1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How must one go about learning physics at a younger age?

  1. Mar 21, 2013 #1
    Hello all! I joined this illustrious community with the hopes of expanding what little knowledge I know about physics, calculus, and general sciences. I am wondering, how should I learn physics. I am in middle school, am generally intelligent if I can say so myself, and have a thirst for learning that I am attempting to quench. Any ideas?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2013 #2
  4. Mar 21, 2013 #3
  5. Mar 21, 2013 #4

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Generally one just reads anything they can get their hands on. Your local library should have a wealth of information on a huge variety of subjects. Plus theirs always bookstores, online sources, etc. Just avoid anything on TV and you should be okay. TV shows typically offer little real knowledge and claim certain things are true that just aren't.

    If you want to get into a career in science, focus on your schoolwork. All of it.

    For online sources I recommend the following:

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Science
    http://www.physicsclassroom.com/
     
  6. Mar 21, 2013 #5
    Does that TV rule apply with programs from renowned physicist, such as "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking"?
    EDIT: And thanks for replying!
     
  7. Mar 21, 2013 #6

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Sometimes. Especially if the person says something along the lines of "Our universe is only one of many", or "Wormholes can take us places", etc. Anything so fantastic that we can't use it any time soon is most likely either false or an exaggeration.
     
  8. Mar 21, 2013 #7

    A.T.

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    A fun way to learn is through puzzles / brainteasers. Here is a book full of them:
    Thinking Physics by Lewis Carroll Epstein
     
  9. Mar 21, 2013 #8
    So are you saying that our universe stands alone and wormholes can't take us places? Or are you just saying they are simply not facts.
     
  10. Mar 21, 2013 #9
    I will look into it,
     
  11. Mar 21, 2013 #10
    We haven't observed other universes, nor have we jumped through wormholes to other places, so they're both unjustified claims. We don't know enough to say anything definitive about them.
     
  12. Mar 21, 2013 #11

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm saying that you should be wary of anyone who presents them as if they were verified facts.
     
  13. Mar 21, 2013 #12
    Thanks for the advice.
     
  14. Mar 21, 2013 #13
  15. Mar 21, 2013 #14
    Hi TorqueDork, and welcome! It's nice to hear you like physics and science! :smile:

    I'd like to add the following concepts to watch out for:

    Multiverse, parallel universes, extra (spatial) dimensions, time travel to the past, antigravity, faster-than-light travel, matter teleportation, particles as strings (currently untestable). These concepts range from theoretical to hypothetical to science fiction, and none of them are by any means facts today, far from. Be wary of anyone who presents any of these concepts as if they were verified facts. There are more concepts to watch out for, but those I mentioned are some reoccurring concepts I come to think of at the moment. I mention these concepts because they sometimes appear in various tv programs and you might stumble upon them on the net. Be wary when you encounter these!

    PS. Also beware of the good ol' "perpetual motion" and "free energy" devices, which violate the first or second law of thermodynamics.
     
  16. Mar 21, 2013 #15
    Thank you for the greeting! I also am happy you are telling me these things, but string theory, is after all a theory. So why be wary of the theory?
     
  17. Mar 21, 2013 #16
    String Theory is a professionally researched theory (or theories) so it is allowed to discuss on this forum. But the theory is (sadly) not testable yet. So if anyone says to you something like "particles are made of strings", this is not correct. We can't say that, String Theory has not come that far. The current mainstream model of particles is the so-called Standard Model, no more, no less. In the Standard Model the fundamental particles ("building blocks") are the elementary particles (quarks, leptons and bosons). No strings attached :smile:.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  18. Mar 21, 2013 #17
  19. Mar 21, 2013 #18
    Thanks, and thanks dennis.
     
  20. Mar 23, 2013 #19

    ZombieFeynman

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    For what its worth, I second this suggested book.

    I wish I had found it when I was younger snd I frequently refer to it for inspiration when teaching freshmen.
     
  21. Mar 23, 2013 #20
    It's worth quite a bit, thank you.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: How must one go about learning physics at a younger age?
Loading...