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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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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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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142 views

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, ...
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2answers
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Math and Theoretical Physics Topics & Textbook for Self-Study [duplicate]

I am from Singapore, a civil engineering graduate and I've graduated from university in 2009. Throughout my school days I've been interested in Physics, unfortunately I was not accepted into the ...
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1answer
193 views

What to consider before taking a physics course (given a mathematical background)? [closed]

I'm a Computer Engineering major, but when I was in high school I was a very poor student. I didn't pay attention and I didn't think I was capable of succeeding in classes like Math and Science so I ...
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4answers
185 views

How can one make sure that one had understood the material studied? [closed]

I do not fully understand the process of understanding of a material one reads. Suppose someone reads a chapter from a physics book. How does one make sure that one had really understood what she/he ...
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369 views

A gentle introduction to CFT [closed]

Which is the definition of a conformal field theory? Which are the physical prerequisites one would need to start studying conformal field theories? (i.e Does one need to know supersymmetry? Does one ...
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64 views

Demo of Classical Example of a Spin 1/2 System

I was wondering if there are demos of spin 1/2 systems that anyone knows of. Are there any classical systems that are symmetric under a rotation of $4\pi$ and not $2\pi$?
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Why are there no explicit calculations in some articles

I am always baffled how in all the articles (theoretical ones), there is no explicit calculations, or at least some reference how to find it, or where to find it (the calculation). I get that, for ...
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Beginner projects in NMR quantum computing [closed]

I have applied for a summer project in NMR quantum computing as I want to learn this field, but my professor wants me to tell him the project title. I have no idea about the field and what projects ...
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36 views

Studying physics at undergraduate level: Prerequisites [duplicate]

I have been really interested in physics for some time and also take active interest in quantum mechanics. I would like to pursue physics as my undergrad major. What kind of prerequisites does one ...
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42 views

What is a good target to aim for when teaching myself quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

I'm interested in teaching myself quantum mechanics, and I'm looking for a good goal to aim for. I've got an undergrad maths degree and a graduate degree in probability theory and stochastic ...
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42 views

Book recommendation [duplicate]

I already learned the Physics' basics like Newton Laws, Electricity, and Optics. Can you recommend me a good book for advancing with my learning of physics(with some math)?
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1answer
495 views

Way to become a physicist [duplicate]

I am a class 9 student in India. I want to become a physicist. What should I study after class 10? What are my options for colleges and universities? What should I do after my education? What are the ...
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1answer
121 views

Chemistry from a physical perspective [duplicate]

I'm currently learning chemistry for the first time, and loving it. I have a reasonably good physics and maths background and it's great to see things like spherical harmonics in quantum mechanics ...
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2answers
256 views

Do I need to study the “Standard Model” before studying String Theory?

After this semester, I'll have a background up to a first course in QFT (first 5 or 6 chapters of Peskin and Schroeder). The next step in QFT will be something specific to the Standard Model ...
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4answers
949 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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Explaining UV radiation to a 6 year old

My (just completed) PhD involved a considerable amount of research involved with the detection of solar UV radiation. This generated quite a bit of interest, especially when I was conducting my ...
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1answer
95 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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194 views

Making a 3D physics engine, realistic? If so, where do I begin my research?

As a programming (technology), physics and math project in school, I'm considering programming my own 3D physics engine as a learning exercise. The physics engine should then be able to be used in a ...
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1answer
568 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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Prequisite for the Feynman lectures? [duplicate]

It obviously requires single- and multi-variable calculus and linear algebra, but what else? And where do you suggest to get that background from?this isn't a duplicate because I'm for the math needed ...
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0answers
93 views

Differential Equations - Waves (Physics self-study suggestions) [closed]

I apologize ahead of time, in case this post is not allowed. After taking a few courses at a community college, I've taken the fall 2013 semester off (I was accepted into a university for the spring ...
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1answer
91 views

Which physics subjects should a math major follow if s/he's interested in Smart Grid Networks?

I study mathematics and I would like to work on Smart Grid Networks in the (near) future. I would like to do so by applying optimization theory, percolation theory, Markov chains and more to problems ...
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2answers
326 views

What does one need to learn to become a experimental particles physicist? [closed]

I know one needs E&M, classical, quantum, statmech at the graduate level. But what more does one need? Are quantum field theory, relativistic QM, advanced math needed? or just an advanced course ...
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1answer
99 views

Are there examples of online physics collaboration similar to polymath for mathematicians?

When it comes to maths collaboration online, the mathematicians seem to be very well organised. A recent example is Polymath8 from Terence Tao's blog: The main objectives of the polymath8 project, ...
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Helping/explanatory notes for Landau&Lifschitz Physics Course [duplicate]

I've recently restored my interest on theoretical physics (I have a master degree in Electrical Engineering) and began my study with first volume of the Physics Course by Landau and Lifshitz. This is ...
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52 views

Books for learning Mathematics in Physics? [duplicate]

Currently I'm doing Advanced Classical Mechanics courses. I'm finding it hard to understand due to the lack of knowledge in linear algebra, multi variable calculus and other chapters. Can anyone ...
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146 views

Projects for a physics club [closed]

It's a physics club for undergraduates (first three years of university); I'm looking for projects idea that aren't too obvious like a small rocket or an electromagnet (school projects) but also not ...
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39 views

A set of problems for “The Theoretical Minimum” Stanford course [duplicate]

I'm really excited by an opportunity to watch Leonard Susskind's course "The Theoretical Minimum". However, I couldn't find any physics problems on the website, and I'm a little bit wary of just ...
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1answer
535 views

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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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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2answers
221 views

How much physics a mathematician needs to know to study GR? [duplicate]

I'm intending to study General Relativity on my own. The thing is, my physics background is not very strong. I know classical mechanics and I know some electromagnetism. I'm familiar with Gauss' law, ...
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201 views

Good place/supervisor for PhD in Theory of Condensed matter [closed]

I am currently finishing my undegraduate degree in physics and would like to do PhD in Theory of Condensed Matter field. Could you give advice on which are good groups/supervisors in the field. ...
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1answer
84 views

Where to begin with Physics beyond high school? [duplicate]

So I'm in grade 10 but I finished all my physics classes, maths and further maths (Calculus). I would like to start with some harder stuff (university physics). What books do you recommend for both ...
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1answer
465 views

Book recommendations for fluid dynamics self study [closed]

I have my bachelors degree in engineering science: computer science, option electrotechnic. I have a good understanding of basic mechanics and dynamics, calculus (differential equations). The books ...
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0answers
36 views

Material to read before taking College Physics 1? [duplicate]

I'm transferring to a 4-year university from a 2-year college. I earned a Computer Science A.S., but must now combine Computer Science with Advanced Physics for my B.S. I'm actually very excited for ...
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2answers
116 views

Education : Students devising and solving their own problems [closed]

I apologize in advance for the nature of this question. I have been thinking lately of methods to increase the quality of my self-study. I have been meaning, but never actually got to, in addition ...
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1answer
644 views

Educational physics stories with a funny punchline [closed]

As a physicist, when I'm giving lectures or during colloquiums, I usually find it necessary to have some appropriate and related jokes in hand. All of the best teachers have some, and they use them ...
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2answers
188 views

What is the required prerequisite knowledge of QM, for starting QFT?

As a physics bsc student, I have a very limited knowledge of QM: Dirac formalism, Schrodinger equation and simple solutions (oscillators, particle in a given potential, hydrogen-like atom etc). There ...
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171 views

simple MHD simulation code for (self) education and play with [closed]

I would like some super simple computational code for solving magnetohydrodynamics problems. High accuracy nor performance is not my concern. I wan't it just to visually explore qualitative behavior ...
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4answers
139 views

Suggestions of a non-linear example for a small research project on numerical solution of ODEs?

I'm a first year undergrad and I'm doing a small research extension on numerically solving ODEs. I have done the main ODE course at my university, as well as physics. The second part of the project ...
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1answer
115 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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5answers
759 views

What is the direction of a point vector. A vector with magnitude 0? [closed]

A simple question : Can a point on a piece of paper represent a vector ? Can i say that a point "B" ( magnitude =0, because it's a point) , is having direction towards +x axis ? Thanks
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1answer
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How does the boiling time depend on the number of eggs

My nephew showed me an exercise from his school-textbook about boiling eggs. Here is the exercise (translated from german): To make one hard-boiled egg in a pot of water one has to put it for 8 ...
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1answer
149 views

Power in hydraulic analogy

In hydraulic analogy one compares electrical circuits with water circuits. For the electric case the formula $P = U \cdot I$ for the electric power holds. The analogous formula for water flow would ...
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2answers
244 views

Is electronics a core topic in physics? [closed]

I thought electronics is mainly discussed in engineering majors. But in my university Electronics and Digital Electronics is also compulsory for physics majors.I searched other's syllabus, but I ...
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145 views

Problems related to Green's function? [closed]

My teacher told me to do a research studying some physics problems that has connection with Green's function on solving differential equations (with programmed numerical solutions) in my final year ...
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140 views

How to design a deliberately biased coin?

For demonstrating basic probability concepts, it would be nice to have a coin-like object that lands heads/tails not in 50/50% ratio, but biased in a way that can be revealed in a short experiment. ...
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2answers
875 views

Getting started with Landau Physics course [closed]

I want to learn Physics in my own time. I am an electrical engineer, working in the same field and am tremendously interested in Physics. I have heard a lot about the 10 book series of Landau ...