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Gen Physics I: Where can I find good lecture notes/advice?

  1. Jun 7, 2012 #1
    1) I start General Physics I Fall 2012. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could guide me to some good lecture notes. Last semester, I found wonderful organic chemistry notes online that really helped me out. These are colorful, up-to-date and easy to understand pdf's of the lecture notes. It would make me ridiculously happy if I could find more like them for physics.

    2) In developing this new physics foundation for myself, what are the areas I should focus on? What are the keystones of general physics? The purpose of asking this is similar to understanding how to do derivatives or integrals before starting calculus. What are the most used tools in Physics (beginner to intermediate level)?


    Physics Forums + love of science = accelerated learning


    Currently, I'm taking my own notes based on the textbook, reading physics I for dummies and working HW problems. I also have the Motion Mountain textbook (which I haven't started).
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2012 #2
    Become familiar with with the units, try reading up on vectors, force, conservation of energy and conservation of momentum.
     
  4. Jun 7, 2012 #3
    I don't know any website that has 'lecture notes' for physics. And preferably, I wouldn't depend on lecture notes either. Books on the subject are really good, and reading them should give you a good grasp on physics.

    Check http://lightandmatter.com/, it is an online physics text, and has nice theory about the subject. Might I ask which textbook you are referring to?

    As for which part of physics, I think you'll be starting with classical mechanics. This is the foundation for physics, based on Newton's laws, and it will trail you all the way till you face QM. Even then, Newtonian mech will not stop being useful, so for now, I'd say, focus on it :smile:
     
  5. Jun 7, 2012 #4
    It really depends on what a general physics course covers.

    If you plan on studying physics at higher levels (I'm assuming general physics is an introductory course rather than an all encompassing advanced course) I'd say that a strong calculus and linear algebra background would be the best for you. Hell, in my opinion physics should be taught taking least action as an axiom and developing from that.
    Aside from my opinion on the way physics should be taught, at the beginner level calculus and basic linear algebra will be your best friends, from that, learn to understand things in terms of energy and gradients of potential energy and be able to draw out a phase space diagram, rather than simply of just forces.
     
  6. Jun 7, 2012 #5
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