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Learning Physics from listening to ipod?

  1. Jan 7, 2014 #1
    I realize physics is usually learned best if you are reading the textbook and looking at the diagrams and what not. I was wondering if anyone knew of any physics material available that i could learn efficiently by throwing on my ipod and listening while i drive or something?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2014 #2
    I think this is a bad idea, physics is really not the subject that comes easy for most of the population , and it takes some concentration and effort to sometimes undersand even basic things, I personally sometimes go over several times before I egt to the bone of a science text or paper.
    While driving the best thing you can remember is the morning news and even then if it had soemthing important in them.

    Well you can try ofcourse , it depends on how deep and complicated you want to get.

    You can try audible.com , maybe some other sites I'm really no expert on them , probably a google search for " audio physics courses" or " physics audio lectures" would yield some results.

    P.S. people can remember things by hearing and some to a very high degree but in all cases it involves commitment and focusing on what your hearing , personally I can't even think straigth about complicated subjects when I have to drive or do some other stuff so I like it best home alone at my desk when it's silence around but maybe that's just me.
  4. Jan 7, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    There's also the Great Courses collection of audio and video course lectures. They mostly cover introductory courses:

    http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/search/search.aspx?searchphrase=Physics [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Jan 7, 2014 #4
    In my experience, physics can't really be learned this way... It is not a body of information that you can just "memorize" like in biology for example. The meat of physics is in the mathematics and problem solving approaches and this can only be learned by practicing and working through actual problems.
  6. Jan 7, 2014 #5
    The feynman lectures have been recorded. Perhaps that?
  7. Jan 7, 2014 #6
    Listening to the Feynman lectures or something similar is a very good idea. But please let this only be a secondary resource and not your main resource for learning. If you don't only rely on this, but are focused on the math and problem solving, then this could be a very good thing.
  8. Jan 7, 2014 #7


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    I agree with this, however, I would even suggest that the mathematics is mostly irrelevant to actually learning physics. You need to be able to use it as a tool, but physical problems are learnt by setting up problems, determining what’s appropriate, drawing pictures and visualization, and finding the most elegant way to arrive at the solution. You can write all the equations down you think might apply, but before you actually do any math you should have the problem basically solved. Math comes in after all this, but it’s still secondary to the physical nature of the problem.

    Problem sets are really the only way to learn how to solve physical problems. The more you work through, the more comfortable you’ll be.

    Listening to lessons while driving/ect can be great for learning about how to solve problems, but don’t assume that because you conceptually understand the theory that you can use it without lots of practice.
  9. Jan 7, 2014 #8
    I was thinking like PGRE specialized topic type stuff more than actual meaty physics. I'm an undergraduate right now, but I wouldn't mind something in my ear going "Gluons be strong force thing yo" except not like that at all
  10. Jan 7, 2014 #9
    well you can always try out different methods yourself but trust me there are some basics in which poeple learn way beter and some other stuff that doesnt produce results as great as those.
  11. Jan 7, 2014 #10


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    Listening to audiobooks can be a great supplement to learning physics. I doubt most people could really learn to do physics this way, but listening is a great way to learn about history, work your way through biographies, keep up on popular science, review conceptual ideas, and generally keep motivated.

    I recently listened to Leonard Mlodinow's "The Drunkard's Walk" which gave an engaging overview of probability and statistics. I highly recommend the book. You couldn't claim to have covered probability and statistics to the same level as taking a first year course in it. As others have said, you actually have to work through problems to learn physics (or probability in this case). But I think it would make for great supplemental reading for anyone taking such a course.
  12. Jan 7, 2014 #11
    Physics is learned by doing. Solve problems and think critically.
  13. Jan 7, 2014 #12
    I agree that's how you learn physics, doing problems and what not. But I was looking for supplementary material on conceptual stuff or anything really. THanks dude i'll check out The Drunkard's Walk, I've been meaning to learn that stuff, I haven't taken a statistical physics or math course yet and I think listening will be a good introduction if nothing else!
  14. Jan 8, 2014 #13


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    I'd be downloading the MIT physics lectures by Prof. Walter Lewin that are freely available on YouTube...
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  15. Jan 8, 2014 #14

    Vanadium 50

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    Watching videos while driving is not a good idea.
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