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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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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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
179 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
2k 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
247 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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0answers
37 views

Is passing on knowledge/information from one body to another and the resultant state is ever studied as any branch of physics?

Does any branch of physics, study the passing off of information/knowledge from one body to another ( body would obviously be living beings here, as they only can do so ). And resultant changes in the ...
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2answers
433 views

Good ways for learning and cramming formulas? [duplicate]

I got an exam coming up and its numerical based (its pre-university level exam) but really tough. I want to know about various ways and methods to learn formulas. I know how can I derive them but its ...
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34 views

Quantum distance ladder

There is a lecture on how facts about the cosmos can be derived form rather simple observation. Is there an analogy for the small scale? Is there a technically simple observation that would imply, ...
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0answers
56 views

Prerequsites for Zee's QFT [duplicate]

What would be a good book or books for a sufficient prerequisite for Zee's book QFT in a nutshell? I have had a course in QM and relativistic QM, but I think there are some gaps that needs to be ...
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2answers
368 views

What is an effective and efficient way to read research papers? [duplicate]

I will be a grad student in condensed matter theory starting this fall. As an undergrad, I did the basic physics and math courses as well as a few grad classes (qft, analysis, solid state physics ...
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0answers
88 views

Reasons to consider the coefficient of restitution velocity independent - conditions when this does apply

In high-school mathematics textbooks a bouncing ball is often considered as an example of an exponential decay. One can easily derive this if one assumes that the coefficient of restitution is ...
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57 views

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
95 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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70 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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0answers
81 views
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1answer
625 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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0answers
63 views

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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5answers
1k views

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
3k 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
200 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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0answers
666 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
64 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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0answers
110 views

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
178 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
241 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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78 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
89 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
798 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
269 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
129 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
187 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
5k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
157 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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47 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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296 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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0answers
47 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
154 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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0answers
49 views

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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0answers
47 views

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
390 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
4k 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
97 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
106 views

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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2answers
354 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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8answers
7k 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
510 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
129 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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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.