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 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
151 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
208 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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3answers
353 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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4answers
391 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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523 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
178 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
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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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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619 views

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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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
172 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
175 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
778 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
162 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
574 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
374 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
502 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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4answers
2k 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
376 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
1k 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
2k 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
262 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
1k 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
72 views

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
228 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
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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 ...
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2answers
310 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
229 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
821 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
3k 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 ...
4
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1answer
365 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
340 views

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 ...
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4answers
951 views

Alternate layman's metaphors for illustrating curved space-time

The metaphor of a surface (typically a pool table or a trampoline) distorted by a massive object is commonly used as a metaphor for illustrating gravitationally induced space-time curvature. But as ...
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4answers
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What is the math knowledge necessary for starting Quantum Mechanics?

Could someone experienced in the field tell me what the minimal math knowledge one must obtain in order to grasp the introductory Quantum Mechanics book/course? I do have math knowledge but I must ...
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7answers
860 views

For a theoretical (not mathematical) physicist, is there a need to learn pure mathematics?

For a theoretical physicist (not a mathematical physicist), is there a need to learn pure mathematics ?
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4answers
343 views

Applications of recoil principle in classical physics

Are there any interesting, important or (for the non physicist) astonishing examples where the recoil principle (as special case of conservation of linear momentum) is applied beside rockets and guns? ...
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5answers
332 views

Usefullness of an only qualitative understanding of momentum?

A few days ago I had a discussion with a friend who wants to become a physics teacher (in Germany). He told me that from a pedagogical/didactial point of view it seems to be a good idea to introduce ...
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Does conservation of momentum really imply Newton's third law?

I often heard that conservation of momentum is nothing else than Newton's third law. Ok, If you have only two interacting particles in the universe, this seems to be quite obvious. However if you ...
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2answers
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Difference between momentum and kinetic energy

From a mathematical point of view it seems to be clear what's the difference between momentum and $mv$ and kinetic energy $\frac{1}{2} m v^2$. Now my problem is the following: Suppose you want to ...
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5answers
403 views

Which subjects in physics should I choose if I want to help tackling today's energy and environment related problems? [closed]

I was wondering what subjects a freshman in mathematics ought to choose in the future if s/he wanted to help working on energy and environment-related issues we are currently facing, and will very ...