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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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, ...
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0answers
220 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 ...
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0answers
135 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 ...
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10answers
8k 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 ...
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4answers
666 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 ...
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11answers
29k views

How do you start self-learning physics [closed]

I think this question has its place here because I am sure some of you are "self-taught experts" and can guide me a little through this process. Considering that : I don't have any physics scholar ...
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0answers
49 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 ...
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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.
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1answer
171 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 ...
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6answers
8k views

What is the simplest way to prove that the Earth orbits the Sun?

Assume you're talking to someone ignorant of the basic facts of astronomy. How would you prove to them that the Earth orbits the Sun? Similarly, how would you prove to them that the Moon orbits ...
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0answers
81 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 ...
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0answers
125 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 ...
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0answers
162 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 ...
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0answers
82 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 ...
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0answers
93 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 ...
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2answers
203 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} + ...
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0answers
113 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
108 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. ...
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1answer
107 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 ...
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1answer
119 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 ...
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3answers
152 views

Would love to learn quantum physics [duplicate]

I would love to learn quantum physics and am extremely keen on it. Lets get to points. I was extremely weak at math and physics while I was in school, but I guess it's just the way things were ...
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0answers
31 views

What is a good mechanics book without calculus [duplicate]

I am very interested in physics and I want to improve my basics especially in mechanics. I have only started high school (junior) so I don't know much about calculus, which is used in most of the ...
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1answer
82 views

Understanding why a problem was solved a certain way

I have this question in one-dimensional kinematics and the way the book solves it has left me confused. Here's the question: ...
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0answers
116 views

Is there a theoretical physics masters that accepts mathematics graduates? [closed]

I plan to graduate with an honours (four year) degree in philosophy and a general (three year) degree in mathematics. Are there any physics graduate programs that might admit me if I were to apply? ...
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0answers
65 views

Applications of Calculus 2 to Physics [closed]

Im teaching a section of Calculus 2 (integration techniques, arc length, surface area, improper integrals, parametric & polar functions, sequences, and series ) next semester and would like to ...
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1answer
140 views

Basic maths theories for good understanding of the standard model [duplicate]

I want to know what mathematical theories I should be aware of for a deep understanding of the standard particles model.
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2answers
15k 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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2answers
410 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
103 views

Road to String Theory [duplicate]

I have a question for our theoretic SuperUsers. How much knowledge and which fields of physics you have to know to start studying string theory? I am now on QFT, after I think I'll start study ...
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0answers
50 views

How was physics taught in the past? [closed]

Were there physics teaching aids used in the past? Or did professors just basically follow the textbook the students read? In other words: How was physics was taught in the past?
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0answers
118 views

Book with solved examples and exercise problems for SUSY

I am learning supersymmetry right now. I am mostly following Bailin and Love. I try to connect all the steps from the book and complete the derivations in order to get comfortable with the ...
4
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1answer
361 views

Math needed for undergrad Statistical Mechanics/Thermal Physics

A professor recommended me to take a course on Statistical Physics as preparation for agent-based computing in social sciences. Now I have no experience in physics beyond basic highschool, and ...
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3answers
374 views

Explanation of Lorentz-Force

In high-school level books (for example the german standard text: "Dorn-Bader") I have often seen an explanation of the Lorentz force as on the following picture: The textbooks consider the ...
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2answers
180 views

Is there a handwavy way to explain what quantum correlation means?

Is there a simple way to explain the difference between a classical and truly quantum correlation to a non-quantum person who has basic understanding classical correlation? I mean without invoking ...
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2answers
101 views

Books for a fresh physics undergraduate [duplicate]

I'm going to start a degree course in physics next year. So far in high school I covered some physics without calculus. I know that I will start everything from the beginning at university, but I ...
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0answers
130 views

Lebesgue integration [closed]

I know this question is probably not adequate to this SE either, but let me explain my situation: I'm civil engineering's college, so, there isn't a SE for civil engineering, and my doubts about ...
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0answers
16 views

Any recommendations for self-studying physics? [duplicate]

I'm new to this forum so I hope this post falls under the guidelines of what's acceptable. I'm currently finishing my grade 11 year of high school and I have hopes of attending one of the prestigious ...
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3answers
365 views

Supersymmetry in Quantum Mechanics

I was reading Supersymmetry in Quantum Mechanics and got stuck in the various mathematical terminology like "Graded-Lie Algebra", "Super Algebra". Is there any good lecture notes concerning these ...
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0answers
37 views

What resources may be helpful to learn physics from ground up (very basic level)? [duplicate]

I want to learn physics and the math required, but I never got the chance to learn properly in school due to mental illness. But, now, as a 22 year old, I wish I can start learning. Attending a ...
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0answers
23 views

Link for resource on cosmology [duplicate]

I have recently just begun studying cosmology. I have a background in physics. I would like a link to download video resources on Stephan Hawking's theories on physics and/or cosmology that have not ...
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3answers
223 views

Are there any musical instruments which use resonance tubes with two closed ends?

Many musical instruments use resonance tubes with one closed end - all brass instruments (I think), clarinet, etc. There are also instruments where both ends are open (flute, pipes) Are there any ...
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0answers
29 views

Best books for high-school? [duplicate]

Please don't close this thread, I now it might sound like a dozen others but I think that every case is different... I go to the first class of high school (that's how it's called in Greece, not sure ...
2
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0answers
51 views

Is rigorous functional analysis useful for theoretical physics? [duplicate]

I'm an undergraduate physics without much quantum mechanics at all under my belt. I'm studying functional analysis, and I want to know whether or not this will be useful for me in theoretical physics ...
2
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0answers
84 views

What phenoma have “intuitive” explanations which are completely wrong? [closed]

Some phenomena in physics defy intuition. Others have very intuitive explanations which you could explain easily to a layman. Sometimes, these intuitive explanations are simply wrong. What phenomena ...
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0answers
32 views

Self-teaching physics recommendations? [duplicate]

I've been very interested in mathematics for a while now and, after being inspired by reading Feynman's biography, would also like to learn about physics. My mathematics background is fairly ...
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1answer
175 views

How can one learn to visualize 4 dimensional spacetime?

I was watching Professor Leonard Susskind's lecture on Quantum Entanglements and he said that there are physicists and people who study physics, who 'rewire' themselves so they can visualize 4 ...
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4answers
1k views

Explaining Newton's Laws of motion to a 6 year old

An old professor of mine once said that an effective means to get people interested in Physics is to get them started early. What would be an effective and meaningful (and fun) means to explain ...
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1answer
236 views

A roadmap for learning standard model of particle physics [duplicate]

Assuming that a person has understanding of theory of Lie groups, Lie algebras and basic quantum mechanics, what is the simplest route to gain a basic understanding of the SM of particle physics? Are ...
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13answers
14k 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: ...