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Independent project on field theory

  1. May 24, 2015 #1
    Hi all,

    I am in 7th grade science, but I have a lot of interest in advanced physics (and I am really bored in class), so I am currently working on an independent project on field theory (both classical and quantum). I understand it well, although my background in calculus is not great (I have self-tought myself a lot and I pick up on topics easily, though advanced calculus is hard for me to pick up on). I am planning on doing this next year, and I need some more topics for someone at my level. Also, I will need to include astronomy and chemistry in it as 8th grade science includes those topics, so cosmology and advanced chemistry topics would be great too!

  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2015 #2


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  4. May 25, 2015 #3
    How can you understand field theory well if you're having troubles with advanced calculus?
  5. May 25, 2015 #4

    I am confused. Which is it?
  6. May 25, 2015 #5


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    It is great that you have a strong interest in physics! At this point in your life, as the previous posters have noted, it is not reasonable to begin studying thing like field theories; you don't know the prerequisites. However, one thing you can do that will help you understand physics later is studying mathematics. There are many opportunities for high school students to demonstrate their abilities, such as challenging competitions that require significant study beyond a standard high school curriculum. There are many resources listed on this forum that can help you choose what things you should study.

    To more specifically answer your question, what type of project is this? Is it for school (like a science fair) or independent?
  7. May 25, 2015 #6


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    I've gotta agree with the previous posts...it would be incredibly difficult to have a good understanding of field theory without even having a solid background in calculus.

    That being said, I can admire your enthusiasm. It's quite possible that you're simply approaching a topic that is way beyond what you've learned at this point. Field theory isn't even typically covered in an undergraduate physics degree. It is usually given its first treatment in graduate school. You might want to find a project that is more within the scope of your mathematical limitations. The bright side here is that there are TONS of awesome independent research projects that one can do in physics without having any mathematical knowledge beyond algebra, trigonometry, and very basic differential and integral calculus.
  8. May 26, 2015 #7
    It is an independent project (I am making a website on it).
  9. May 26, 2015 #8
    My apologies guys, I don't think I am explaining this project correctly. I have first done a section explaining what field theory even is. I explained vectors, scalars, spinors, and tensors (I don't completely understand tensors, but my friends mom is a physicist and she is explaining them better to me). Then I had 6 sections on different fields and studies within field theory. I completely understand that this is not the full spectrum of field theory, or even a big part of it.
    I included Newtonian gravitation, in which I explained all the equations, as well as most of the math for electromagnetism (the E and B fields).
    The rest was not math-based, I just explained the main ideas of general relativity, QED, QCD (mainly color charges), and spin, specifically spin 1/2. I'm looking to possibly go a little deeper, but I don't know where to start.
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