer
169 views

Should I learn Classical Physics if I want to learn Quantum Physics? [duplicate]

I don't remember anything from school, so please what do you say about the title?
2
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1answer
100 views

Is there any way to read the Feynman Lectures for free? [duplicate]

The Feynman Lectures on Physics probably constitute the most famous introductory physics textbook ever written. The level of intuition it provides is hard to beat; I first started reading it in ...
0
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3answers
137 views

Quantum Physics Books [duplicate]

I`m very newbie in physics and want to study on amateur level. I`m interested in Quantum Physics, can anybody advice some books?
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5answers
2k views

Trouble with classical mechanics self-learning (How to avoid going down the Physics rabbit hole?) [duplicate]

I'm a retired police officer trying to learn classical mechanics on my own. I have gone through many links on the Internet including the classical mechanics quick reference textbooks from Physics ...
2
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1answer
136 views

S-Matrix, String theory, Matrix mechanics and Quantum Mechanics

I'm trying to learn theoretical physics up to string theory. I know linear algebra, calculus 1+2, complex analysis. I know the basics of homology, homotopy, group theory and differential geometry. Now ...
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0answers
41 views

Layman explanation and demonstration of positive lightning

Inspired by the thunderstorm overhead, and after reading the question and answers Voltage and current of positive lightning - what is an effective means to explain this phenomenon to a layman? Also, ...
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0answers
201 views

Physics for Civil Engineering (Earthquakes, Materials Science for structures) or Fluid Mechanics? [closed]

I am currently a first year Ph.D. student in Applied Math. As an undergrad, I did not have the opportunity to take a calculus based physics course and the one I took was a general physics course where ...
0
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0answers
42 views

Advice on beginning self learning physics from scratch [duplicate]

I am pursuing masters degree in computer applications. I have no formal Mathematics and Physics background but for masters degree entrance examination I have studied senior high school level ...