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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Where can I find accesible educational material on the formation of the solar system?

I'm kind of scathing my head over this. First of all, I'm not a physicist of any kind, I'm a software developer, but I'm also a bit passionate about astronomy(usually read the news) and in my free ...
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72 views

Which of Landau's books are suited for undergraduates? [closed]

Seeing how well-received Landau's books are, I want to know if any of them are suited for undergraduates.
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30 views

Startups for astrophysics [duplicate]

Between astrophysics and quantum mechanics both are interesting and I've had an answer for quantum mechanics but is there anywhere I should start at first or any books? I'm 14 so I don't really know ...
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2answers
238 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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2answers
117 views

What are some “I wish someone had parted that wisdom onto me” tips for beginning a bachelor's degree in Physics? [closed]

I start classes next Monday for Physics and I am beyond nervous. I don't really know what to expect in the big world of upper-level science. Granted, I'm only going for an Undergrad right now, but I'm ...
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3answers
495 views

Self Teaching QFT

I am currently in the process of teaching myself QFT. It is not an easy task. I have armed myself with many of the standard textbooks. However, I am slow learner. I get stuck on a thousand ...
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1answer
82 views

How can I best independently study physical cosmology? [duplicate]

My background : I'm currently in my junior year in college majoring in astrophysics. I have taken GR, and some intro cosmology here and there, but nothing in great depth. I had my heart set on ...
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Could someone give me a list of textbooks (mimimum number) recommended for undergrad physics? [duplicate]

in order for me to get a complete understanding of the physics undergraduate course with the minimum number of good textbooks. i am attempting to self study physics as I'm currently enrolled in ...
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Need A Collection Textbooks To Use As Stepping Stones to QFT [duplicate]

So, I am a medical physics student with a long term goal of learning QFT. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to take courses that would build up to QFT. I have taken the time to search for many ...
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68 views

Software engineer vs physics engineer vs computational physics [closed]

Don't know if this question is off topic, but i think it is the best place to get an answer. I am finishing the 3rd year of a degree in physics engineering. I enjoyed the first year, but in the ...
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98 views

What depth of learning must be achieved to sufficently understand advanced physics topics? [closed]

I was recently asked the following question by a friend of mine who is an undergraduate mathematics student, and I thought it would be beneficial to see what the members here have to say about it, as ...
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4answers
160 views

Is my understanding of Newton's third law correct. And why is this law taught the way it usually is? [closed]

For years, Newton's third law has always bugged me. Sure, on some level I could believe it. After all, it must be true else I wouldn't be able to jump off the ground. But it always seemed extremely ...
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72 views

How can I properly learn relativity with an electrical engineering background? [closed]

I want to properly learn the theory of relativity, purely for self-interest. When I say relativity, I mean both flavours: special and general. Are there any good books which go into both the ...
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67 views

Physics books with practical applications [closed]

It is very important when learning a physical subject to know how it applies to nature, so that when one is out on a walk one can see how the abstract physical principles appear in nature. I believe ...
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41 views

Self Study Textbook Progression from Griffiths QM to QFT? [duplicate]

Hello Physics StackExchange! I will put the TL;DR in the beginning: I need a self contained, relatively hand-holding sequence of textbooks that covers up from the end of Griffith's Intro to QM to ...
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0answers
81 views

Self Study Textbook Progression from QM to QFT? [duplicate]

Hello Physics StackExchange! I will put the TL;DR in the beginning: I need a self contained, relatively hand-holding sequence of textbooks that covers up from the end of Griffith's Intro to QM to ...
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0answers
57 views

Start learning Math for all my Physics [duplicate]

I know Physics but I don't know Math for this physics. Let me explain. When I say I know physics I mean I know stuff like Einsteins Special & General Relativity, Time Dilation, Gravitational ...
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2answers
84 views

Heuristic explanation of the difference between vectors and scalars in physics

I'm trying to give a student a (physically) intuitive, heuristic explanation as to why certain quantities are vectors and others are scalars. Here is what I have come up with: Scalars are quantities ...
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6answers
4k views

Where should a physicist go to learn chemistry?

I took an introductory chemistry course long ago, but the rules seemed arbitrary, and I've forgotten most of what I learned. Now that I have an undergraduate education in physics, I should be able to ...
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1answer
96 views

TQFT lectures with exercises

I'm interested in topological quantum field theory and study works of Witten and others by myself. Does anybody know where can I find any good exercises in this subject? By "good" I mean something ...
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10answers
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Physics for mathematicians

How and from where does a mathematician learn physics from a mathematical stand point? I am reading the book by Spivak Elementary Mechanics from a mathematicians view point. The first couple of pages ...
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2answers
59 views

Change in forces acting on a car

As a biochemist now teaching physics (middle school), I have what might be two silly questions. I get that for a stationary car to move forward, the forward force (acceleration) needs to be greater ...
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2answers
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How can I explain or demonstrate the Lorentz Force to a 12 year old?

I'm a space physicist. I've been working with a group of school students (aged between around 10 and 12) exploring the Sun, the Earth and the solar system. We've talked about some basics of magnetism ...
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2answers
2k views

Electrodynamics textbooks that emphasize applications

Please recommend undergraduate-level textbooks on electrodynamics which emphasize practical applications and real life examples. Please describe the book's level and contents and its intended audience ...
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31 views

How to learn physics on my own [duplicate]

I am 14 year old I want to learn physics up to a level where I can invent stuff. I want to be an inventor so I need to learn Mechanical physics at the moment. I am comfortable with both mathematical ...
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0answers
45 views

Is the finite element method easily extrapolable to new disciplines? [closed]

I am a structural engineer with a good solid mechanics background. I am reasonably familiar with finite element methods as applied to linear/nonlinear solids and structures, I would like to know how ...
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1answer
163 views

Elementary graphical error analysis

Suppose you analyze experimantal data with pencil and piece of paper, one simple method is to plot the data in a linearized way with error bars. Suppose you are interested in the slope of this linear ...
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206 views

What is the prerequisite for learning quantum mechanics

I want to learn quantum mechanics myself and when I open books about them I see weird symbols and different types of mathematical formulas and physics concepts. So what should I first study in ...
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317 views

Why can't anything travel faster than light?

It is a well known fact, that nothing can travel faster than light. I have discussed that fun fact numerous times with my 8 year old son. One day he asked "why?", and I realized that I didn't know the ...
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106 views

Undergrad in QFT/GR looking to do string theory Ph.D [closed]

I am currently a third year undergrad in physics who is currently taking QFT and GR. I took these classes just out of pure interest in the subjects but I find that my mind is being blown almost every ...
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1answer
54 views

Electron's eternal “orbit” about the nucleus [duplicate]

My 8th grade student asks me: "Why don't electrons just fall into the nucleus?" I don't want to lie and tell them it's "just like the Moon not falling onto Earth, because of, you know, acceleration". ...
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12answers
25k 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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2answers
19k views

Lev Landau's “Theoretical Minimum”

The great russian physicist Lev Landau developed a famous entry exam to test his students. This "Theoretical Minimum" contained everything he considered elementary for a young theoretical physicist. ...
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1answer
1k views

How to learn physics? [duplicate]

I am an engineering student (CSE) in India..But recently I have developed a strong love to physics..I want to learn physics and understand it in deep..I know physics is the search of deep fundamental ...
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4answers
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Textbook on group theory to be able to start QFT [duplicate]

I am very enthusiastic about learning QFT. How much group theory would I need to master? Please could you recommend me a textbook on group theory, which would help me to start QFT?
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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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5answers
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What is the math knowledge necessary for starting Quantum Mechanics?

Could someone experienced in the field tell me what the minimal math knowledge one must obtain in order to grasp the introductory Quantum Mechanics book/course? I do have math knowledge but I must ...
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9answers
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How do you explain spinning tops to a nine year old?

Why don't spinning tops fall over? (The young scientist version) My nine year old son asked me this very question when playing with his "Battle Strikers" set. Having studied Physics myself, I am very ...
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3answers
258 views

Counting Problems in Physics [closed]

What are some classic counting problems in physics? I'm trying to think of interesting examples to give in a math class on the matter, and I feel as if physics should have some ones to offer.
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4answers
8k views

What is 2 $\theta$ in X-ray powder diffraction (XRD)?

Why are we taking 2$\theta$ instead of $\theta$ in X-ray powder diffraction (XRD). I have found the forum post 2 theta in X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD), but there is no answer. What is the ...
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20 views

What are the prerequisites needed to grasp analytical mechanics? [duplicate]

What are the mathematical prerequisites needed to grasp analytical mechanics conceptually and technically? What textbook is adequate for this purpose for an undergraduate student? To understand the ...
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1answer
178 views

Inaccuracy at measuring gravity constant with Cavendish experiment

For a scientific work for school I decided to measure the gravity constant with the Cavendish experiment. I set up a structure like the one suggested on this website: http://www.school-for-champions....
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67 views

Exercise book recommendations to accompany “Lectures on Quantum Mechanics for Mathematics Students” by Faddeev and Yakubovskii?

I'm currently going through "Lectures on Quantum Mechanics for Mathematics Students" by Faddeev and Yakubovskii, which is great. But there are no exercises. Is there a book you'd recommend with ...
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25 views

What are pre-requisites for studying Brownian Motion? [closed]

I know Classical Mechanics (Feynman Lectures of Physics), Fluid mechanics (BR Munson) and basic Thermodynamics (not the part which includes statistical mechanics). Can I study Brownian motion on this ...
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2answers
274 views

Looking for lists of student difficulties with electromagnetism, circuits (DC and AC) [closed]

I'm trying to help with an Instructor's Guide for an introductory calc-based physics text, and it would really help if I could locate some lists of typical student difficulties with topics like ... ...
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0answers
56 views

What kind of math do I need got general relativity? [duplicate]

I'm 15 this year and have a passion in physics What kind of math do I need to tackle general relativity? Also what year in uni do we learn about general relativity?
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14answers
3k views

Learning physics online?

I'm thinking of following some kind of education in physics online. I have a master degree in Computer Science and have reasonable good knowledge in physics. I would like a program of 1-2 years and I'...
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4answers
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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 ...