I need recommendations to read about physics

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Summary:: Need papers

I have recently gotten into physics and was wondering if you have any good papers or studies that I should read.
 

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  • #2
PeterDonis
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This is way too broad. You need to pick a more specific topic for recommendations than "physics".
 
  • #3
phinds
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You also need to state your education level.
 
  • #4
This is way too broad. You need to pick a more specific topic for recommendations than "physics".
Theoretical I guess
Anything related to the topic
 
  • #5
You also need to state your education level.
I do not see how that matters but I am in 8th grade
 
  • #6
This is way too broad. You need to pick a more specific topic for recommendations than "physics".
Especially quantum physics
 
  • #7
PeterDonis
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Theoretical I guess
That's not more specific.

Please take a look at all the specific forums here on PhysicsForums. This particular one is the relativity forum. So a reasonable question in this forum would be something like "Can anyone recommend a good starting textbook or reference for learning relativity?" And if you wanted something similar for, say, quantum mechanics, you would ask a similar question in the quantum physics forum.

An answer to the question above regarding relativity would be Taylor & Wheeler's textbook Spacetime Physics.

I do not see how that matters but I am in 8th grade
That matters a lot. In the 8th grade you might not even have learned algebra yet, which means even the basic textbook on relativity I mentioned above might be a stretch for you. Certainly almost any other physics text on any branch of physics would require some knowledge of calculus and differential equations, and so would be even more of a stretch.
 
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  • #8
PeterDonis
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Especially quantum physics
Questions about quantum physics belong in the quantum physics forum. This is the relativity forum.

Note that if you are in the 8th grade, a textbook on quantum physics is probably going to be even more of a stretch than a textbook on almost any other area of physics.
 
  • #9
Questions about quantum physics belong in the quantum physics forum. This is the relativity forum.

Note that if you are in the 8th grade, a textbook on quantum physics is probably going to be even more of a stretch than a textbook on almost any other area of physics.
I prefer quantum physics over Newtonian, that is why I mentioned it specifically.

Also my grade level has nothing to do with my knowledge or grasp on physics.( that grasp being minimal as I am asking to learn)

I meant any papers you personally read when starting into the field, such as studies or specific articles on the subjects in question.

Nothing on the PF website as I already have about thirty articles from here lined up.
 
  • #10
Questions about quantum physics belong in the quantum physics forum. This is the relativity forum.

Note that if you are in the 8th grade, a textbook on quantum physics is probably going to be even more of a stretch than a textbook on almost any other area of physics.
Also sorry I didnt realize the forum I was on
 
  • #11
phinds
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Also my grade level has nothing to do with my knowledge or grasp on physics.( that grasp being minimal as I am asking to learn)
But it has a LOT to do with how much math you are likely to know and you can't learn physics without the math. Are you solid with algebra? How about calculus?
 
  • #12
But it has a LOT to do with how much math you are likely to know and you can't do physics without the math. Are you solid with algebra? How about calculus?
Yeah I got an okay grasp on both, I could certainly be better as can everyone
 
  • #13
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I do not see how that matters but I am in 8th grade
Perhaps your being in 8th grade has something to do with your not seeing how (or why) your education level matters. 8th grade is very advanced compared to 4th grade, but not very advanced compared to the educational level that you will need for theoretical physics.
Also my grade level has nothing to do with my knowledge or grasp on physics.
Are you sure about that? Persons of whom such a thing is true are rare, all the more so in that when they are discovered, they are likely to be brought to more advanced study.
I prefer quantum physics over Newtonian, that is why I mentioned it specifically.
I think that it's good that you have aspiration to exceed the mundane in your understanding; however, among the things that you will learn early in studying physics and the advanced mathematics necessary for understanding physics, is that Newtonian physics can be very challenging and sophisticated ##-## Newton is not the only person who was a giant of physics and mathematics, and not the only physicist and mathematician who was in general a giant of intellect, but he was certainly among the greatest of them, and part of his legacy is that not only what is called Newtonian physics, but also the physics associated with the special and general theories of relativity, and with quantum theory, cannot be well understood without familiarity with the work of Newton.

I think that it's safe to say that Paul Dirac understood Newton's work rather deeply before arriving at insights and inventions like this:

##\left(\beta mc^2 + c \sum_{n \mathop =1}^{3}\alpha_n p_n\right) \psi (x,t) = i \hbar \frac{\partial\psi(x,t) }{\partial t}##

and later furthering that to this:

##i \hbar \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu \psi - m c \psi = 0 ##

If that looks to you like Greek alphabet soup, please don't be too alarmed; you're not alone ##-## I think that many persons who are in 8th grade wouldn't know who Dirac was, let alone what the Dirac equation is or what it means ##-## please give yourself time, and even if you prefer to contemplate the conflicts between modern physics and classical physics, please don't be disdainful of classical physics ##-## it's still indispensable for the vast majority of practical physics utility, and you can't understand its limitations without first understanding a great deal about how well it covers so much.
 
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  • #14
Perhaps your being in 8th grade has something to do with your not seeing how (or why) your education level matters. 8th grade is very advanced compared to 4th grade, but not very advanced compared to the educational level that you will need for theoretical physics.
Are you sure about that? Persons of whom such a thing is true are rare, all the more so in that when they are discovered, they are likely to be brought to more advanced study.

I think that it's good that you have aspiration to exceed the mundane in your understanding; however, among the things that you will learn early in studying physics and the advanced mathematics necessary for understanding physics, is that Newtonian physics can be very challenging and sophisticated ##-## Newton is not the only person who was a giant of physics and mathematics, and not the only physicist and mathematician who was in general a giant of intellect, but he was certainly among the greatest of them, and part of his legacy is that not only what is called Newtonian physics, but also the physics associated with the special and general theories of relativity, and with quantum theory, cannot be well understood without familiarity with the work of Newton.

I think that it's safe to say that Paul Dirac understood Newton's work rather deeply before arriving at insights and inventions like this:

##\left(\beta mc^2 + c \sum_{n \mathop =1}^{3}\alpha_n p_n\right) \psi (x,t) = i \hbar \frac{\partial\psi(x,t) }{\partial t}##

and later furthering that to this:

##i \hbar \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu \psi - m c \psi = 0 ##

If that looks to you like Greek alphabet soup, please don't be too alarmed; you're not alone ##-## I think that many persons who are in 8th grade wouldn't know who Dirac was, let alone what the Dirac equation is or what it means ##-## please give yourself time, and even if you prefer to contemplate the conflicts between modern physics and classical physics, please don't be disdainful of classical physics ##-## it's still indispensable for the vast majority of practical physics utility, and you can't understand its limitations without first understanding a great deal about how well it covers so much.
A few things.

I understand Newtonian physics is very complex and mathematical, I said I prefer quantum physics.
I find quantum physics to be more interesting.

I have never looked for formal education above my level and just learn on my own.

Newtonian physics is the name of the study I dont know why you mentioned him specifically.

The Dirac equation simply shows the existence of positrons and the 4 states of 1/2 spin particles.

Though I lack a ¨ deep¨ understanding of mathematics I still understand it well enough.
 
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  • #15
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I understand Newtonian physics is very complex and mathematical, I said I prefer quantum physics.
And quantum physics is even more complex and mathematical. You shouldn't skip very important steps in learning physcis.
 
  • #16
martinbn
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Summary:: Need papers

I have recently gotten into physics and was wondering if you have any good papers or studies that I should read.
Why haven't you been able to find any yourself?
 
  • #17
vanhees71
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There are tons of papers about physics, but perhaps it's better you start reading textbooks. To do physics you need a systematic study starting with the beginning. You cannot simply jump into relativity without knowing already Newtonian mechanics and some electrodynamics. As I don't know which level you are, I cannot make any suggestions of books.
 
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  • #18
martinbn
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There are tons of papers about physics, but perhaps it's better you start reading textbooks. To do physics you need a systematic study starting with the beginning. You cannot simply jump into relativity without knowing already Newtonian mechanics and some electrodynamics. As I don't know which level you are, I cannot make any suggestions of books.
Sure you can! You always recommend L&L and Somerfled.
 
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  • #19
Why haven't you been able to find any yourself?
I was just curious if any more learned people had reccomendations
 
  • #20
etotheipi
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It's really great that you're interested in learning more! However, I reckon you'd be well served by consolidating the fundamentals before going further. After all, there's an awful lot of core Physics you won't have covered or even heard about by 8th grade, that are prerequisites for the more dizzying areas of Physics. If you're serious, then might I suggest... Halliday and Resnick?
 
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  • #21
vanhees71
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Sure you can! You always recommend L&L and Somerfled.
Well, yes, but if I don't know the level at which the student wants to start learning physics, maybe that's misleading. For university students, of course, these are excellent (if not the best) books to start to learn theoretical physics.
 
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  • #22
PeroK
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Sure you can! You always recommend L&L and Somerfled.
Is Somerfled Sommerfeld?
 
  • #23
vanhees71
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Yep, Sommerfeld. For me these are still the best theoretical-physics textbooks ever written. Of course they are pretty old, but they are also about classical physics, and there hasn't too much changed in all these years.
 
  • #24
berkeman
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I do not see how that matters but I am in 8th grade
Do you have access to a high school library where you are? I realize that with the school closures during the pandemic, it may be difficult to gain access. Are you in a junior high school that is part of a high school?

I'd suggest talking to one of your science teachers and asking if you can borrow the book that is used for the most advanced physics class that your high school offers. Borrow it for a month and read through it, to see if you are comfortable with the math and the material. If you are comfortable with it all, then you will probably be able to figure out which areas you want to study next.

At the very least, it will give you a head-start on your high school physics classes. :smile:

Here is a search on Amazon.com for high school physics books:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=high+school+physics&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

And this text looks pretty interesting (use the Look Inside feature):

1605977077747.png
 
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  • #25
robphy
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There are tons of papers about physics, but perhaps it's better you start reading textbooks. To do physics you need a systematic study starting with the beginning. You cannot simply jump into relativity without knowing already Newtonian mechanics and some electrodynamics. As I don't know which level you are, I cannot make any suggestions of books.
While it has some shortcomings (like its treatment of relativity... needs more use of spacetime diagrams),
I think the Feynman Lectures are a good place to start.
https://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/
(You may not get a lot of it at first, but you can always go back.
It has some interesting insights.)

For modern introductory textbooks
(which are not of the Halliday&Resnick type),
I like
Matter & Interactions by Chabay and Sherwood
https://matterandinteractions.org/
and
Six Ideas that Shaped Physics by Moore.
http://www.physics.pomona.edu/sixideas/


From there, you'll be better prepared to continue to more advanced topics.

my $0.02.
 
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