1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Other I'm home schooled. How do I go about learning physics?

  1. May 28, 2017 #1
    Hello everyone, I am new to the forum.

    I am homeschooled, I left normal education after my first year of UK secondary school, I absolutely hated it and was bullied so my parents and I decided that I would leave and get homeschooled.

    Currently, I am pursuing a degree in computer science.

    However, recently I have started getting really into maths in the aim to create a ray tracer, but it is a quite maths heavy area(linear algebra, trigonometry, calculus, matrices etc) and a bit of physics. they simulate light photons in 3d and give a photorealistic render like you would see in any animated feature film etc.

    Since I have been out of school I have not learned any physics at all, the only physics I did was the first year of secondary school which was pretty much nothing. I am hoping to get some guidance on how to go about learning physics, at even high school level for now. I see people saying that you should only bother really learning physics when you know calculus, but is this aimed at more advanced physics than secondary school level?

    Could anyone suggest some books to start with? My aim is to first complete secondary school level physics at least and I would be going farther with maths up to maybe linear algebra and stop around there.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2017 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    You don't need calculus to begin learning physics. I've taken Introductory Mechanics and Introductory E&M and neither of them required me to use calculus more than a handful of times. The definitions of certain concepts are given in terms of calculus, but they almost always simplified down to algebra and trig in the homeworks and tests. My college even offers lower level physics courses covering similar material but using only algebra and trig.

    Try this textbook: https://www.amazon.com/University-P...496012187&sr=8-14&keywords=university+physics
    It's been a few years since I opened it up, but, if I remember correctly, it teaches you everything you need to know without getting into calculus too much.
  4. May 29, 2017 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor

    Check out the OpenStax textbooks. They're free.
  5. May 29, 2017 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Ben Crowell has some excellent online books on physics at his website:


    They are often used at community colleges for first year physics which is high school physics with some calculus. I think he also has a non calculus physics book too.
  6. May 29, 2017 #5
    Perhaps your first step should be to find out what secondary school physics entails. Look up the different exam boards, AQA, OCR etc and then look up the specifications of those boards and in particular the content each one covers. You will find that they are all very similar.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: I'm home schooled. How do I go about learning physics?