Hopeful Physics applicant! UK!

  • #1
Awesomesauce
24
0
Hi PF, first post here!

I am a current year 12 first year A level student in the UK, and will be applying to university in my next academic year, in september. I am on course to study physics, but I would like to self study to get a deeper understanding in physics, and the maths required before I go to university, and just to develop my physics and maths skills (should have done further maths :()
I am not really sure where to start, and would love for someone to guide me in the right direction. I have recently started learning (basic) differentiation, (maxima/min, higher derivatives etc) if that helps at all, and am also studying a mechanics aswell. In physics, I have completed my mechanics unit, and now studying the waves/electricity/intro to some QM concepts later.

So, I am a bit lost as to which books to get? I read that Calculus made easy is pretty good, and for the physics, The feynman lectures are quite a good side reference however they lack problems to do.

Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
cristo
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
8,140
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Are you taking maths/further maths?
 
  • #3
Kevin_Axion
912
2
Calculus, you can't live without it. Anyways for intuition and basic introduction this is always a great resource: http://www.khanacademy.org/#Calculus.
 
  • #4
Awesomesauce
24
0
Are you taking maths/further maths?

Yes, I am taking Maths, but not further maths. I am considering taking further maths in year 13.
 
  • #5
Awesomesauce
24
0
I should have said, I am taking Maths with Mechanics, Physics, Chemistry, Economics.
I am likely to drop economics after year 12, and pick up further maths, depending on how well I do.
 
  • #6
Kevin_Axion
912
2
I'm quite confused about the year 13, how many courses do you take each year?
 
  • #7
Awesomesauce
24
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I'm quite confused about the year 13, how many courses do you take each year?

Basically, the A levels (Years 12 and 13) and is the 2 year qualification before university. Normally people take 4 subjects, and drop a subject the 2nd year; but it can vary.
Me, I am almost 17, is taking maths, chemistry, physics and economics (+and compulsary crappy cultural studies). Next year in year 13, I will probably drop economics, and pick up AS (first year) further maths.
 
  • #8
cristo
Staff Emeritus
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What's "maths with mechanics"? Things have changed a bit since my day. Or is it just that you take extra mechanics modules on top of the required core, mechanics and stats modules?

I would recommend taking at least the AS in further maths if you can fit that into year 13. I didn't take it, and felt a little behind when I first got to university (albeit to study maths). I caught up quite quickly, but I still think having done further maths would have benefitted me more than my other AS level (geography).
 
  • #9
Kevin_Axion
912
2
It's different here, we go up to year 12 and my courses are: Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science AP, Philosophy, English, Advanced Functions, and Calculus/Vectors.
 
  • #10
Awesomesauce
24
0
What's "maths with mechanics"? Things have changed a bit since my day. Or is it just that you take extra mechanics modules on top of the required core, mechanics and stats modules?

I would recommend taking at least the AS in further maths if you can fit that into year 13. I didn't take it, and felt a little behind when I first got to university (albeit to study maths). I caught up quite quickly, but I still think having done further maths would have benefitted me more than my other AS level (geography).

Indeed! The mechanics is just an extra 4 modules on top of the required pure maths. Stats is the other optional one, but I opted for mechanics.

Thanks for the advice about the Fmaths bit. There is always that one subject alot of us regret taking instead of something else. (For me that is economics).
Anyway, any specific books on calculus, other topics and physics you guys recommend?
 
  • #11
Shaun_W
320
9
Definitely do further maths. Although many universities do not officially require it for physics (and engineering) courses, it's still a massive boost to your application and it'll also make your first year easier, too, which equals more drinking time.
 
  • #12
Awesomesauce
24
0
Definitely do further maths. Although many universities do not officially require it for physics (and engineering) courses, it's still a massive boost to your application and it'll also make your first year easier, too, which equals more drinking time.

Ok! Thanks for the advice! I have decided to buy the feynman lectures for my birthday soon, with my christmas money! Is there any problems to accompany this text that I should consider buying aswell? Also, what level of calculus is required to understand this?
Do you know any calculus books that I should consider buying?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #13
cristo
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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I've moved your question here. For future reference, you should use the HW forums for all such maths questions.

As for textbooks, I can't really advise since I'm not up to date...
 
  • #14
Shaun_W
320
9
Ok! Thanks for the advice! I have decided to buy the feynman lectures for my birthday soon, with my christmas money! Is there any problems to accompany this text that I should consider buying aswell? Also, what level of calculus is required to understand this?
Do you know any calculus books that I should consider buying?

I'm afraid I can't since I've never bought any maths or physics textbooks.
 

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