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Physics HS Senior, Looking for Advice/Material in Physics.

  1. Dec 30, 2011 #1
    Hello Everyone,

    I am currently in my last year of high school and now deciding what I want to pursue as a career. Science, more specifically Physics has always been very interesting to me. The fact that everything in the Universe can be expressed in Mathematics has motivated me to learn more about how objects function. I am 18, and feel I would need more clarity to confidently pursue this as a Major/Career.

    I am planning to attend a Community College for 2 years before transferring to a State University and continuing a Bachelors Degree. I have been told for some careers starting at a University is essential to finding any success in that field. Is this a realistic approach for majoring in Physics?

    Unfortunately, I decided to take Statistics instead of PreCalc this year not realizing how important it was at the time. I am currently taking Physics, but feel my teacher is only scratching the surface of what's out there.

    -I was hoping someone knowledgeable could give me any advice, and recommend some self-study material involving necessary Math and Physics in general. Ideally, I would like to learn as much as possible to prepare me for what I will encounter at a University. I have already begun reading the Feynman Physics Lectures 1-3, and although from the 60's they are very intriguing.

    Thanks to anyone who can assist.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2011 #2
    After reading a lot of the advice threads over the last few months, I might give my 2 cents.

    Unfortunately I cannot discuss the community college question as I am unfamiliar with the american education system.

    As for advise with regard to physics at 3rd level, learn all the math you can. A book which has been recommended numerous times is Basic Mathematics by Serge Lang. It covers almost everything you need before entering college. I hope to get it, to work on it this summer once I have the money. (College Books are expensive!!)

    As for pre calculus I was watching a good lecture on that the other night. Here's the link. It may not cover everything though....

    As for physics I am unaware of which books are available in the US, but I'm sure other will have some ideas. I think micromass did a blog on calculus book recommendations.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Dec 30, 2011 #3
  5. Dec 30, 2011 #4
    I would also highly advise that you learn keep advancing in math and eventually learn Calculus. The majority of upper level physics is Calculus based.
  6. Dec 30, 2011 #5
    As far as community college goes, it's hard to get into classes sometimes, but don't slack and get everything out of the way ASAP, it is very hard to transfer out of community college in 2 years as a science major
  7. Dec 30, 2011 #6
    Hi, I'm another senior in HS, but I'm taking sophomore classes at the U of MN. If you want to self-study physics and mathematics, I would recommend MIT OpenCourseWare. They have full video lectures, assignments, exams, and lecture notes for many classes including Physics I and Calculus I. Also, Feynman is great, but you need a more "standard" text with problems (we used Tipler and Mosca). You can buy it off Amazon, or try Thriftbooks.com to save money. If you have the opportunity, learn some calculus before you start college physics. It is very difficult to learn new math and apply it at the same time - I tried it and had an awful time with moment of inertia calculations. I hope this helps, have fun with your study!
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