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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124 views

Are Mathematics the language of the universe? [closed]

I am a high school student and next year i am going to be a physics major, so this year i put all my effort on physics and mathematics, since it a great tool for physicists. But now i wonder, in ...
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3answers
380 views

Testing my understanding of QM - The Double Slit Experiment without the slit

First off, sorry to throw in another question from someone who hasn't studied the maths. I'd like to see if I have a correct (if very basic and non-mathematical) understanding of the wave and ...
5
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1answer
121 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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3answers
1k views

How accurately can I expect to measure the gravitational constant with a club of college students?

I am a math instructor with almost no experimental physics background, but I run a math and engineering club that is interested in doing some experiments. I have read up a bit and see some obvious ...
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0answers
82 views

What is the true fundamental 'stuff' of physics? [closed]

It seems to me that most if not all of the publications and the institutional education of physics 'jump in' and start describing detailed phenomena without spending too much time describing and ...
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1answer
164 views

What kind of math is used in QFT? [duplicate]

What branch(es) of math are used in Quantum Field Theory? Or the question, by way of analogy: Tensor Calculus is to General Relativity as What is to Quantum Field Theory?
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2answers
66 views

Is there a (cheap) optical resonance demonstration using visible light?

I'm looking for a impressive, inexpensive lecture demonstration of optical standing wave resonance. Preferably visible light. Can anyone suggest such a demo?
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0answers
43 views

Where can I find a structured presentation of the equations of physics? [duplicate]

I recently realized how odd it is that studying physics has never been able to hold my interest despite how interesting I find physics. I came to the conclusion that it is because I've always felt ...
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3answers
3k views

How deep can my knowledge of particle physics go without the maths?

By no means do I have the mathematical background to understand most of the math used in elementary particle physics. My current knowledge is of all the elementary particles and how they interact ...
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2answers
182 views

How to find optical toy models of entangled quantum mechanical systems?

I recently read Arnold Neumaier's lectures on uncovering classical aspects of quantum mechanics: Classical and quantum field aspects of light Optical models for quantum mechanics I can't find the ...
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1answer
50 views

Prerequisites for Ptolemy's Almagest

I hope this is a valid question to ask on this website (since it's astronomy and not e.g. mechanics, I wasn't so sure). What prerequisites are needed for fully understanding Ptolemy's Almagest. Fully ...
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0answers
177 views

Using a role-play to teach ohm's law

An education research project: can a role-play be used to help understand Ohm's Law? I need to have this analogy checked for scientific validity. A group of 25 primary children will participate, with ...
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1answer
55 views

Simple question [closed]

How much of this can you understand and which videos or simplified ways would you suggest for me to understand more? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rjbtsX7twc I understood about... 3%... I ...
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9answers
39k views

What's the standard “roadmap” to learning quantum physics? [closed]

I'm really interested in quantum physics and would like to learn more. However, I don't know where to start and in what order I should learn things. So, ideally I'm looking for some sort of roadmap of ...
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3answers
470 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 ...
127
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15answers
41k views

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
80 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 ...
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1answer
84 views
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1answer
111 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 ...
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8answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
230 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?
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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 / ...
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3answers
300 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 ...
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1answer
42 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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0answers
193 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 ...
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7answers
12k 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 ...
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0answers
31 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
215 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, ...
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0answers
48 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 ...
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0answers
90 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 ...
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0answers
32 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 ...
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0answers
101 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 ...
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5answers
677 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 ...
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0answers
39 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, ...
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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 ...
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0answers
59 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 ...
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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"? ...
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0answers
108 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 ...
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0answers
59 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?
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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 ? ( ...
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2answers
90 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, ...
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0answers
291 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
185 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
10k 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 ...