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How do I even start?

  1. Jun 17, 2013 #1
    I'm in high school, all honors/AP..etc, and I wont be able to take the physics course at my school for another year or two (I've tried to take it earlier, believe me). Anyway, I've always had a huge fascination with space and the world and how it works, with an larger interest in antimatter and pace especially. I want to pursue a career in physics when i older, I want to understand how the universe works, but I barley know anything. Where do I start? Who or where should I go? I want to learn and understand physics as soon as possible, and at the same time be challenged like a regular course?

    Thanks for all the help! One day I want to be helping others on this forum understand things I hopefully will soon learn. :)

    --also, ive signed up in my school for the Advanced Science Research Program
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2013 #2
    Welcome to PF breen :smile: Coming here was you're first good move. I'd recommend listening to the advice of our resident genius's wannabe newton and micromass for advice. Good luck.
  4. Jun 18, 2013 #3
    I assume that you are either a Freshman or Sophomore. When you take it really doesn't matter, just as long as you do take it eventually. I, personally, did not take physics (in a traditional classroom setting) until my senior year. Learning about the universe is far more complicated than just taking a physics course.

    In your earlier years of high school focus on Mathematics and Chemistry, or even Biology if you are so inclined. These courses provide you with the ability to understand how science is really done - mathematically. Since it seems as though you are a Freshman or a Sophomore, you likely have not been exposed to the truly mathematical sciences as of yet (I could be wrong). I would not recommend taking any physics course that does not include calculus, as such, many students, (at least where I live, in the US) cannot take advanced level Physics until their Junior or Senior year. In the meantime, study it on your own! While you may not be able to understand the real Physics behind the secrets of the universe quite yet, keep yourself interest with non-mathematical explanations (like Brian Green or Michio Kaku).

    Best of luck!
  5. Jun 18, 2013 #4
    Hi breenicole. A good start for learning physics is the khan academy. Possibly work through an intro-level Physics book (Holt's is easy, James Walker's is popular, and I've heard good things about Halliday and Resnick, depending on your math level).

    Also, you can recreate most elementary mechanics and E&M experiments (for cheap, I'll add) with access to a hardware store and a circuits kit. This is a great way to explore physics concepts while having fun.
  6. Jun 19, 2013 #5


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    Homework Helper

    You can start by watching Professor Lewin's videos online, he does an experiment each lecture:

    Physics 1 -- or watch them on Youtube on the MIT channel.
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