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I have a big problem with my career.

  1. Jan 10, 2010 #1
    I'm 12 and I'm already registered for the secondary/high school that I'm going to and I want to be a physicist.The problem is this school offers very little physics education and as far as I know nothing to do with calculus etc.Any advice for me?Please help I'm kind of desperate.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 10, 2010 #2
    What country are you in?

    In the US, it'll probably be a non-issue, as everything before college doesn't really matter and you can major in physics even if you were the humanities kid in high school. Just take as much math and physics as you can in high school and apply for schools with good physics programs. The intro courses are there to get you caught up and on the same page as everyone else, and admissions people will probably cut you some slack for not taking courses your school doesn't offer. (Some applications even have spaces for that kind of thing, or you put it in one of the essays.) Get involved with summer research, math camp, etc. and consider US FIRST. You're totally the right age for lego league. Consider taking courses at a community college once you've got some more math under your belt.
  4. Jan 10, 2010 #3
    I'm in Ireland.
  5. Jan 11, 2010 #4


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    If I were you, I would read about physics and mathematics I am interested about by myself. You can ask your teachers to recommend to you some appropriate literature. For self-teaching I also recommend this page:

    For more formal education, I suggest you to ask the question at some Ireland forum. This forum is an international one and it is quite unlikely that someone from Ireland will read this thread.
  6. Jan 12, 2010 #5
    Hi Yungphysicist,
    I'm Irish, was educated in Dublin and now an doing a Physics PhD in England.

    Calculus is taught in the Higher Level leaving cert maths course. So keep up higher level maths for the junior cert and leaving cert and this will be enough.

    Take science at junior cert (I'm pretty sure almost every school in the country teaches junior cert science).
    As for leaving cert, my school lacked some core science subjects too (Chemistry/Physics) But don't worry, you can often take them after hours from a local tutor/grind school etc.

    Anyway its early days, If after junior cert your school isn't doing enough for your science education, then consider changing or taking extra classes.
  7. Jan 12, 2010 #6

    Don't worry about it! This won't be a problem. You've got a lot of new things to learn and cover during your time at high school: and many things will have changed by the time you get to university anyway. I studied at one of the older institutions in the UK for my degree (Physics & Astrophysics) and our department didn't even have a physics requirement from high school - only math.

    For now, just try to enjoy the work you're doing. Maybe see if you can get a hold of a few popular science books on the side.

    Apply yourself in all of your subjects: for options courses any available science/computing and math courses are the way to go. And good luck!
  8. Feb 13, 2010 #7
  9. Feb 13, 2010 #8
    Obvious reasons? :confused: Lots of people are from the UK + Ireland on these forums. The set up in America is completely different to what you'll have in Ireland so to get the best advice, be truthful! :smile:

    Don't worry too much about what you won't learn in high school, everything you need to know will be taught at university anyway. No-one in any country really learns a substantial amount of physics at high school, it's all very basic: so even if you didn't manage to do as much as you might like, you won't be behind when it comes to university. Your classes will be 'maths' rather than 'calculus' and 'algebra' but you'll cover everything you need to know. If you think you want to go in to physics, when the time comes to choose your classes, pick the science/maths and computing options. Some popular science books from your local bookshop will help spur on your interest. Once more, good luck!
  10. Feb 13, 2010 #9
  11. Feb 13, 2010 #10
    Make frequent visits to your local public library and read through the physics and mathematics sections. Look especially for biographies of, and books by, "the greats" like Einstein, Heisenberg, and Feynman -- the public library should stock some of their popular writings but not their serious books (which will be too hard for you at the moment.) Also, anything by Isaac Asimov is very readable, but he might be a bit hard to find these days...
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