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I am bored in high school. What should I do?

  1. Oct 21, 2012 #1

    Jow

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    Currently I am in Grade 10 (taking Physics and Math 11). I want to become a physicist but right now I am stuck. I love to learn and what we are learning is interesting but we are going at such a slow pace. To combat this boredom, I learnt some Calculus by reading "Calculus for Dummies" as well as doing a bunch of calculus questions. Currently I am reading "Physics for Dummies" to get a basic foundation in the subject. I plan on teaching myself more advanced physics during the few years I have until university. Could you give me a list of subjects and books I should start learning/reading (if possible, please list the subjects/books in order of what I need to learn). Thank you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2012 #2
    Take AP Calculus and AP physics, those will keep you busy until college.
     
  4. Oct 21, 2012 #3
    Don't read the dummies series, you'll only remain a dummy :P. Start reading Feynman lectures; like you I was bored in grade 11, that's when I read Feynman lectures. It'll turn your interest in learning into an obsessive passion :P. Make sure you are also doing mathematics by the side. There are some really good calculus books out there. Research! Calculus and linear algebra are a must for a physicist. I've only used spivak for calculus - I don't think that's suitable for a grade 10 student. Maybe others can recommend a good book for calc. Do linear algebra using Meyer, axler, or ray kunze.

    Good luck!

    SolsticeFire
     
  5. Oct 25, 2012 #4
    You can learn a lot of stuff--calculus and higher math, programming, and (I think) physics, from khanacademy.com. It's videos and quizzes, although not all the subjects actually have quizzes (I think in math, for example, they stop having them around where calc I would end). That might help keep you occupied.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2012 #5
    You shouldn't learn anything from KhanAcademy, but only use it to reinforce what you do know.

    To the OP, I'm actually in a somewhat similar situation. Fortunately, you don't need your school's permission to go buy a book on your own, and work through it. I have no idea what Math 11 is (obviously its grade 11 math that you're taking as a sophomore, which would typically be an algebra II course, but there's no way to know for sure), but if you do have the prerequisites for learning Calculus, then either search the forums for threads asking about good calculus books (there are tons of them), or you can look into Serge Lang's A First Course in Calculus.

    I'm currently working through it now, and it's actually a very good book to work through, considering it isn't as ridiculously difficult as Spivak (I tried it out of curiosity, mainly just to see if I could do it, but the time it took to go barely into the problems in Ch.1 wasn't a good sign for what was to come), but is still challenging and good to learn from. For physics books, I won't be of much help, because the only physics book that I know of, and have worked through, is Giancoli's Physics that I use for school, which isn't horrible, but it is algebra based.

    Anyway, just try to stick it out, and self-study in the meantime. College will undoubtedly be better than the BS that high school is.
     
  7. Oct 25, 2012 #6
    I agree with antifreeze. Khan Academy is good for when you're working through problems and you go, "Oh crap, I totally forgot how to do (insert algebraic technique here)."

    Like I mentioned to another poster who's bored in HS, if you're in algebra, don't skimp on it! It might be boring (because you're really not DOING anything), but you won't want to have to play catch-up when you hit calculus and actually start doing stuff. I'm taking calculus four years after trig and it's not fun! (Well, calc is fun anyway, but forgetting the algebra is frustrating.)
     
  8. Oct 28, 2012 #7

    Jow

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    I have worked through a book on Calculus, got some help from the calculus teacher at my school and watched the videos on Khanacadamy. I have purchased "Differential Equations Demystified" and will be working through that soon enough. What other subjects might you suggest I start learning, if I want to be a physicist?
     
  9. Oct 29, 2012 #8
  10. Oct 29, 2012 #9

    MarneMath

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    I would recommend you learn from a real calculus book instead of the dummy books. My high school teacher in my math used to tell me "Don't read a book that insults you." So, don't assume you're a dummy. Pick up a real book like Spivak or Stewart, or Penny, or a myriad of other calculus books that assume you have reasonable intelligence. Learn, understand, look for deeper meaning, and then proceed once you can explain why the mean value theorem matters in calculus or how to derive series and use them.

    Then you can move on to Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Statistics, Partial Differential Equations, and million other topics a person can learn and be used in physics. However, it all starts with the a good understanding of calculus.
     
  11. Oct 30, 2012 #10

    Jow

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    Actually, I have read and worked through one of my school's textbooks for AP Calculus. Admittedly, however, I did use Calculus for Dummies as my main source of info and the textbook as more a reference. In hindsight it seems a bit silly and it should have been the other way around.
     
  12. Oct 30, 2012 #11
    If you're really bored and want to try some college intro level stuff so you are aware of what you are getting into beforehand than you could try:

    https://www.edx.org/
     
  13. Oct 30, 2012 #12

    MarneMath

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