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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

8
votes
3answers
319 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
97 views

Is there a handwavy way to explain what quantum correlation means?

Is there a simple way to explain the difference between a classical and truly quantum correlation to a non-quantum person who has basic understanding classical correlation? I mean without invoking ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

What resources may be helpful to learn physics from ground up (very basic level)? [duplicate]

I want to learn physics and the math required, but I never got the chance to learn properly in school due to mental illness. But, now, as a 22 year old, I wish I can start learning. Attending a ...
27
votes
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Link for resource on cosmology [duplicate]

I have recently just begun studying cosmology. I have a background in physics. I would like a link to download video resources on Stephan Hawking's theories on physics and/or cosmology that have not ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

Are there any musical instruments which use resonance tubes with two closed ends?

Many musical instruments use resonance tubes with one closed end - all brass instruments (I think), clarinet, etc. There are also instruments where both ends are open (flute, pipes) Are there any ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Best books for high-school? [duplicate]

Please don't close this thread, I now it might sound like a dozen others but I think that every case is different... I go to the first class of high school (that's how it's called in Greece, not sure ...
2
votes
3answers
85 views

Explanation of Lorentz-Force

In high-school level books (for example the german standard text: "Dorn-Bader") I have often seen an explanation of the Lorentz force as on the following picture: The textbooks consider the ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Is rigorous functional analysis useful for theoretical physics? [duplicate]

I'm an undergraduate physics without much quantum mechanics at all under my belt. I'm studying functional analysis, and I want to know whether or not this will be useful for me in theoretical physics ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

What phenoma have “intuitive” explanations which are completely wrong? [closed]

Some phenomena in physics defy intuition. Others have very intuitive explanations which you could explain easily to a layman. Sometimes, these intuitive explanations are simply wrong. What phenomena ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Self-teaching physics recommendations? [duplicate]

I've been very interested in mathematics for a while now and, after being inspired by reading Feynman's biography, would also like to learn about physics. My mathematics background is fairly ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

How can one learn to visualize 4 dimensional spacetime?

I was watching Professor Leonard Susskind's lecture on Quantum Entanglements and he said that there are physicists and people who study physics, who 'rewire' themselves so they can visualize 4 ...
5
votes
4answers
695 views

Explaining Newton's Laws of motion to a 6 year old

An old professor of mine once said that an effective means to get people interested in Physics is to get them started early. What would be an effective and meaningful (and fun) means to explain ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Nilsson Hamiltonian - looking for problem and answers

I have been looking, unsuccessfully, online for academic problems involving the Nilsson nuclear hamiltonian. I understand the nature of the terms in the equation, but have never seen actual ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

A roadmap for learning standard model of particle physics [duplicate]

Assuming that a person has understanding of theory of Lie groups, Lie algebras and basic quantum mechanics, what is the simplest route to gain a basic understanding of the SM of particle physics? Are ...
40
votes
13answers
7k views

Best books for mathematical background?

What are the best textbooks to read for the mathematical background you need for modern physics, such as, string theory? Some subjects off the top of my head that probably need covering: ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Is passing on knowledge/information from one body to another and the resultant state is ever studied as any branch of physics?

Does any branch of physics, study the passing off of information/knowledge from one body to another ( body would obviously be living beings here, as they only can do so ). And resultant changes in the ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

Good ways for learning and cramming formulas? [duplicate]

I got an exam coming up and its numerical based (its pre-university level exam) but really tough. I want to know about various ways and methods to learn formulas. I know how can I derive them but its ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Quantum distance ladder

There is a lecture on how facts about the cosmos can be derived form rather simple observation. Is there an analogy for the small scale? Is there a technically simple observation that would imply, ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Prerequsites for Zee's QFT [duplicate]

What would be a good book or books for a sufficient prerequisite for Zee's book QFT in a nutshell? I have had a course in QM and relativistic QM, but I think there are some gaps that needs to be ...
5
votes
2answers
125 views

What is an effective and efficient way to read research papers? [duplicate]

I will be a grad student in condensed matter theory starting this fall. As an undergrad, I did the basic physics and math courses as well as a few grad classes (qft, analysis, solid state physics ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Reasons to consider the coefficient of restitution velocity independent - conditions when this does apply

In high-school mathematics textbooks a bouncing ball is often considered as an example of an exponential decay. One can easily derive this if one assumes that the coefficient of restitution is ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

To all experienced theoretical physicists out there, what is the step by step process in your math education? [duplicate]

I am not doing a physics degree but an engineering degree but i am planning using my free time to self study all the math in preparing myself to self study subjects in theoretical physics. (I've ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Are leptons, baryons and energy the only products of radioactive decay?

I recently visited my child's elementary school to speak to a science classroom about rocks and minerals. While trying to explain what a crystal is, I got sloppy and mis-spoke that an atom was the ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Application of wavelets in computational electromagnetics

I am a first-year graduate student (electrical eng.); wavelets is one of the courses that I am taking presently. As part of the course, I plan to explore application of wavelets in computational ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Textbook on Diffusion and Diffusion NMR Spectroscopy

I am looking for textbooks ( Mathematical / Theoretical Physics ) that cover diffusion in general. Although it is not necessary that your recommendation covers it, I am also particularly interested ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Basic concepts in quantum theory to start learning semiconductor physics [closed]

What basic concepts in quantum theory one must known to start learning semiconductor physics?
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Can someone be too late for being a great physicist? [duplicate]

I am a first year physics student, but I am 20 years old (pretty old for my country, average starting age is 18), because I started after leaving med school, which I find extremely jailed in ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

How to study physics as a first year student? [duplicate]

I firstly apologise if this question is off the topic. I am a first year undergraduate student and the required textbook for the course Advanced Physics is Fundemental of physics by Halliday. This ...
108
votes
15answers
30k views

How do I explain to a 6 year old why people on the other side of the Earth don't fall off? [closed]

Today a friend's 6 year old sister asked me the question "why don't people on the other side of the earth fall off?". I tried to explain that the Earth is a huge sphere and there's a special force ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Does physics need an epsilon-delta definition for the concept of limit?

This question has been inspired by a question asked on Mathoverflow about "effectiveness of (epsilon, delta) definition". Most mathematicians have a strong opinion about the need of such definitions: ...
8
votes
5answers
975 views

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 ...
5
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Learning about super-symmetric quantum mechanics and integrable systems

I'm an undergraduate interested in theory. I recently asked one of my professors, a physicist in the particle theory group at my school, if he'd be willing to take on an undergraduate for a senior ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Mathematics for physics resources [duplicate]

Looking for book suggestions. I have a good basic understanding of many mathematical concepts but I want to improve to a physicist level. This is mainly because I want to study atmospheric physics ...
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Learning roadmap for picking up enough mathematical know-how in order to model “shape”, “form” and “material properties”? [closed]

I am interested in picking up enough mathematical background in order to easily understand a paper like this one: Growth, geometry and mechanics of a blooming lily, and be easily able to create my own ...
1
vote
0answers
109 views

Looking for solutions to problems in Feynman and Hibbs path integral and QM text [closed]

I've just started reading Feynman and Hibbs path integrals and Quantum mechanics after a decade hiatus from my undergraduate math degree (including a few semesters of physics for engineers). It would ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

Quantum Field Theory and Lie Theory [duplicate]

I am reading Vol.1 of "The Quantum Theory Of Fields" by S. Weinberg. However I have come to a halt when connected Lie groups were introduced. I have solid knowledge in elementary group theory and ...
46
votes
10answers
4k views

What is a field, really?

There was a reason why I constantly failed physics at school and university, and that reason was, apart from the fact I was immensely lazy, that I mentally refused to "believe" more advanced stuff ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

I want to do a PhD in Quantum Computing. Which universities in English-speaking countries have prominent research groups in this field? [closed]

Most universities I checked have a Quantum Information group, and they usually mention the term "Quantum Computing" somewhere on their website, but it's not very clear how much research is actually ...
0
votes
2answers
128 views

Is it possible to derive the formula of the gravitational potential energy without using the formula for the force

Clearly one can derive the formula for the gravitational potential Energy by just integrating the force $F_{\mathrm{G}} = \gamma \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}$, i.e. $$ E_{\mathrm{pot}} = \gamma m_1 m_2 ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Reference request for motion & related topics [duplicate]

I'm starting a Robotics course at grad school and I could use some help to relearn and revise my concepts in the following topics : Kinematics Rigid Body Dynamics Rotational Motion and Linear ...
6
votes
1answer
139 views

Is it feasible to measure the energy of cosmic ray muons with a consumer Digital Single Lens Reflex camera?

I have read this article SIBBERNSEN, Kendra. Catching Cosmic Rays with a DSLR. Astronomy Education Review, 2010, 9: 010111. and it talks about estimating the muon cosmic ray flux by means of a DSLR ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

How to move from Special to General Relativity

I have understood special relativity nicely, and right now I am trying to learn general relativity from D'Inverno's book. I an finding it rather difficult to understand the pre-requisite math (i.e. ...
-6
votes
1answer
68 views

Mathematics, Engineering, or Physics? [closed]

I'm currently a general first year engineering student and I have to pick a discipline for next year. I've narrowed my choices to Engineering Physics or Mathematics and Engineering, which is basically ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

How can I easily explain interference to a tour group?

I'm looking for unique and illustrative ways to explain the phenomenon of interference to a tour group consisting of all types of people, from elementary school kids to adults. I run into this ...
3
votes
1answer
623 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
67 views

How can I answer the critical questions of mechanics? [duplicate]

I have passed my 1st year of undergraduate study life somehow I could have managed. But recently I have decided to fill up the emptiness of knowledge over mechanics. Besides I have my studies of 2nd ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Should I learn Classical Physics if I want to learn Quantum Physics? [duplicate]

I don't remember anything from school, so please what do you say about the title?
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Is there any way to read the Feynman Lectures for free? [duplicate]

The Feynman Lectures on Physics probably constitute the most famous introductory physics textbook ever written. The level of intuition it provides is hard to beat; I first started reading it in ...