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Getting ahead on material during sophomore year in physics

  1. Aug 17, 2014 #1
    I have reviewed the material covered during my sophomore year and although it does not seem like a joke freshman year was, it shouldn't be very challenging either, it includes introductions to modern physics and waves with 2 labs and mathematically linear algebra, diffyq and vector calc. If I had more than enough spare time I would like to cover some extra areas of physics/math that had sparked my interest for a while. I thought about learning some quantum mechanics using Griffin's textbook and relativity using Hartle's book. I am pretty sure I want to continue with physics until I get out of grad school and I have read a lot and would be interested in pursuing cosmology, string theory and particle theory in the future so I thought getting an early start on topics/books mentioned would not hurt. I would welcome any suggestions if there any better options and how to go about self-study in terms of watching videos, reading, doing problems, looking up references to concepts that spark more interest.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Sounds like you need to attract the attention of someone in the teaching staff ... if you really find the coursework so non-challenging, you should be in a more advanced class. What were your exam results like?

    Probably best to get a tutor from the grad school to help with your study, and find other students with similar interests to study with. Isolation is the kiss of death to science.
  4. Aug 18, 2014 #3
    Incorrect, I am not looking for attention, I just want to get a bit ahead because I like physics, not that bad to pay for a tutor. Also, I am taking the most advanced classes I can. Will appreciate more feedback.
  5. Aug 18, 2014 #4
    Simon Bridge is reffering to attracting a professors attention in order to get into more difficult classes. For self-study, try just reading and doing any derivations along with the book that you are unable to follow just by reading, also do a decent+ amount of problems while somehow getting some feedback on the correctness (solutions posted by professors using the book, any back-of-the-book solutions, post here, etc.). As for books, Shankar would probably be better suited for you for Quantum. Also, it might be good to also try Woodhouse's General Relativity book in addition to Hartle's for a different perspective that will most likely be very helpful in adjusting to some graduate-level+ physics in your areas of interest. Sorry for any incompleteness, after I was just about finished typing, my computer went back to the previous page gettting rid of everything I typed.
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