1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal 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 to be good at physics?

  1. Jan 2, 2016 #1
    Hello World,
    I am in 11th Grade and my aim is to become a cosmologist. I actually love Physics but am not Good at it at all. I used to hate Maths at School, but still I had to study it, now I like it, however. I failed in Maths and Physics Exam of 1st semester in school. I do not go to tuition for physics(I can't afford) and they do not teach properly at school. SO I have to do everything, just everything on my own.. from understanding to practicing! I am just scared of Physics now! As its first time I have ever failed. I am determined to be a cosmologist. I just can't let my dream die, I will become a cosmologist no matter what.. I just need some proper Guidance. Every comment is appreciated. :)

    Thank You for reading.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Why? What is it about cosmology that has you so interested?
  4. Jan 2, 2016 #3
    The Curiosity to know what is in the SPACE since childhood. I just want to know the most I can in a PROPER way by education and get into Research, so that I can know as much as possible.
  5. Jan 2, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    You get good at physics the same way you get good at anything else. PRACTICE.

    You need to read. Read up on the things that interest you. Read biographies of successful physicists. Read about all the different fields of physics. You might learn that what you're really interested is goes beyond cosmology, or that there are a lot of other interesting branches in physics.

    You need to work through practice problems - beyond those assigned in your classes. Tackle the challenging problems. And you need feedback on your performance.

    You need to develop tools. Study mathematics deeply and develop a solid foundation in it.

    You need to do practical things too. Learn to program. Learn to build electronic circuits.

    Look for opportunities to get involved too. As a high school student, get involved in science fairs. As an undergraduate volunteer or try to get involved in research.
  6. Jan 2, 2016 #5
    You gotta love it too. To me, it is the biggest prerequisite. It seems you love cosmology, which a step in the right direction.
  7. Jan 2, 2016 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    You can learn by taking classes and reading scientific publications. You can do that as a hobby. Simply wanting to learn is not a viable career.

    You should not seek a career in a field that you are not good at.
  8. Jan 2, 2016 #7
    Lmao at all the super seriousness. If you even think you might like cosmology just keep reading about it and learn about it. Education isn't for a career, you should learn what you want to because you want to know it.

    I was held back in math in high school as well and never thought much of myself. Everything about the universe always fascinated me though and I just kept taking courses related to physics and astronomy. You'll need to bust your butt at times sure but just keep going to class and most importantly just think about things every now and then. Most of my math I've learned clicked years after my final exams haha.
  9. Jan 2, 2016 #8
    Thank You :)
  10. Jan 3, 2016 #9


    Staff: Mentor

    This is really terrible advice. It is shortsighted, thinking only of college and not life after college.
  11. Jan 3, 2016 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Strong determination in a field, is surely a very good and fundamental thing in order to be good, but following the path is a somewhat or very different thing. For one, you cannot really say if you are determined or not, if you're not faced with the real challenges the certain field has. If you are willing to keep on learning no matter what the challenges are, then after some relatively long period, you can tell that you are determined. For second, it might not be what you think it is: you may want to take some different path in a relative field or discover in the process, that something else is a better fit for you. So, take some first steps in your field of interest, take some online introductory courses - I can tell you from my personal experience, since I am almost 50 y.o. now, that MOOCs are really good in this regard as they are highly interactive, do your own reading, use this really great forum in order to get insights, learn new things and ask your own questions and see what you really want to do and go for it. In my opinion, everything is doable, as long as you take the pains of doing it and you are not quitting. I definitely agree to DaleSpam about education
    . Try to see the big picture and take the appropriate actions.
  12. Jan 3, 2016 #11
    I can tell about how I study physics, try to understand everything, understand any equation by deriving it, always ask yourself : where this came from? What's the meaning of this?

    Imagine everything , imagine the Flux of current, the falling of object, the doppler effect, imagine everything before doing the math, choose a good reference frame and think always about the quantities that conserves and why they conserve, (linear momentum conserves when external ΣF= 0 , so ask yourself if ∑F is 0 for example), write down all the informations you have and what you need, make drawings and graphics to help you image and understand the problem, if you don't understand something ask the teacher (when asking be clear and specific so that the teacher can understand your question) or look on lectures on Internet, (on you tube there are lots of good lectures)
  13. Jan 4, 2016 #12
    I'm not short sighted, excuse my post on the internet for not encapsulating an entire life's worth of advice. You should not take all your coursework because you think it will get you a job. The skills he'll pick up studying cosmology or any other science field will be applicable to a career. If we're giving career advice the most important thing to say is to start networking with everyone you can. Unless you have a piece of paper saying you graduated with a degree in engineering no company will be fighting over you anyway. No one can say for sure where they will be five or more years from a certain point. You can aspire and plan which is exactly what this thread was made for.

    Simply wanting to learn is not a viable career? That's exactly what anyone in research is doing. You're paid to learn about something no one has the answer to yet. You can do that for a private company or a public university. If you want to study something you can do it.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook