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How did you get into Physics?

  1. Oct 24, 2003 #1
    How did you get into Physics?

    I was a sophomore in high school and was assigned a project to do on some area of physics. I chose Special and General Relativity and was quickly absorbed by physics. I tore through Feynman's "Six Not-So-Easy-Pieces" and taught myself calculus so I could understand it. The mathematics of Special Relativity is pretty easy, so by the time I presented my project I could go through all of the major proofs and explain all of the equations (general relativity, of course, proved to be way over my head). For a while I was reading the Feynman lectures for fun. Philosophy has absorbed most of my time of late, but physics proved to be the first intellectual area that I pushed myself in. You?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2003 #2
    Freshman year of high-school, fealt that because of my apparent physical and social inequities, i would differentiate myself in the intellectual area.

    What started out as compensation became so much more when i picked up the book "Thinking Physics" by Louis Epstein.

    Physics became so interesting to me when presented in the conceptual question-answer format. I couldnt get enough of it.

    For the first time in my life, I was consistantly doing something that i didnt have to. Sure i played heavy sports but if i wasnt pressured into them by my parents and peers, i would have dropped them.

    Physics, along with philosophy, were the only things i only truly did for myself!
  4. Oct 25, 2003 #3
    Senior year of HS...aka last year. The story goes...

    I was in a very fun chemistry class my junior year. I say it was fun only because I had it with 3 good friends, a whole table to ourselves and a sort of meek teacher. We pretty much got away with everything(playing cards,chess tournaments,half hour bathroom runs,lighting various things on fire with the bunsen burner and blatently copying each others HW at the beginning of each class). Definitely good times, infact still one of my fondest memories of HS.

    I didn't really have any particular interest in physics when my senior year started. All I knew was I began the year with a sucky bunch of classes. Turned out that same group of friends were all in a physics class together, so I dropped an english class to see if I could get in with them(with hopes that it would be a repeat of the chem. class). Ends up that the class they are in is full, and I'm put in a class with all serious students

    The class started off bad. I didn't do any of the HW and my grades showed it. However that quickly changed. The more I started to look at the problems, the more realized I had a knack for the newtonian concepts we were going over. I began to excel in the class. It ended up being one of the few classes where I can ace most of the tests without having to spend any time studying. I became very interested in the subject and began to search for ways to further my education past the HS level. And that led me to this lovely forum. The End.
  5. Oct 25, 2003 #4
    I guess you can say I was forced...physically
  6. Oct 25, 2003 #5
    Reluctantly really...

    I had a poor education and although I studied Physics up to 18, I wasn't that interested at first. I loved (still do) Astronomy and Motorcycles.. Thing is, to understand these, you need some good Physics knowledge, so I sort of taught myself the basics and have moved on since then.
    My degree was in Materials (some Physics here!) but after many career changes I became a Science teacher, got totally hooked on Physics and have expanded my knowledge continually over the past 10 years or so. I even went back to night school last year to learn some of the maths I needed for the higher level stuff.

    I wish I'd had my love of the subject earlier and studied it at Uni.. Oh well, its never to late to learn something new. :smile:
  7. Oct 25, 2003 #6
    Somewhere in the 7th grade my physics teacher took us to the laboratory for introductory classes. I didn't pay much attention to her and started fixing stuff arround the lab and asking what are they used for. Later that year she put me on the list for the loacl physics contest. I also have to mention that at that time physics was the only thing where I didn't have straight A's. She didn't even ask me. I went there and it turned out I was good at it. Throughout highschool I continued in learning physics without very much effort, but without very much results (I was still in the top 5 in my county, but didn't get the chance to compete at a national level). Then in the last year of highschool I got that chance and I got in the first 30. Still not doing any real work (compared to others). The ones that did the work were in front of me. Now at the university I'm trying to shake the habbit of not doing any work and it seems to be nice and pleasant. Not to mention interesting.
  8. Oct 25, 2003 #7
    my story

    I began to read and think about physics seriously when I was in the 4th grade. I would also spend much more time doing my own reading during class than actually paying attention. The teacher told me about every ten minutes to put my book down and pay attention. I also got away with almost never doing the homework. I saw all the other kids really get nailed for not doing it, but I did maybe 5 out of all the homework assignments that year, and managed to slip by every time without trouble. I guess the teachers thought I was just to smart for their homework.
    Now I'm in middle school, and probably the biggest physics nut of all the nerds at school. My nickname is Albert (for Einstein), even in the advanced classes.
  9. Oct 25, 2003 #8
    My first brush with physics came when I was around 11, when I first read Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time. I was so intrigued by it that I finished the high school physics curriculum in my country when I was 13. I now realise that Hawking's book is not really all that great, but hey, it was the only physics book my school's lousy library had. I'm now going through Feynman's Lectures (downloaded from Kazaa). I heard that there was another online free edition of it (laid out in parts on a webpage). Does anyone know how to access it?
  10. Oct 25, 2003 #9
    I first got into physics around..my 6th or 7th grade year, more or less because a few of my friends kept asking me physics questions. At that time, I was easily the most intelligent person in the school, so they would come to me to ask or explain anything they couldn't understand, so I was slightly forced to keep learning faster than they were (which was simpyly fun for me. =P). Well, one day, my friend came to ask me about String Theory, and to explain it for him. Well, I knew a little bit about it, but I wasn't completely versed, so I decided to read a little that night. The next day, my explanation of the theory to him was so enjoyable that I went home and read more. And it just continued from there, reading any journals or books I could find.
  11. Oct 25, 2003 #10
    haha, well i was a typical smart kid never did work got good enough grades anyways kind of person too. i've always been pretty interested in maths and sciences, since i was eally young, but i ended up being pretyt popular in school. I didn't have much time to learn new things outside of school. I did do an einstein project in 4th grade... so did 3 other people, but i was the only one who could even semi-explain relativity, all they knew was that it was E=MC^2

    then i started reading a lot, and i starting formulating my own physics... eventually i figured i might want to learn some real physics before i decided to change the world with my own theories.... but again, i had only a real little time, sports and all. Over the summer i've finally for really the first time ever had real free time to do whatever and i started studying all sorts of things. I didn't get into science type studying till near the end of summer. And then when shcool started free time gone, but i had already joined this forum. So, since i've been a part of this forum... i've just checked out the physics here and there, and that in junction with a physics class has sparked my interests.
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