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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Solutions manual for Peres' book 'Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods'

I'm working through Asher Peres' book 'Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods,'and finding it immensely useful. I fully Recommend it! But when working on the problems in it I'd like to check my ...
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4answers
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Help an aspiring physicists what to self-study [closed]

This is probably not the kind of question you'll often encounter on this forum, but I think a bit of background is needed for this question to make sense and not seem like a duplicate: 2012 has been ...
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What type of physicist studies quantum physics the most? [closed]

I want to become a physicist, and I am particularly interested in quantum physics. I know quantum physics has applications in many branches of physics. Condensed matter physicists use it among others. ...
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2answers
68 views

Computational advantages of various notations for electromagnetism [closed]

Most undergraduate electromagnetism classes and textbooks use vector notation to describe Maxwell's equations. However, there are other notations like differential geometry and geometric calculus ...
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1answer
220 views

What kind of free energy do we use for a superconductor in a magnetic field?

My reasoning is as follows (using Gaussian units): Start from the second law: $$dU=TdS+dW,$$ where $dW$ is the work done by the magnetic field. To derive $dW$, we consider a solenoid with current $...
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Classical Mechanics Resources [duplicate]

I hope that my question doesn't violate the posting rules. I was wondering if any of you have any resources (websites, books, etc.) for classical mechanics. My first week of classical mechanics has ...
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5answers
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I wanna learn Quantum Physics [duplicate]

I'm searching for a book, video documentary, or any other source of information to learn Quantum Physics from the beginning. I know almost nothing on physics, so I guess I would need the basics first. ...
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1answer
35 views

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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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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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
239 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
118 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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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
84 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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73 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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101 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
164 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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1answer
78 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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75 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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42 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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84 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
58 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
86 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
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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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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
61 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
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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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32 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
47 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
164 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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231 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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4answers
322 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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0answers
108 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
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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
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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
1k views

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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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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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
12k views

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
259 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
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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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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
192 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....