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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Why distinguish between row and column vectors?

Mathematically, a vector is an element of a vector space. Sometimes, it's just an n-tuple $(a,b,c)$. In physics, one often demands that the tuple has certain transformation properties to be called a ...
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5answers
364 views

Theoretical physics and education: Does it really matter a great deal about what happens inside a black hole, or about Hawking radiation? [closed]

I stumbled across this article http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2010/12/21/science-faction-is-theoretical-physics-becoming-softer-than-anthropology/ It got me thinking. Why do we ...
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0answers
58 views

Studying QM without math and physics background [duplicate]

I rode all posted answers about this topic but i need to ask you another information. I have done a semester course called "Principle of Physics" (i am studying Biotechnology) and one called ...
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0answers
58 views

Undergrad project advice [closed]

I am presently in my senior year and I am considering fluid mechanics for my thesis. What area of research of fluid mechanics which is purely analytical and very mathematical since I am an applied ...
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0answers
70 views

Geometry for Physics [duplicate]

I am currently a high school student interested in a research career in physics. I have self taught myself single variable calculus and elementary physics upto the level of IPHO . And I am comfortable ...
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1answer
390 views

Introductory examples of AdS/CFT duality

I would like to know, what are the simplest/starting/basic examples that are typically used to introduce students to how AdS/CFT really works? (not the MAGOO paper, as I am not sure it has concrete ...
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1answer
2k views

Goldstein's Classical Mechanics exercises solutions [duplicate]

Does anyone know where I can find some (good) solution of Goldstein's book Classical Mechanics?
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0answers
50 views

Book suggestion : geometric approach to electromagnetism [duplicate]

I´m looking for a book on electromagnetism that is introducing the topic from a geometric point of view, focusing more on the theoretical structure than on the application.
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1answer
580 views

Why does a plane wave have definite momentum?

Apologies if this is a little vague. It might not have a good answer. Given the interpretation of $|\psi(x)|^2$ as a probability distribution it's unsurprising that a wave function that is ...
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2answers
666 views

How to teach myself physics needed at undergraduate electrical engineer level? [closed]

I want to learn electrical engineering on my own, specifically because I'm interested in loudspeaker design, more specifically how to design active dipole loudspeakers using DSP crossovers. I have ...
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1answer
96 views

A simple example of symmetry setting the properties of a Physical System

Does anybody know of an example were one could derive some important properties of a physical system from a symmetry of said system. I´m specially looking for simple classical examples, which could ...
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2answers
1k 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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1answer
187 views

The length of an antenna is twice the amplitude of the wave

I have seen it remarked in some problem sets that if you have an electromagnetic wave traveling in the $x$-direction with it's $y$-coordinate given as $y(x,t)=y_0\sin (\omega t +kx)$ and you want a ...
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2answers
654 views

How much pure math should a physics/microelectronics person know [duplicate]

I do condensed matter physics modeling in my phd and I was struck up learning quite an amount of physics. But while having done lot of physics courses, I see that if I learn pure math I would ...
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1answer
89 views

Can electromagnetic momentum be introduced at pre-university level as for electromagnetic energy?

Electromagnetic energy is introduced at pre-university level, starting with static electric energy followed by static magnetic energy. But the introduction of electromagnetic momentum usually has to ...
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2answers
436 views

Can a student with a heavy math background start learning physics with Goldstein's “Classical Mechanics”? [duplicate]

Can a student with a heavy math background start learning physics with Goldstein's "Classical Mechanics"? Or is the book too obtuse with basic physics that I need to start elsewhere?
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0answers
317 views

Starting string theory studies in grad school

How is it possible for a grad student to do research in any modern area of string theory like AdS/CFT or ABJM if they need to start grad school by having to learn QFT from scratch? Is there a ...
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1answer
415 views

Learning roadmap for solid state physics [duplicate]

I am a PhD student in mathematics who knows little more about physics than what one learns in high school. For my research on tilings of space and aperiodic order, every now and then I have to skim a ...
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0answers
386 views

What are the mathematical prerequisites to understand this paper? [closed]

What are the mathematical prerequisites to understand this paper? Blumenhagen et al. Four-dimensional String Compactifications with D-Branes, Orientifolds and Fluxes. Phys. Rept. 445 no. 1-6, pp. ...
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0answers
208 views

Course advice for someone interested in strings and mathematical physics [closed]

I'll be doing Introductory General Relativity and Graduate Quantum Mechanics II next semester. I still need to choose 2 (or maybe 3, but I don't want to overload too much) from the following: ...
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2answers
198 views

What is a good way to reason in physics? [closed]

I have recently made the decision to study Physics seriously. However, in the past, I've had some difficulty with the subject because of my primarily mathematical background. I find that sometimes ...
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1answer
422 views

Quick introduction to electromagnetism / Maxwell's equations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Electrodynamics textbook that emphasizes applications I am a graduate student in applied mathematics and I am looking for a concise introduction to Maxwell's equations / ...
2
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1answer
380 views

Is it possible to take a QFT class knowing only basic quantum mechanics?

I'm in grad school and notice there are no prerequisites required for QFT in the physics department. In fact, the system allows me to sign up for the course just fine as a technical elective. But... ...
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0answers
300 views

Interesting Math Topics Useful for Physics [closed]

What are some interesting, but less popular, math topics that are useful for physics that can be self-studied? Specifically, topics that might ultimately be useful in high energy theory (even if it is ...
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0answers
197 views

What's the most efficient way to study physics? [duplicate]

I'm CS major trying to learn QFT on my own . I'm trying to make an efficient study plan .The problem is that I've never read any textbook from cover to cover and solved all the problems .What of the ...
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1answer
951 views

How do I start learning particle physics? [closed]

I am 16 at the moment. I am really interested in physics. Especially particle physics. Can someone please tell me how to start learning the subject. like what to learn first. like which fundamental ...
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2answers
492 views

Is the proper interpretation of temperature missing in this book?

In Randall T. Knight’s textbook “Physics for Scientists and Engineers” in the first chapter on thermodynamics (Ch. 16: A Macroscopic Description of Matter) one of the first conceptual questions is ...
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14answers
2k 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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2answers
1k views

How should a theoretical physicist study maths? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should a physics student study mathematics? If some-one wants to do research in string theory for example, Would the Nakahara Topology, geometry and physics book and ...
6
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2answers
987 views

How can some-one independently do research in particle physics?

I'm not affiliated with a physics department and I want to do independent research. I'm working my way through Peskin et. al. QFT now. Let's say that I've finished Peskin et. al. and Weinberg QFT ...
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0answers
60 views

Quantum Mechanics Text for Electrical Engineers [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a good introductory book on quantum mechanics? What is a good introductory text on quantum mechanics that could be used to train electrical engineers in device ...
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1answer
503 views

What is the importance of electrodynamics and magnetism in physics as a whole? [closed]

At my university the second half of a year long sequence in basic calculus based physics focuses on electrodynamics and magnetism. I am wondering what is the significance of these topics to physics in ...
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4answers
2k views

Help an aspiring physicists what to self-study [closed]

This is probably not the kind of question you'll often encounter on this forum, but I think a bit of background is needed for this question to make sense and not seem like a duplicate: 2012 has been ...
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0answers
223 views

Dirac action and conventions

I have a (possibly) fundamental question, which is driving me crazy. Notation When considering the Dirac action (say reading Peskin's book), one have $\int ...
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2answers
176 views

Will a one year undergraduate course of Linear Algebra be enough for QM? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Linear Algebra for Quantum Physics Can you get all/most of the knowledge you need of Linear Algebra for QM in a one year course? I know for certain my course also ...
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2answers
2k views

What math is needed to understand the Schrödinger equation?

If I now see the Schrödinger equation, I just see a bunch of weird symbols, but I want to know what it actually means. So I'm taking a course of Linear Algebra and I'm planning on starting with PDE's ...
0
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1answer
223 views

How does this problems are solved (modeling/simulation)? [closed]

Can somebody guide me in what to read and learn in order to be able to solve or understand how to solve the following types of problems: The modeling/simulation of the bullet, shot into the water ...
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5answers
1k views

The Z-Torque: how can it be shown intuitively that it does not work?

There is a new kickstarter project that claims to increase torque and power compared to a normal crank on a bicycle (Z-Torque on kickstarter). If this patented (US Patent Number 5899119) approach ...
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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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1answer
88 views

Didactics question (“teams and times”) [closed]

In sports it is commonplace to distinguish a "team" (as characterized by the players who took part in a match, playing together against another team), from the "score" (such as the final score of ...
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1answer
2k views

Walter Lewin Lectures in HD

I like the lectures by Walter Lewin 8.0x. However the quality of the videos is pretty bad. Is there any way (DVD, web,...) to get the lecture videos in a good quality, best in HD?
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0answers
51 views

Undergraduate Math Major Wanting to Learn Physics [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Book recommendations So I'm a Junior level math major. I've seen some abstract algebra, some differential geometry, and some lie theory. I'm currently working through ...
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5answers
3k views

Math or Physics degree?

I am hoping to become a physicist focusing mainly on the theoretical side in the future. I am trying to decide whether to go for a physics or math undergrad course. Assuming that I am capable of ...
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1answer
631 views

Applications of the particle in a box and the finite square well

What are some "real" world applications of the particle in a box (PIB) and the finite square well (FSW) which are discussed in an intro quantum mechanics class? For instance, I know that the PIB can ...
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0answers
178 views

Describing the Higgs mechanism to non-particle physicists

I'm sure I'm not the only person with this problem at the moment. I have been asked to give a public (not quite public, scientists, just not physicists) about 'this Higgs boson thing'. I am trying to ...
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2answers
159 views

Physics and what it means [closed]

I got into a debate with a friend about the meaning of physics and its purpose, he is the sort who will test you and if you get it wrong it somehow gratifies his own self-reflection and self-worth. ...
6
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3answers
851 views

What should a physics undergrad aspiring to be a string theorist learn before grad school?

The question I guess is pretty clear. I am a physics undergrad wishing to pursue research in quantum gravity(string theory?). What are the subjects I should learn other than the usual compulsory ...
5
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2answers
248 views

How to learn celestial mechanics?

I'm a PhD student in math and am really excited about celestial mechanics. I was wondering if anyone could give me a roadmap for learning this subject. The amount of information about it on the ...
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1answer
687 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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1answer
269 views

Would someone who is only interested in string theory benefit from working out the problems in Jackson electrodynamics?

This is a soft question. I'm not sure if it is appropriate for this site. Would someone who is only interested in string theory benefit from working out the problems in Jackson electrodynamics? I ...