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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A gentle introduction to CFT [closed]

Which is the definition of a conformal field theory? Which are the physical prerequisites one would need to start studying conformal field theories? (i.e Does one need to know supersymmetry? Does one ...
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3answers
2k views

How accurately can I expect to measure the gravitational constant with a club of college students?

I am a math instructor with almost no experimental physics background, but I run a math and engineering club that is interested in doing some experiments. I have read up a bit and see some obvious ...
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2answers
511 views

In what order should the subjects be studied in order to get to String Theory [duplicate]

I know: Quantum Mechanics (Griffiths Level, currently doing Sakurai Level) Mechanics (Newtonian+ Lagrangian/Hamiltonian but at level lower than Goldstein/Landau) Classical Electrodynamics (...
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2answers
27k views

Difference between momentum and kinetic energy

From a mathematical point of view it seems to be clear what's the difference between momentum and $mv$ and kinetic energy $\frac{1}{2} m v^2$. Now my problem is the following: Suppose you want to ...
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3answers
549 views

Motivation for Potentials

This is a hypothetical question about "pedagogy". Let's say I am trying to take someone who has just a very small amount of knowledge about Newtonian mechanics and convince them that the Lagrangian ...
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5answers
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study quantum mechanics without physics background [closed]

I am a first year PhD math student, and must decide: should I study Quantum Mechanics, although I don't have undergrad background in Physics? Let me be more specific about my situation: Background: ...
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4answers
400 views

How are we able to view an object in a room with bulb..?

This is a very basic question on optics. How are we able to view an object kept in a room with a bulb? From what I understand, light rays from bulb will hit the object and some colour will be ...
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9answers
2k views

What are good mechanics experiments for 10 year olds? [closed]

I'm trying to explain elementary mechanics - without the benefits of calculus or even algebra - and struggling. I'd like to find reasonable ways to demonstrate Newton's laws, minimally, and possibly ...
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3answers
656 views

What areas of physics should a mathematician study to understand TQFT?

I am studying topological quantum field theory from the view point of mathematics (axiomatic treatise). So it has no explanation about physics. I would like to know physic background of TQFT. But I ...
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3answers
5k views

Please recommend a good book about physics for young child (elementary school aged) [closed]

I'm looking for a book that would be appropriate for an advanced elementary school aged kids (say, 6-11 YO) describing the basics of physics (or sciences in general) in entertaining way. The ...
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4answers
189 views

Possibility of making an experiment in a classroom to simulate DNA diffraction

I am a TA in a structural chemistry class. The professor want me to show students how Watson and Crick determined the structure of DNA from X-ray diffraction results of DNA crystals. The professor ...
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1answer
91 views

How to motivate the importance of the spacetime interval

The spacetime interval is a rather important thing in Special Relativity. It allows us to define the separation between any two events as spacelike, timelike or lightlike and more importantly, the ...
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0answers
113 views

Learning Roadmap to Mathematical Physics [duplicate]

Currently, I am a graduate student specializing in algebraic geometry. On the other hand, I have also become extremely interested in the mathematical physics. However, I am not sure what steps I ...
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7answers
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For a theoretical (not mathematical) physicist, is there a need to learn pure mathematics?

For a theoretical physicist (not a mathematical physicist), is there a need to learn pure mathematics ?
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1answer
122 views

What topics do I need to study electromagnetism on the quantum scale? [closed]

What topics do I need to study (in order) so that I can study electromagnetics on the quantum scale? What is the name of the discipline studying electromagnetism on the quantum scale? Do I need to ...
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2answers
5k views

What math is needed to understand the Schrödinger equation?

If I now see the Schrödinger equation, I just see a bunch of weird symbols, but I want to know what it actually means. So I'm taking a course of Linear Algebra and I'm planning on starting with PDE's ...
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2answers
217 views

How to find optical toy models of entangled quantum mechanical systems?

I recently read Arnold Neumaier's lectures on uncovering classical aspects of quantum mechanics: Classical and quantum field aspects of light Optical models for quantum mechanics I can't find the ...
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2answers
383 views

How much physics a mathematician needs to know to study GR? [duplicate]

I'm intending to study General Relativity on my own. The thing is, my physics background is not very strong. I know classical mechanics and I know some electromagnetism. I'm familiar with Gauss' law, ...
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2answers
11k views

Comparing scales of atomic level objects to scales of everyday size objects

I am trying to come up with everyday size objects comparisions of atomic scales items, e.g. if a proton probability cloud was of size basketball how far would the next atoms to it be? reason being is ...
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2answers
3k views

Math and Theoretical Physics Topics & Textbook for Self-Study [duplicate]

I am from Singapore, a civil engineering graduate and I've graduated from university in 2009. Throughout my school days I've been interested in Physics, unfortunately I was not accepted into the ...
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1answer
51 views

Educational benefit of putting units outside of variables? [closed]

When I studied physics (both in high-school and university), in all of the worked examples, variables would be used to denote physical quantities, and thus include dimensional units. For example, ...
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1answer
6k views

Goldstein's Classical Mechanics exercises solutions [duplicate]

Does anyone know where I can find some (good) solution of Goldstein's book Classical Mechanics?
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4answers
4k views

Does conservation of momentum really imply Newton's third law?

I often heard that conservation of momentum is nothing else than Newton's third law. Ok, If you have only two interacting particles in the universe, this seems to be quite obvious. However if you ...
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4answers
2k views

Doppler effect of sound waves

I am looking for interesting ways to introduce the Doppler effect to students. I want some situations in nature or every day life, where a student is possibly surprised and may ask "how could it be"? ...
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2answers
875 views

What does one need to learn to become a experimental particles physicist? [closed]

I know one needs E&M, classical, quantum, statmech at the graduate level. But what more does one need? Are quantum field theory, relativistic QM, advanced math needed? or just an advanced course ...
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1answer
364 views

Would someone who is only interested in string theory benefit from working out the problems in Jackson electrodynamics?

This is a soft question. I'm not sure if it is appropriate for this site. Would someone who is only interested in string theory benefit from working out the problems in Jackson electrodynamics? I ...
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1answer
343 views

Power in hydraulic analogy

In hydraulic analogy one compares electrical circuits with water circuits. For the electric case the formula $P = U \cdot I$ for the electric power holds. The analogous formula for water flow would ...
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0answers
81 views

Books for learning Mathematics in Physics? [duplicate]

Currently I'm doing Advanced Classical Mechanics courses. I'm finding it hard to understand due to the lack of knowledge in linear algebra, multi variable calculus and other chapters. Can anyone ...
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0answers
114 views

Knowledge needed to study and understand general and special relativity theory [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the prerequisites to studying general relativity? I'am 27 now and i have a burning desire to study math and physics from the ground up and I strongly prefer doing ...
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1answer
132 views

Free HEP dataset for teaching and demo purposes?

I'm wondering if there are any free particle physics datasets out there, for use in teaching, demonstrations, developing analysis techniques etc.. I'm looking for data events e.g. as ROOT trees or in ...