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A light in the dark

  1. Jul 18, 2017 #1
    Hi, I'm new on the board but been reading since a long while. The end of the discussion in this particular thread:


    has been enlightening (they're talking about pop-science vs real science).

    Since as far as I can remember I've been interested in physics and how the universe works. I watched countless documentaries about this subject and I always find there is something that cannot work. Now I get that there is "pop-science" and there is real science. And pop-science is all about being spectacular, not accurate nor complete. (quantum is not as weird as they say, membranes, multiverse and relativity are counter-intuitive, but not completely crackpot has they often depict them etc).

    So I plan in studying the real thing (in my spare time, by myself for now). My week spot is math. I have no problem with solving a formula (did calculus etc..) But I have difficulties transposing all this into a concrete thing in the real world. What should I begin with ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2017 #2
    Welcome to PF! Have you worked through any Newtonian physics?
  4. Jul 18, 2017 #3
    Thank you Greg. Yes I did most of the classical stuff, also by myself. To be honest, I got stuck at the math in the electro-magnetism. Master Maxwell and Lorentz showed to be hard to follow for me ;)
  5. Jul 19, 2017 #4
    I realize this is not the best intro ever. I basically said "hello, i'm not good at math"... While true, I'm good at other things. Conceptualizing, making sense of a bunch of data, analyzing, being rigorous. Can I make my way in physics with average math, or should I put all I can in studying it ?

    BTW, I'm 49, and always been autodidact. I thought myself calculus. I have a nice career in computer/telecom. I'm not a complete idiot, but I have no diploma except my Mensa membership card. So I'm not here to acquire diplomas, but to learn how the universe works. And why it exists,... (even if this is seen as more philosophical, I think we can address this with a scientific approach). I saw a TV show where Krauss was explaining how it could appear out of nothing, but it looked more like a fairy tale than a scientific theory (at least, in that TV show...). I think I should read the (original) paper about that.

    Well that's one of my questions: where can we find all those original papers and books outside of a university, how can I stop loosing my time and energy reading or watching shows that tells only sensational things and misses the point (because most people find the real point to be boring) ?
  6. Jul 19, 2017 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    For technical questions or advice on books and studying, please post in the main forums (rather than the Introductions forum). The Academic Guidance forum or the Textbooks forum may be good places to start. :smile:
  7. Jul 19, 2017 #6
    Thank you. I am in the insights section now.... a gold mine :) In fact all this site is a tresor trouve
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