# How to study Mechanics, and what after it?

#### Sebastian_

Summary: (TL;DNR) What subject should I study next in the realm of physics, considering Im a beginner

Hello Im visiting this forum because as a young kid that is trying to learn physics without a proper teacher Im quite lost. Not as in I dont understand the material, its more so I dont know what to study next.

You see Ive been reading about physiscs for about two weeks now and Ive already gotten pretty deep into projectile motion, I can solve most of these kinds of problems with relative ease, but now that Ive exhausted this area of mechanics I dont know what to do with myself.

Today Im planning of introducing myself to basic calculus but aside from that I have no real direction know. Simply put I just wanted to ask, where should I go after projectile motion? Whats a good subject in physics to learn next for a beginner.

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#### PhanthomJay

Homework Helper
Gold Member
You haven’t exhausted Mechanics in 2 weeks. Projectile motion , and vectors , and the motion equations for acceleration velocity and distance, which I assume you have mastered, are just the beginning. You need to study forces and energy and work and momentum and friction and free body diagrams and inclined plan s and the list goes on, Are you self teaching yourself? What grade level are you at?
You can study calculus separately if you want, but no higher physics yet.

#### Sebastian_

Thanks for the reply, to answer your questions, yes I am self teaching myself with help from this forum and I will be a ninth grader in about two days time.

So, youre saying I should expand upon mechanics by learning forces, energy, work, momentum, and friction aswell as free body diagrams and inclines planes? Because that's a pretty good to do list that Id be happy to follow.

#### symbolipoint

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Thanks for the reply, to answer your questions, yes I am self teaching myself with help from this forum and I will be a ninth grader in about two days time.

So, youre saying I should expand upon mechanics by learning forces, energy, work, momentum, and friction aswell as free body diagrams and inclines planes? Because that's a pretty good to do list that Id be happy to follow.
Use sequencing about this way: Learn Algebra well up through at least Intermediate Algebra; learn Trigonometry well preferably through a separate Trigonometry course. Study at least first-semester's worth of college-level Calculus&AnalyticGeometry. NOW you could try to study your first fundamental Physics course, which would be mostly Mechanics.

#### Sebastian_

@symbolipoint Thank you for the guideline as well, I'll get on that just tomorrow, I think it'll be quite the exhausting yet interesting process

#### symbolipoint

Homework Helper
Gold Member
@symbolipoint Thank you for the guideline as well, I'll get on that just tomorrow, I think it'll be quite the exhausting yet interesting process
The process requires ongoing, dedicated time. The Mathematics mentioned may take two years or more. The beginning college level fundamental Physics itself takes three to five months, and could go concurrently with Calculus 1.

#### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
2018 Award
Summary: (TL;DNR) What subject should I study next in the realm of physics, considering Im a beginner

Hello Im visiting this forum because as a young kid that is trying to learn physics without a proper teacher Im quite lost. Not as in I dont understand the material, its more so I dont know what to study next.

You see Ive been reading about physiscs for about two weeks now and Ive already gotten pretty deep into projectile motion, I can solve most of these kinds of problems with relative ease, but now that Ive exhausted this area of mechanics I dont know what to do with myself.

Today Im planning of introducing myself to basic calculus but aside from that I have no real direction know. Simply put I just wanted to ask, where should I go after projectile motion? Whats a good subject in physics to learn next for a beginner.
This is a bit vague. What are you using to study "projectile motion"?

Most students in physics, when they start their undergraduate program, will begin with a series of courses typically called "General Physics". The courses present a survey of the various topics in physics. If you are studying physics on your own or as a hobby, this is the type of lesson that you want to start with, and it means that getting the same type of text. The typical text being used in the US is of the level of Halliday and Resnick. I personally used Knight's "physics for scientists and engineers", but you indicated that you do not know calculus, so that will be a problem.

If you have one of those texts, then you will not ask this question, because you will have PLENTY of topics to keep you busy for more than a year!

Zz.

#### Dr.D

I would strongly suggest getting a basic engineering text on Statics & Dynamics (by authors such as Beer & Johnson, Bedford & Fowler, Meriam & Kraige, etc, etc.) There are dozens available, and you should be able to get a used copy really cheap on the 'net. This has the advantage of providing you a systematic, organized course of study if you simply work through the book. You'll find that you need to supplament this with some math books also, I would expect.

I should warn you about one thing, however. This is where I started about 60 years ago, and found it to be so interesting that I never wanted to move on to areas outside of mechanics.

"How to study Mechanics, and what after it?"

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