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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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
97 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
415 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
103 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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49 views

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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56 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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0answers
163 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
594 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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8answers
3k 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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2answers
253 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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211 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
89 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
581 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
124 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
788 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
203 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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0answers
198 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
153 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
116 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
906 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
1k views

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
189 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
260 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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156 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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2answers
144 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
1k 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 ...
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2answers
237 views

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
374 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
59 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
59 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
72 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
402 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
3k 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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51 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
713 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
757 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
99 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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3answers
2k 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
204 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
715 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
90 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
483 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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345 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
438 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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398 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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230 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
213 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
467 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 / ...