How Can a Complete Beginner Start Learning Physics?

  • #1
khrypchenkoa
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4
Hi. My story is weird and I need help.
Brief backstory: I'm 21 and my brain is completely empty. As a kid, I didn't realize how interesting it was to do science and learn about anything, so I was weird. I'm the same way now. I can talk and talk endlessly about some unusual and difficult topic, but I may not know what a child of 10 knows. All this I mean is that my brain is empty and hungry for knowledge. As a consequence, I have a great desire to study physics. Please suggest good sources of information to start learning the basics of physics from scratch. Give me some advice, if you don't mind. Thank you!
 
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  • #2
Hello and :welcome: !

Here is a post where I gathered what we have on self-study:
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/self-teaching-gcse-and-a-level-maths.933639/#post-5896947

I think you (and we as well if you want advice from us) need to answer a few questions:

What do you want to study?
Why do you want to study it?
What are your resources?

You can nowadays study almost everything from sources on the internet which makes it primarily a matter of time and available feedback mechanisms, PF is one possibility for that.
 
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  • #3
fresh_42 said:
I think you (and we as well if you want advice from us) need to answer a few questions:

What do you want to study?
Why do you want to study it?
What are your resources?
And what have you studied so far in school, like algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, Physics, etc.?
 
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  • #4
fresh_42 said:
What do you want to study?
Why do you want to study it?
What are your resources?

1) To start with the basics, as this is the base.
2) This is very interesting.
3) 2-7 approaches per week for at least an hour.
 
  • #5
berkeman said:
And what have you studied so far in school, like algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, Physics, etc.?
I wasn't interested in these subjects at the time. I was digging into myself, inventing cryptographic systems, drawing and trying to understand this life)
 
  • #6
So you had no algebra, geometry, etc. in your high school education? (I don't know what the equivalent of high school is in your country...)

Then you will need to start with the basics...
 
  • #7
berkeman said:
So you had no algebra, geometry, etc. in your high school education? (I don't know what the equivalent of high school is in your country...)

Then you will need to start with the basics...
I have some background in Algebra. But I don't know how to evaluate it.
 
  • #8
khrypchenkoa said:
I have some background in Algebra. But I don't know how to evaluate it.

Okay, do you have any resources like a community college near you? It might be best to enroll in one class per term to help you get up to speed in math and then to pursue more Physics classes.

By the way, did you ever graduate the equivalent of high school in your country? I would not have been able to graduate high school here in the US without those basic math classes...
 
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  • #9
berkeman said:
Okay, do you have any resources like a community college near you? It might be best to enroll in one class per term to help you get up to speed in math and then to pursue more Physics classes.

By the way, did you ever graduate the equivalent of high school in your country? I would not have been able to graduate high school here in the US without those basic math classes...
Yes, I finished 11 grades of high school in my country (Ukraine) and entered the Faculty of Architecture at the university. But I wasn't interested in it, so I left.
 
  • #10
berkeman said:
Okay, do you have any resources like a community college near you? It might be best to enroll in one class per term to help you get up to speed in math and then to pursue more Physics classes.

By the way, did you ever graduate the equivalent of high school in your country? I would not have been able to graduate high school here in the US without those basic math classes...
Now, unfortunately, because of the situation, I have left the country and am in a place where the language is completely different. So it is impossible to find courses or anything like that here in a language I understand.
 
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  • #11
If you do not need academic rigor then our insight articles are a nice place to start with:
https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/postindex/

If you want to study it more seriously then you will need a lot of mathematics. At least analysis 1 and linear algebra 1. The easiest way is to search for them in your native language on a university server from a country that speaks that language. Or you remain in English which opens up many more university servers. I suggest a Google search with <Analysis 1 + pdf> and <Linear Algebra 1 + pdf> where you could translate Analysis and Linear Algebra into your language.

If you have questions, come to PF and ask us!
 
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  • #12
fresh_42 said:
If you do not need academic rigor then our insight articles are a nice place to start with:
https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/postindex/

If you want to study it more seriously then you will need a lot of mathematics. At least analysis 1 and linear algebra 1. The easiest way is to search for them in your native language on a university server from a country that speaks that language. Or you remain in English which opens up many more university servers. I suggest a Google search with <Analysis 1 + pdf> and <Linear Algebra 1 + pdf> where you could translate Analysis and Linear Algebra into your language.

If you have questions, come to PF and ask us!
Thanks!
 
  • #13
berkeman said:
do you have any resources like a community college
The OP is in Ukraine, which has more immediate problems at the moment. This is probably not the best time.
 
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  • #14
Vanadium 50 said:
The OP is in Ukraine, which has more immediate problems at the moment. This is probably not the best time.
Oops, I missed that. Thanks.
 
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  • #15
Vanadium 50 said:
The OP is in Ukraine, which has more immediate problems at the moment. This is probably not the best time.
berkeman said:
Oops, I missed that. Thanks.
He said he left Ukraine and is currently facing a language he doesn't speak. Adding English makes three very different languages. Learning mathematics or physics on top is quite ambitious.

Chapeau, @khrypchenkoa ! (language #4)
 
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  • #16
fresh_42 said:
You can nowadays study almost everything from sources on the internet which makes it primarily a matter of time and available feedback mechanisms, PF is one possibility for that.
I can only warn against this. Rather than study from some arbitrary "sources on the internet", get a good introductory physics textbook. The problem nowadays is not to get some information but to know, whether it's trustworthy!
 
  • #17
vanhees71 said:
I can only warn against this. Rather than study from some arbitrary "sources on the internet", get a good introductory physics textbook. The problem nowadays is not to get some information but to know, whether it's trustworthy!
Lecture notes on university servers are usually a good source "on the internet". At least better than Wikipedia or someone's homepage. What you can save on money has to be spent on time. And being a Ukrainian refugee in a foreign country gives you hardly the luxury of buying many textbooks. My experience is that you can also buy a lot of rubbish called textbooks, especially if you have no good recommendations. But who is trustworthy? I know quite some professionals whom you better do not trust.
 
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  • #18
That's of course true. Lecture notes by professors on university webpages are usually trustworthy.
 
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  • #19
Last edited:
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  • #20
Vanadium 50 said:
The OP is in Ukraine
Not according to his IP address.

fresh_42 said:
He said he left Ukraine and is currently facing a language he doesn't speak.
A non-Slavic language, again based on his IP address.
 
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  • #21
Mark44 said:
Not according to his IP address.
I went by what is in his profile.
 
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  • #22
He actually learnt it from itch. A better option if you ask me.
 

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