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## Main Question or Discussion Point

About 8-10 months ago my hobby/fascination with astronomy blew up into an obsession with both physics and astronomy. Since then I've been devouring everything I can get my hands on about either subject. I legitimately think physics/astronomy are the two most interesting subjects conceived by the human mind. Upon realizing that I'm obsessed with physics I got a crazy idea: become a physicist. I need to be honest though. I'm 22-years-old, have tried my hand at post-secondary before but dropped out of both of the programs I was enrolled in due to lack of interest and motivation. I'm not stupid, I didn't fail out or anything like that; I just didn't enjoy the programs because the passion for the subject just wasn't there.

The thought of going to school for physics is scary because I've never been good at math (I realize how bad that sounds on my behalf, but please keep reading!). Obviously you need to be good at math to pursue physics and I understand that fully. When I first realized how much I liked physics the idea of becoming a physicist seemed impossible. I'd think about it but quickly remind myself "you suck at math, what the hell are you thinking? You're not going to be a physicist, stop thinking stupid things." The urge to pursue physics has been too strong and I ended up buying these two books online:

http://www.amazon.ca/Basic-Mathematics-Serge-Lang/dp/0387967877&tag=

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0387962018/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20

and have been working my way through the basic math/pre-calculus textbook in an effort to learn the things I didn't learn in high school because I was too busy playing Counter Strike. I'm actually quite surprised with my progress so far, I'm still sort of in shock that I couldn't do this stuff in high school. I've always been scared of math but thats beginning to change. I think of math in an entirely different way now. I feel like now that I have something to apply math to its starting to make a lot more sense and its actually becoming enjoyable. I'm hoping to work my way up to calculus in the not-so-distant future.

I have a couple questions:

a) Is what I'm trying to do even remotely possible?

b) Since I've been mathematically illiterate for most of my life, I don't have the requirements to apply to a 4 year university program. Would the best route be to go back to community college and take pre-calculus/calculus/physics/etc to upgrade from high school? Ultimately I'd like to go back to the university I was attending for political science but this time take astrophysics instead.

c) Could anyone recommend a

Armed with those textbooks, google, a few friends who are finishing up/finished their undergraduate degrees in math, computer science and engineering, and a legitimate interest in physics - I'm optimistic about this.

Thanks for your time

-Mike

The thought of going to school for physics is scary because I've never been good at math (I realize how bad that sounds on my behalf, but please keep reading!). Obviously you need to be good at math to pursue physics and I understand that fully. When I first realized how much I liked physics the idea of becoming a physicist seemed impossible. I'd think about it but quickly remind myself "you suck at math, what the hell are you thinking? You're not going to be a physicist, stop thinking stupid things." The urge to pursue physics has been too strong and I ended up buying these two books online:

http://www.amazon.ca/Basic-Mathematics-Serge-Lang/dp/0387967877&tag=

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0387962018/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20

and have been working my way through the basic math/pre-calculus textbook in an effort to learn the things I didn't learn in high school because I was too busy playing Counter Strike. I'm actually quite surprised with my progress so far, I'm still sort of in shock that I couldn't do this stuff in high school. I've always been scared of math but thats beginning to change. I think of math in an entirely different way now. I feel like now that I have something to apply math to its starting to make a lot more sense and its actually becoming enjoyable. I'm hoping to work my way up to calculus in the not-so-distant future.

I have a couple questions:

a) Is what I'm trying to do even remotely possible?

b) Since I've been mathematically illiterate for most of my life, I don't have the requirements to apply to a 4 year university program. Would the best route be to go back to community college and take pre-calculus/calculus/physics/etc to upgrade from high school? Ultimately I'd like to go back to the university I was attending for political science but this time take astrophysics instead.

c) Could anyone recommend a

*great*physics textbook? I'm looking for the high school/first year university level. Since I'm having some success with teaching myself pre-calculus using those books and google; I was looking to get into some basic physics for fun/educational purposes. I have the academic calender to the school I plan to go to and have looked through some of the topics covered in University Physics I and II (calculus based). I was looking for a textbook that had some high school algebra based physics but also covered some calculus based material like Newtons laws. I was thinking the best way to learn this stuff would be to learn the math I need and then apply it to physics in an effort to get even better at it. I want to learn pre-calculus and algebra based physics together and once I'm ready for calculus, learn the basics of that and then learn some calculus based physics at the same time. My main idea is to learn math and then reinforce what I just learned by applying it to physics problems.Armed with those textbooks, google, a few friends who are finishing up/finished their undergraduate degrees in math, computer science and engineering, and a legitimate interest in physics - I'm optimistic about this.

Thanks for your time

-Mike

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