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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126
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15answers
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How do I explain to a six year old why people on the other side of the Earth don't fall off? [closed]

Today a friend's six 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 ...
41
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14answers
4k views

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 ...
2
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0answers
43 views

What topics should I develop complete concepts in before I begin the derivation of GR? [duplicate]

I had just been trying to understand GR but i just cannot understand where some of the formula of field came from. Apparently all those initial formula are from Newtonian physics so please anyone ...
18
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4answers
2k views

Is there a physics Puzzles site like Project Euler?

I am looking for a site that publishing riddles and problems such as Project Euler publishes problems in computer science. Is there any similar site that is hardcore in the area of physics? This ...
2
votes
0answers
75 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 ...
0
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1answer
80 views
7
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1answer
110 views

Physics First: Where is Science Education Today?

Leon Lederman, a Nobel Prize winner in Physics and former director of Fermilab was a champion in 'Physics First', a principle in science education proposing Physics as the first course in science ...
42
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8answers
3k views

Explaining to a five year old - why don't bubbles run like water

My five-year old daughter was asking about astronauts the other day and why they float in space. After me showing her a few bits on the kids section on the NASA web site I started explaining about the ...
-1
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1answer
198 views

Physics research topic for Undergraduate students [closed]

Can You tell me some research topics for 1st year undergraduate students? I am not getting how to make a research paper?
0
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0answers
31 views

Need advice for self study in physics [duplicate]

I need advice for self study in Physics. I have a good theoretical and practical background in math & statistics, but virtually no physics. My ultimate interest is cosmology / relativity / ...
10
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3answers
287 views

Why is fundamental physics taught in terms of particles?

According to this paper, there can be no relativistic quantum theory of localizeable particles ("relativity plus quantum mechanics exclusively requires a field ontology"). Sean Caroll has also argued ...
0
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1answer
41 views

Motivating the importance of energy [closed]

I'm working on a project right now and part of the introduction is about energy, and I'm trying to introduce the notion of energy in an unconventional way. Right now, I am looking for examples of ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Thermographic camera - show for visiting school children

Next week a group of pupils (12-14 years old) will visit my institute. I would like to teach them about infrared radiation. Do you have any suggestion what kind of simply and impressive experiments I ...
6
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3answers
3k 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 ...
2
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0answers
180 views

Mathematical Prerequisites for QFT [closed]

I am curious about which areas of mathematics one should be comfortable with before learning QFT. I am familiar with the "learn-it-as-you-go" approach often advocated in physics, but would like to ...
100
votes
7answers
11k views

Does Earth really have two high-tide bulges on opposite sides?

The bit that makes sense – tidal forces My physics teacher explained that most tidal effect is caused by the moon rotating around the Earth, and some also by the Sun. They said that in the Earth and ...
0
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0answers
30 views

Resources on Solar Neutrino Physics

For a project I'm doing for an introductory Astrophysics course, I'm trying to understand the nuances of solar neutrino physics. However, most of what is said while explaining neutrino oscillations ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Study Quantum Physics

I'm an aspiring physicist who wants to self study some Quantum Physics. My thirst for knowledge is unquenchable and I can not wait 2 more years until I get my first quantum physics class in ...
1
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2answers
194 views

Does one really need classical physics in order to understand quantum physics? [closed]

I want to start studying quantum mechanics, and then move to quantum field theory. I have a strong mathematical background, and I think this aspect of quantum physics won't be a problem to me. Though, ...
2
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0answers
46 views

Mathematical books to become a successful mathematical physicists [duplicate]

My understanding of algebraic topology and Riemannian geometry come from Nakahara's Geometry, Topology, and Physics, which I do not think is sufficient. I am first year PhD student, and I want to do ...
2
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0answers
83 views

Really Struggling in electronics. What to do? [closed]

This is my first post so please go easy on me. Okay. Let me introduce myself. I am a first year undergrad CS student who has to study basic electronic course for one semester. As the title says, I am ...
1
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0answers
28 views

Problem books like I.E. Irodov for advanced physics [duplicate]

I really enjoyed doing problems from Irodov while learning introductory physics. But I am not able to find a book like that for Graduate level physics. Can you suggest me a book which has good (and ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

Doing theoretical physics after an engineering major? [closed]

Some background: I'm majoring in Electronics and Instrumentation engineering, but I want to pursue theoretical physics. I'm currently In my second year of undergrad engineering. I attend some physics ...
8
votes
5answers
669 views

Computer game with quantum optics/ information

Is there a computer game using principles of quantum optics or quantum information? By game I don't mean just a simulation or an interactive course, but something that can be played in an enjoyable ...
0
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0answers
38 views

Im a high school finisher and I want to understand Physics theories [duplicate]

I have finished my A Levels (UK high school exam) , and I have studied Further Mathematics, Mathematics, and Physics in high school. I am really interested in learning about theories of Einstein, ...
2
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2answers
74 views

Rectifying incomplete popular notions in cosmology

In looking at the answers to this question regarding light from distant galaxies ever being visible to us: Expansion of the Universe, will light from some galaxies never reach us? I came across a ...
1
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0answers
56 views

How can a biochemist become a physicist? [closed]

I am currently 22 years old, I graduated in Biochemistry and am now finishing my Master's in Bioengineering and Nanosystems, both with high grades. I've been thinking of leaving life sciences since ...
3
votes
4answers
1k 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"? ...
1
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0answers
103 views

Is mechanics needed in order to learn electromagnetism? [closed]

I'm a college student who wants to learn physics. I want to get started with electromagnetism as soon as possible. Is it okay to skip over mechanics, or is mechanics a big requirement before starting ...
1
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0answers
57 views

Study Basic Quantum Mechanics [duplicate]

What is the appropriate mathematical background someone must attain in order to enroll in a quantum physics course for beginners?
0
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0answers
32 views

Why do physical bodies in the universe follow the law of physics ( or any rule/pattern ) ? [duplicate]

Why do physical bodies in universe are bound to follow a rule ( eg. laws of physics ) ? Is their any imaginary condition possible, where they stop following any rule. And everything becomes random ? ( ...
1
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2answers
82 views

Length contraction and simultaneous length measurements

I am just working through an argument from Halliday Resnick to derive the Lorentz contraction (see quote below). Some paragraphs before this, the authors note that: If the rod is moving, ...
4
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0answers
265 views

Leonard Susskind's videos. Which order? [closed]

As a mathematics student with almost no modern physics background (just an introduction to relativity when I was in secondary school) I find Leonard Susskind's lectures videos (freely available in ...
1
vote
0answers
166 views

How should a math undergrad student prepare himself to study GR and QM? [duplicate]

I'm quite sure that similar questions like this have been asked for more than thousands of times on here but since each person's background and interests are unique I believe questions like this ...
61
votes
10answers
9k views

What is a field, really?

There was a reason why I constantly failed physics at school and university, and that reason was, apart from the fact I was immensely lazy, that I mentally refused to "believe" more advanced stuff ...
3
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4answers
768 views

In which field of mathematics do I learn path integrals?

I don't mean line integrals, I am talking about path integrals or functional integrals like the ones that Feynman introduced to quantum mechanics. And what are the prerequisites to this field of ...
1
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0answers
53 views

On becoming theoretical physicist [duplicate]

I'm a high school student. I'll start self learning of physics and maths. I want to be theoretical physicist. I'm especially interested in gravitational physics. I wonder which website advice below is ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Required skills for a scientist [duplicate]

I wanna become a scientist, so wanna improve my skill like problem solving etc. Could you suggest me some more skills which I need to improve.
1
vote
1answer
221 views

How do I develop a deeper understanding of physics? [closed]

I'm thinking about majoring in physics, but I don't think my background is really strong at the moment. I've completed the standard first year math and physics sequence (multivariable ...
1
vote
0answers
87 views

Which are the good universities for doing PHD in computational physics? [closed]

Currently i am doing MSC(physics) from Pune university, India. And I want to do PHD in computational physics as it interests me the most. So I want to know which universities will be a good option for ...
1
vote
0answers
147 views

Is it possible to do a PhD in theoretical physics after a BSc in Mathematics [closed]

I would like to ask if it is useful to have a solid maths background (but only 2 courses of "general physics" and 2 of "mathematical physics") as BSc in order to be a successful researcher in ...
1
vote
0answers
198 views

Most useful maths for theoretical and mathematical physics [closed]

I am going to apply for a programme of mathematical and theoretical physics for graduate studies and I'm currently studying maths. What is a good area to do a thesis (that is to say, considerable ...
1
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0answers
109 views

Serious advice/ plan for getting into Physics/Math Grad schools of choice [closed]

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Technology in the subject "Food Technology". I have completed 2 years just now.Yes, I have been exposed to Mathematics in my first year of college studying ...
1
vote
0answers
96 views

mathematician or physicists [closed]

Mathematicians consider physicists as people who simply use mathematics as a tool but are in a way, let's say, inaccurate, as physicists tend to make assumptions a lot in their mathematics and ...
5
votes
2answers
216 views

Examples of singularities in classical physics

I am a math teacher and I have to teach a topic called "Bruchterme" and "Bruchgleichungen" in german (I don't know the english word for it). For example $$ \frac{x^2 - 3}{(x - 2)x^2} + \frac{4}{x} + ...
1
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0answers
131 views

What is the right way to learn quantum physics? [closed]

So I have a question about what i should do with my path to learning quantum physics. I just have no idea where to start or to continue from where I left off. I have been studying quantum mechanics ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Books to independently study physics [duplicate]

Can anyone give me a list of books to study so that I can "master" (whatever the precise definition of that may be) all the branches of physics? I want to start from the most elementary to the most ...
3
votes
0answers
123 views

Pedagogical projects in QFT for self-study purposes? [closed]

I'm reading Srednicki's QFT textbook. I'd like to do some projects that put the content learned into actual use. Is there any good project topic? I don't mind if it's already worked out some where. ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Prerequisites for Halliday Resnick Walker

I am in grade 10. I have developed an interest in physics but unfortunately I do not know/ have not studied calculus yet as my school board does not recommend it in grade 10. I have a copy of ...
7
votes
1answer
127 views

An approachable example of a field with a “mass gap”

Preamble: I have come to believe that alot of difficulties in explaining physics to people of all levels comes from the relatively mundane idea of a wave equation with a mass gap $$\left(-\partial^2_t ...