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High School Research

  1. May 27, 2005 #1


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    I was wondering if there were any research topics that I, as a rising high school junior could explore in physics. I am extremely interested in physics, and self taught myself AP Physics C, followed by reading the Feynman Lectures on Physics and Theoretical Physics by Georg Joos. I also taught myself some math along the way.
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  3. May 27, 2005 #2
    Pick something and start working?

    I studied how to build computer models of physical systems in high school. Find something interesting, work on it. What does it matter what other people think are good fields?

    Edit: I dislike Joos's book. It covers all the material fine, i just don't like the presentation. Of course, I still like it much better than Bohm's book on quantum theory. That one drives me insane.
  4. May 27, 2005 #3


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    hey kid, as a high school junior you are ahead of me as a 623 year old professional mathematician (actually i meant 62 year old). i have never completed feynmans physics. the world is your oyster. have faith in your ideas, and try something interesting.

    think back through what you have learned and ask yourself if they seemed to stop short on some of the topics, without pushing it to its limits. remember those little pesky questions that arose in your mind when you were reading a topic. you probably pushed them aside because you thouhgt that whatever was not stressed by the book was not interesting, but really maybe it was only not understood well.

    so give one of those questions a whirl.

    good luck. you are very smart. now get loose. you are going to have a long fun ride.
  5. May 28, 2005 #4
    Did you use any particular book?
  6. May 28, 2005 #5
    There must be one model only for different computers, if i am not mistaken !
  7. May 28, 2005 #6
    Its not the sort of thing you can learn from a book, IMO. It takes practice, you have to be able to design algorithms, its not the sort of thing you can read about.

    I studied physics from books, Calkin's Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics in particular. Joos's book on Theoretical physics.

    The rest was mostly self-taught. Once i got to the university, i took some programming classes, but those didn't focus on building computer models of systems, I only took them to get more practice in the actual programming part. You can only learn how to build models by doing it really, its not something you can read in a book to learn.
  8. May 28, 2005 #7

  9. May 29, 2005 #8
    If your looking to do computer simulations
    Landau - Computational Physics,
    Someguy - Numerical recipes in C/C++/Fortran
    Chris Hecker - 3D physics sims notes.
    mmmm Computational Astrophysics is something you might look at if your in astronomy.

    I suggest emailing a nearby notable university's professor and askign to speak to them for guidance.
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