Any texts on the pleasure of studying physics?

In summary, texts on the pleasure of studying physics highlight the joy and satisfaction that comes from exploring the fundamental laws and principles of the universe. They discuss the excitement of solving complex problems, the sense of wonder at discovering new concepts, and the satisfaction of understanding the world around us on a deeper level. These texts also emphasize the importance of curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity in the study of physics. Overall, they encourage readers to embrace the challenges and rewards of studying this fascinating subject.
  • #1
Master Wayne
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As a hobbyist, studying physics is deeply pleasurable. Yet, I never seem to find anyone discussing this? Discussions on the merits of learning physics always focus on its practical utilites. Are you aware of any books or articles where physicists discuss the deep pleasures that come from studying physics? Only thing that comes to mind is The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.
 
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  • #2
I think that you will want to look at autobiographical writings. Feynman wrote other autobiographical stuff. Everyone has their personal favorites.

I will recommend Magnets by Francis Bitter.

While it does not quite meet your request, if your library has A Cultural History of Physics by Simonyi, it is worth a gander.
 
  • #3
Master Wayne said:
As a hobbyist, studying physics is deeply pleasurable. Yet, I never seem to find anyone discussing this? Discussions on the merits of learning physics always focus on its practical utilites. Are you aware of any books or articles where physicists discuss the deep pleasures that come from studying physics? Only thing that comes to mind is The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.
A good book on the history of the development of physics can draw the reader into the joy of discovery. I have enjoyed over the years books by Timothy Ferris, Carl Sagan and Feynman of course, there are too many to count. What kind of physics are you most interested in?
 
  • #4
Frabjous said:
I think that you will want to look at autobiographical writings. Feynman wrote other autobiographical stuff. Everyone has their personal favorites.

I will recommend Magnets by Francis Bitter.

While it does not quite meet your request, if your library has A Cultural History of Physics by Simonyi, it is worth a gander.

Thanks for the tips! I've read everything by Feynman. Haven't read Magnets or Simonyi, will add them to the list.
 
  • #5
bob012345 said:
A good book on the history of the development of physics can draw the reader into the joy of discovery. I have enjoyed over the years books by Timothy Ferris, Carl Sagan and Feynman of course, there are too many to count. What kind of physics are you most interested in?
True! I'm interested in all kinds of physics, but what I love the most is going deep on a topic and then returning to everyday life and seeing everything differently. I spent a couple of weeks on an almost altered state of consciousness after my first time learning about relativity. I always feel distinctly different during the day after a night of amateur astronomy, can't seem to shake the views of far away galaxies while sitting in traffic.

I'm always surprised by the unbelievable things uncovered in the last 120 years, how 99.9% of the world is unaware of these things and how life changing it can be to learn about them. Yet everything I find about the joys of physics focuses mostly on how it "exercises your brain", allows you to "understand technology" or some BS like that. Never found anyone speaking eloquently about how learning physics can fundamentally alter your experience of everyday life.
 
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  • #6
What boggles my mind wrt Relativity is just how slow the speed of light is! You can see the sun as an object in the sky with your own eyes (indirectly, of course) but it takes over eight minutes for the light to get from the surface of the sun into your eyes. On the human scale I am used to the idea the speed of light is essentially infinite but it's really slow compared to the scale of the universe.
 
  • #7
bob012345 said:
What boggles my mind wrt Relativity is just how slow the speed of light is!
How fast do you think it should be?
 
  • #8
Vanadium 50 said:
How fast do you think it should be?
My statement was about human perceptions and I do not wish to get into a debate about what the speed of light should be. It is what it is.
 
  • #9
bob012345 said:
it's really slow compared to the scale of the universe
Well it is fast, in the sense that there is nothing faster... so really your observation might be better stated, "the universe is really big"
 
  • #10
gmax137 said:
Well it is fast, in the sense that there is nothing faster... so really your observation might be better stated, "the universe is really big"
I do not wish to change my observation because that is not what struck me. I'm just saying the fastest speed possible seems surprisingly slow to me.
 
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  • #11

Related to Any texts on the pleasure of studying physics?

1. What is the pleasure of studying physics?

The pleasure of studying physics lies in the satisfaction of understanding the fundamental laws and principles that govern our universe. It allows us to make sense of the world around us and provides a sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural world.

2. Is studying physics difficult?

Studying physics can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. It requires critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and a strong foundation in mathematics. With dedication and perseverance, anyone can learn and enjoy studying physics.

3. How can studying physics benefit me?

Studying physics can benefit you in many ways. It can improve your problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and analytical reasoning. It can also open up career opportunities in fields such as engineering, research, and technology.

4. Do I need to have a strong math background to study physics?

A strong foundation in mathematics is essential for studying physics. Many concepts in physics are described using mathematical equations, and understanding these equations is crucial to understanding the principles of physics. However, with dedication and practice, anyone can improve their math skills and excel in studying physics.

5. How can I make studying physics more enjoyable?

There are many ways to make studying physics more enjoyable. One way is to connect the concepts you are learning to real-life examples and applications. You can also try studying with a group or finding a mentor who can help explain difficult concepts. Additionally, taking breaks and engaging in other activities can help prevent burnout and keep studying physics enjoyable.

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