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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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Study Quantum Physics

I'm an aspiring physicist who wants to self study some Quantum Physics. My thirst for knowledge is unquenchable and I can not wait 2 more years until I get my first quantum physics class in ...
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1answer
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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
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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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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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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
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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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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
163 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. ...
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3answers
900 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 ...
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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
710 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
278 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 ...
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How to choose a suitable topic for PhD in Physics? [closed]

After completion of graduate courses when a student is supposed to start real research in Physics, (to be more specific, suppose in high energy physics), how does one select the problem to work on? ...
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Tips on teaching Dimensional Analysis?

What's a good way to explain dimensional analysis to a student? Here's a simple question which this method would be useful: Let's say a truck is moving with a speed of 18 m/s to a new speed of 13 ...
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1answer
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What is the quantity in physics that is advanced from speed? [closed]

What is the quantity in physics that is advance from speed? i know one is velocity, one is speed, one is acceleration.
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1answer
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undergrduate physics courses in American colleges [closed]

I am just curious as a non-US person: how does undergraduate physics course progress in U.S. colleges? Do they go right into classical mechanics books, or do they teach introductory courses first, ...
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Is quantum perturbation theory taught in college?

Is perturbation theory usually taught in undergraduate physics, and how much of it is taught in quantum mechanics courses? Also, how much of quantum field theory would be taught in undergraduate ...
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Is it safe to study from MIT and Berkeley course series, or they contain wrong information?

After surveying most of the universities introductory physics courses, I found none is using Berkeley physics books or MIT physics books as textbooks. All are using Halliday, or Serway and the like. ...
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How do you start self-learning physics [closed]

I think this question has its place here because I am sure some of you are "self-taught experts" and can guide me a little through this process. Considering that : I don't have any physics scholar ...
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2answers
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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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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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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
279 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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study quantum mechanics without physics background [closed]

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
517 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Computer game with quantum optics/ information

Is there a computer game using principles of quantum optics or quantum information? By game I don't mean just a simulation or an interactive course, but something that can be played in an enjoyable ...
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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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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
165 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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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 ...