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I am going to be a high school freshman next year and I have acquired a strong interest in physics. I have a mathematical background, upto, but not including, Calculus. I am looking for in depth resources covering classic mechanics enough to move onto more in depth texts on relativity as well as quantum theory. Again, I have a strong math background to all the work leading up to Calculus, and I will be taking Calculus next school year.


marked as duplicate by Kyle Kanos, Qmechanic Jun 15 '14 at 16:39

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps the The Feynman Lectures on Physics is interesting for you. (You will need to know calculus though.) $\endgroup$ – Hunter Jun 15 '14 at 14:33
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    $\begingroup$ Calculus and linear algebra are prerequisites for really understanding physics (at the undergrad level), so you should focus on mastering those first $\endgroup$ – Danu Jun 15 '14 at 14:44

When I was in school, I took great pleasure in the lectures by Prof. Walter Lewin, physics professor at MIT, but now retired. His style of lecturing is quite unique and got him rather famous on the internet. All of his undergraduate lectures have been video-taped and are available through MIT's OpenCourseWare program.

As for the mathematical prerequisites, Calculus is sort of required. I'm afraid there's not so much you can do without it. But you may just ignore the bits you don't understand yet and review them later. Anyways, classical mechanics is a very useful thing to have in mind when learning about Calculus. It's what Newton developed calculus for!

When you mastered classical mechanics, you can just proceed with electrodynamics which is a little tougher on your mathematics. But, again you can just give it a try and -- having the physical application in mind -- you might find multi-variable calculus way more intuitive when learning it with the neccessary mathematical rigor.

Regarding quantum mechanics, I wouldn't touch that. Often, when people are discussing quantum mechanics without the proper mathematical tools, they end up talking about things like "wave-particle duality" or (even worse) Schrödinger's cat. This will leave you more confused than before and give you the impression that there's some spooky magic to QM. It's not. It just requires lots of math.

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    $\begingroup$ I should add that MIT's OCW program took down the courses of Prof. Lewin as he is subject to sexual harassment charges. You can still find them at various places on the internet, though. $\endgroup$ – Jonas Greitemann Mar 17 '16 at 19:32

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