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How can I expose myself to more physics?

  1. Feb 19, 2013 #1
    I am a junior in High School. I am taking honors physics this year, and am signed up to take AP Physics next year (non-calculus is the only version of AP Physics offered at my school, but I am also taking AP Calculus) Physics has been my favorite class all year, and I have begun to think of it as a possibility for a major. I understand that I do not need to choose my major for another couple of years, but I would like to just have an idea as I go through my college search so that wherever I go has a program that I know I will be interested in, such as physics. So here's my question...

    How can I expose myself to more physics as a high school student?

    I am interested in most field of physics, especially particle and astrophysics, but I don't know how I can satisfy my curiosity and my quest for more knowledge in the topic. Very simply, I can not wait to learn more. I would also like to learn more about more specific branches of chemistry, as the classes that I am taking both now and next year are mostly classical physics dealing with Newtonian laws, with AP Physics being the equivalent of an introductory college class. I have looked at my local community college for summer classes, but they only offer remedial physics, which I definitely do not need, and summer programs at other colleges, which either do not offer physics, or I have a conflict with (I have not researched every college program, but I have looked into many, so if anybody knows any different ones, that would be great) because I can not take any classes in August unless they are possibly online due to a family commitment.

    My hope is that somebody who reads this thread will be able to advise me in some way as to how I may expose myself to different branches of physics as a high school student, so that I can nurture my love for the subject that pretty much everybody in this forum has. Thank you for reading this and hopefully responding, sorry it's so long!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2013 #2


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  4. Feb 20, 2013 #3
    Past Newtonian mechanics, I suggest reading up on introductory electromagnetism, which is in most AP textbooks (Walker and Young are common ones), after that you can't go wrong with the Feynman Lectures. Instead of community colleges, I suggest looking at the state colleges and urban colleges in your area, as they often have courses and enrichment for high school students.

    Explore a physics topic for a science fair project. Join (or initiate) a science club/team at your school. Learn about current physics findings from magazines and journals (Physics Today, Scientific American, American Scientist, etc.).
  5. Feb 20, 2013 #4
    If you know calculus, you can't go wrong with owning one of the large introductory college physics books such as Giancoli or Halliday/Resnick. These books contain a huge amount of chapters which mainly cover newtonian mechanics, E&M, fluid mechanics/thermodynamics and modern physics. Plus you'll get a head-start since you'll most likely be using these books (or similar ones) for your first few physics classes at college.
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