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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Advice on classes: Theoretical Mechanics vs E&M II

So I'm having a tough time deciding between courses next semester. I'm a rising 3rd year undergrad math major whose goal is to get a solid understanding of theoretical physics through advanced math ...
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PhD Research Areas in String Theory

I'm thinking of applying to do a PhD in String Theory, starting in September 2013. I'm gradually learning more about the subject through external reading, but still most papers are impenetrable! Could ...
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0answers
46 views

How to make strong base for fundamental physics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Book recommendations How to make strong base for fundamental physics? I want to learn the fundamentals of physics. But in a simple manners with very general examples. ...
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0answers
100 views

Prerequisites for QFT? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Book recommendations Is there a book that covers everything you need to know (and possibly more) before starting a course on QFT. Alternatively, I need a list of what ...
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4answers
274 views

List of Physical Toys [closed]

There should be a list of toys considered "physical", which demonstrate or make you think over certain physical principles/phenomena. And of course which could just amaze. Related question at MSE is ...
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5answers
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study quantum mechanics without physics background

I am a first year PhD math student, and must decide: should I study Quantum Mechanics, although I don't have undergrad background in Physics? Let me be more specific about my situation: Background: ...
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4answers
457 views

Why don't most physics programs study the primary sources?

Why don't most physics programs study the primary sources? In other words: Why don't they include Newton's Principia, Lagrange's Analytical Mechanics, etc., in the curricula?
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3answers
417 views

Is the historical method of teaching physics a “legitimate, sure and fruitful method of preparing a student to receive a physical hypothesis”? [closed]

The French physicist, historian, and philosopher of physics, Pierre Duhem, wrote:The legitimate, sure and fruitful method of preparing a student to receive a physical hypothesis is the historical ...
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3answers
232 views

What are some creative illustrations of the nature of dissipative forces?

I'm teaching a conceptual introduction to physics for American 13-15 year old students this summer. One of the main ideas I want to hit on is the relationship between energy conservation, ...
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1answer
148 views

Is it possible to study solid state from kittel after taking only one course in quantum mechanics? [closed]

I have taken only QM I, which is the 1st half of Griffiths including the chapter on identical particles, will that be enough to understand Kittel's solid state? Should one have also taken a course ...
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2answers
199 views

Applying $\nabla\times\mathbf{B} = \mu_0\mathbf{J}$ in the presence of magnetic shielding

2012-06-13 - Revised question in experimental format (This is a thought experiment for which RF experts may have an immediate answer.) I'll assume (I could be wrong) the possibility of creating a ...
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338 views

Supersymmetry in Quantum Mechanics

I was reading Supersymmetry in Quantum Mechanics and got stuck in the various mathematical terminology like "Graded-Lie Algebra", "Super Algebra". Is there any good lecture notes concerning these ...
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6answers
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What distinguishes between physics and chemistry? [closed]

What are the major differences between physics and chemistry? I know that they both study atoms, electrons and molecules, but what makes some topics part of one and some part of another?
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361 views

why people choose condense matter physics the most in 2007 and 2008 for their phd? And what are they studying and what is application in this subject? [closed]

Page 11 of this report from the American Institute of Physics shows that condensed matter physics is by far the most common PhD dissertation topic in 2007 and 2008. Can anyone here explain why this ...
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3answers
495 views

What areas of physics should a mathematician study to understand TQFT?

I am studying topological quantum field theory from the view point of mathematics.(axiomatic treatise) So it has no explanation about physics. I would like to know physic background of TQFT. But I ...
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2answers
165 views

Bolometer calibration - voltage and intensity

I am interested in possible hazards due to high intensy infrared light sources. Therefore I want to use the "PASCO TD-8553 radiation sensor" (website) to measure the intensity of the radiation of an ...
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2answers
3k 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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4answers
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What errors would one learn from Eliezer Yudkowsky's introduction to quantum physics?

Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote an introduction to quantum physics from a strictly realist standpoint. However, he has no qualifications in the subject and it is not his specialty. Does it paint an accurate ...
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7answers
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Is there a general physics simulator for learning purposes?

Is there a complete physics simulator that I can use to do general simulations for learning purposes? For example: Create a sandbox. Fill with a gas. Load a 3d solid model like this (but 3d). Fill ...
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514 views

Computer game with quantum optics / quantum information

Is there a computer game using principles of quantum optics or quantum information? By game I mean not just a simulation or an interactive course, but something than can be played in an enjoyable ...
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2answers
950 views

Abstract Algebra in Relativity and Cosmology?

Is Abstract Algebra useful in theoretical Relativity and/or Cosmology? If so can anyone give me some examples or point me towards a good book with that emphasis if it is one? Thanks in advance.
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2answers
4k views

Best physics olympiad resources [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Book recommendations I am looking for good book recommendations at the level of high-school physics. I am having in mind to find out as to what are the typical books ...
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1answer
157 views

What chemistry course to take for a physics undergraduate [closed]

This question is mainly aimed at people who know about the science market in the UK, but any suggestions would be much appreciated. I am a third year physics undergraduate, studding for an MSci ...
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2answers
160 views

Interpreting range of conductivity diagram

I have found the following diagram (unfortunately in german) about the range of conductivity of conductors (Leiter), semiconductors (Halbleiter) and insulators (Isolatoren). How should one interpret ...
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3answers
647 views

Video or animation for continuity equation in water pipes

I am looking for an animation or even better a video with a real experiment, which shows that at constant flow rate the speed of water in a pipe is higher at narrower parts of a pipe. I googled ...
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3answers
2k views

Please recommend a good book about physics for young child (elementary school aged) [closed]

I'm looking for a book that would be appropriate for an advanced elementary school aged kids (say, 6-11 YO) describing the basics of physics (or sciences in general) in entertaining way. The ...
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1answer
161 views

Educational game [closed]

I am in the process of conceptualizing an iOS or computer game (a modification of Tetris) that would be suitable for motivated high school students and university undergraduates. It is meant to be an ...
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3answers
529 views

Simple home pressure experiment: how to understand the dependence on the glass opening?

Suppose you put a drinking glass under water such that it is completely filled with water. Then hold it upside down and slowly raise the drinking glass out of the water. The water in the drinking ...
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1answer
338 views

Which areas of physics are most demanding of good intuition or physical insight? [closed]

I'm a beginning graduate student, and I have 2 years before I have to pick a specialization. I would like to know which areas of physics call for the most intuition or physical insight. If this sounds ...
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0answers
495 views

Good theoretical physics introduction for 6 year old very advanced in math? [duplicate]

I think now is a good time to introduce my son to theoretical physics. He asks so many questions about the universe, black holes, gravity, atoms, molecules, light, etc. He's borderline obsessed with ...
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3answers
2k views

What math do I need for mathematical physics? In what manner should I learn math? [closed]

I'm a freshman undergraduate. I've got my sight on mathematical physics. I love math but I don't have the talent nor the inclination for purely abstract mathematics. I also love physics. The only ...
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3answers
1k 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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1answer
1k views

Electrodynamics textbook that emphasizes applications

Which textbook in Electrodynamics which emphasizes practical applications and real life examples would you recommend for undergraduates ?
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101 views

Book for learning about constructing correct physical modeling [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: List of good classical physics books I know physics. At least I thought so until I tried to make a model of the system of scales by myself. It was confusing. For example ...
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5answers
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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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1answer
319 views

Please recommend a physics problems book similar to Demidovich [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Graduate Physics Problems Books Does anyone have recommendation for a physics problems collection book (series) that is similar to Demidovich's A Collection of Problems ...
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4answers
919 views

Advantage of doing research in theoretical high energy over other fields?

I am undecided about the field I want to do my PhD in, in graduate school. I am asking because the applications that I am filling ask me to write the intended field of study. I found the people who ...
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5answers
1k views

Physics book for 15 year old boy [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: List of good classical physics books my name is Bruno Alano. As stated in the title, I'm 15 years old (I'll do 16 on 7 of Feb) and much love Computer Science (C, C++), ...
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3answers
253 views

Learning physics conceptually for a layman [closed]

Can anyone suggest a video or book that will allow the layman to grasp physics concepts in a conceptual manner?
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3answers
975 views

Should linear algebra and vector calculus from traditional courses be replaced with `geometric algebra`? [closed]

geometric algebra gives geometric meaning to linear algebra and much more. it can provide a coordinate free geometric interpretation of spaces. those who learn of ...
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1answer
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To what extent `should` raw `data` from `publicly funded` research be made `available for download` `?` [closed]

When taxpayers pay money for expensive research (irrespective of the partition-function ...
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1answer
208 views

How can I turn a pinewood derby project into a physics lesson?

My 8yo son is in the Cub Scouts. He has a pinewood derby coming up next month and I would like to take this project and turn it into a fun, physics lesson for him. For those not familiar, a ...
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9answers
21k 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 ...
4
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2answers
297 views

What are some good international, English language physics grad programs? [closed]

I am looking into physics PhD programs and I would love to take the opportunity to live abroad (again). I know there are some well-known, technical, international universities like IIT in India and ...
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0answers
227 views

Any undergrad exercises about nuclear bomb design? [closed]

Are there any handy exercises about nuclear weapon design that are suitable for advanced undergrads in a nuclear physics or similar level physics course? I'm most curious about questions that ...
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3answers
614 views

Mathematical Physics Book Recommendation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Best books for mathematical background? I want to learn contemporary mathematical physics, so that, for example, I can read Witten's latest paper without checking other ...
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8answers
2k views

Real world examples for projectile thrown upwards or downwards

I am preparing a physics course for high school about projectile motions. If a projectile moves with initial velocity $v_0$ in the gravitational field of the earth, the equation $$ s(t) = 1/2 g t^2 ...
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1answer
313 views

Some questions about the logics of the principles of independence of motion and composition of motion

In high-school level textbooks* one encounters often the principles of independence of motion and that of composition (or superpositions) of motions. In this context this is used as "independence of ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Is PHD in Theoretical Physics(Quantum Mechanics) on my own possible? [closed]

Do you think it is possible to earn a PHD degree in Theoretical Physics on your own? I have a M. Sc. in Applied Computer Science but I really want to go in the direction of Physics. Is there a way one ...