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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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
81 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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61 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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31 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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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?
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1answer
415 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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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
135 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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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
2k views

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
175 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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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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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 ...
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0answers
354 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 ...
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0answers
63 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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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
150 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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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
177 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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66 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. ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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1answer
708 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 ...
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1answer
196 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?
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1answer
105 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 ...
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3answers
157 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
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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 ...
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1answer
139 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
44 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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231 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 ...
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44 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 ...
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2answers
134 views

PhD or master in physics [closed]

I am 35 years old and I've just got a bachelor in Science. I will pursue higher education in Physics but I have my doubts if either a PhD or a master is more convenient for me. My areas of interest ...
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Halliday resnick physics book [duplicate]

how much calculus is it recommended I should know to understand everything in this book? Thanks blah blah blah (apparently i haven't typed enough) blah blah... blah.
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Are there some websites for self learning of advanced mathematics? [duplicate]

Are there some websites for self learining of advanced mathematics? For example there is perimeterscholars for self study of theoretical physics, but I haven't found some good websites providing ...
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2answers
251 views

Is there a good experiment to demonstrate Gauss's Law for Magnetism?

I'm trying to come up with a simple experiment that can demonstrate the properties of Gauss's Law for Magnetism. I am aware that it is a mathematical representation of the fact that magnetic ...
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2answers
3k 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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1answer
78 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 ...
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0answers
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Textbook about the handiwork of a HEP analysis?

I'm wondering if there is a textbook that describes the handiwork of a particle physics analysis. There are a bunch of books about theory, about the experimental aspects like detectors, and about ...
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1answer
97 views

Everyday example of diffusion unobscured by advection, wetting etc

Diffusion is an important concept in elementary science education, especially because it supports (or seems to support) the notion of matter consisting of very small everyday particles (as opposed to ...
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2answers
256 views

Math required for learning Lagrangian mechanics [duplicate]

How much knowledge of maths is required for learning Lagrangian mechanics? Also from where can I learn this math?
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0answers
37 views

Physics books for mechanics [duplicate]

What are the best physics books for learning mechanics? I am in grade 12 and would love to learn in depth about Newtonian mechanics and also maybe get started on Lagrangian mechanics?
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8answers
5k 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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4answers
468 views

Video documentaries about physics? [closed]

Does anyone know about good video documentaries about physics, possibly on YouTube? I've seen a couple of them about string theory, but I could not find many others.
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1answer
115 views

I am looking for 'Programming+Electronics+ Physics' field [closed]

I wish to pursue a career that somehow involves programming, electronics, and physics. What are such careers? Also, I have heard of some 1 year post-graduate diplomas/courses for specialization in ...
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0answers
29 views

References requested on departments with recitation sessions

What physics departments offer recitation sessions for their physics courses on the undergraduate level? If there is a site which has such info it will be greatly appreciated.
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2answers
360 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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0answers
191 views

Introductory exercise set with solutions for string theory

I am trying to self-study string theory, beginning with Ibanez and Uranga (String Theory and Particle Physics). Unfortunately, the book contains no problems, so I'm not sure whether I am fully ...
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11answers
8k views

What is the simplest way to prove the Earth is round?

Assume you've come in contact with a tribe of people cut off from the rest of the world, or you've gone back in time several thousand years, or (more likely) you've got a numbskull cousin. How would ...
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0answers
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Problem with (grad school) physics education? [closed]

(Just to anticipate, having looked at other closed threads about physics education, I don't think this question should be too opinion based or broad.) Since being in a lab now for a couple years, ...