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Need guidance as to what to do next, high school student

by bigerst
Tags: guidance, school, student
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Jan22-13, 11:36 PM
P: 57
Hello I am a grade 12 student looking to be a physicist. the school course is hardly satisfactory so I did a hell of a lot of self study, I'm wondering in which direction i should head next.
I did high school physics in grade 9, calculus in grade 10, first yr uni physics g11, and intro to real analysis, i finished 1/2 of john taylor's classical mechanics, now almost done griffith's electrodynamics, and i read most of Boas' methods in physical sciences.
So now im just confused, in which direction should i head (excuse me for the vague question, please read on) i also enjoy math, especially rigorous math (and phycists tend to be very sloppy) so i read trench's introduction to real analysis, and is reading pugh's real analysis, however i seeem to have hard time with the vector calculus presented in such abstract manner, and lesbeguese theory is a hell of a theory to me. so im just wondering, are there suitable math books (the ones that do legitimate proofs instead of shuffling it under the carpet) suitable for my current level? intro to complex analysis maybe? tensor analysis? ( i had a look at rudin's book and it gives me nightmares) or more rigours books on mathematical physics? ( i really like calculus and analysis, maybe i should wait to mature a bit before returning to Pugh?) also heading onto university would it still help for me to read so much on my own time or focus more on the curriculum? im looking to be a theoretical/ mathematical phyicist.

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Jan23-13, 03:57 PM
P: 1,103
If you really have mastered undergrad physics material (griffiths, boas, etc) then what you are lacking is research. You should head to your nearest university and find a research group to volunteer with. Its not unheard of for advanced high school students to do research at a university.

However, did you just read the books or did you actually do work? If you just read through them without doing problems I would suggest you go back and try some problems and try to reproduce some of the theorem's without looking at the book. Blazing through books is easy. Working out the ideas takes a long time. There is a reason that most people take 4 years to study the material you have already read.
Jan23-13, 08:10 PM
P: 57
thanks for the reply
that's pretty much what im facing right now, i wouldnt say i mastered all of the content for i am well aware it is going to take a year or so for those material to sink in and become part of my arsenal, for i can see a gap between myself and really recreating and advancing what i have learned. however i wouldnt say the opposite either, for i can do most of the problems in grffiths (ok i admit, i read it 5 times) and Boas (this is slightly easier). so right now im in a kind of awkward situation, i'm waiting for my physics maturity to catch up, im just uncertain what to do at this stage.



Vanadium 50
Jan24-13, 12:48 AM
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Need guidance as to what to do next, high school student

Quote Quote by bigerst View Post
I'm wondering in which direction i should head next
You should work on your English. Nobody has ever run into trouble in science because their English was too good.

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