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Learning Physics

  1. Mar 16, 2005 #1
    hi everyone,
    i just happened to see this site the other day, and it seems pretty cool... so i joined!
    Umm, rite now im a junior in high school. Stuck in the suburbs. Right now almost everyone at my school only cares about grades and doing the stuff they have to to have a good college transcript and get into Ivy League Schools. (Cheating is rampant!) However, I'm more interested in truly understanding/grasping a subject than making the grade. Ummm, anywayz, ill get to the point....
    I'm really interested in the sciences and mathematics, and i think i want to study physics more in depth. My question is, where do i start? Physics covers a lot of stuff. any recommendations for books or anything? I got this beginner book called Conceptual Physics by Paul G/ Hewitt. No real math to it, just concepts. Currently, i am in an honors physics and honors pre cal class. (However, my teachers don't go in depth enough. They don't seem to care if we understand the material, they just want us to memorize, plug, and chug. For example, today my pre cal teacher told the class to not worry about how to derive the law of cosines, just memorize what it is and in what cases you have to use it. I feel like no one else besides me is bothered by this, so im just gonna post it here.) Later on, i plan to take Calc BC, Physics BC, and Stat AP during my senior year. But im feeling kinda lost. :confused: Physics is soo broad, and im interested in math too.

    So I guess im asking does anyone know any good physics and/or math book, a kinda step by step method of learning physics and mathematics (i know it's really broad), is a strong math background needed once you get higher up to the harder stuff of physics, any recommened universities for majors in math and physics, any jobs out there for majors in math and physics other than being a teacher?

    You guys don't have to reply (obviously)... but if you do, thx in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2005 #2
    Have you looked at the sticky at the top of the thread yet ZapperZ has written a lot in his journal on similar subjects as these. They are a good read and will give you a good idea of what life in physics career path is like.

    Good luck and welcome.
  4. Mar 17, 2005 #3
    ooo thx, ill check it out :smile:
  5. Mar 17, 2005 #4


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    How do you plan on taking Calc BC in high school if your already a junior? And physics is divided into a B and a C, not BC. The AB/BC thing is specific to calculus as they are able to do 1 1/2 semesters of college calculus in a year of normal high school education while they are unable to do more hten a semester of college physics in 1 year.

    Oh and do get good grades. Its very important. Keep grades above understanding for now. Later on in grad school, you can truely focus on understanding physics. The key is to get into a good grad school and they want grades grades grades... and research :)
  6. Mar 17, 2005 #5
    Here is a good math book PURE MATHEMATICS, A FIRST COURSE by J.K. BACKHOUSE AND S.P.T.HOULDSWORTH. I have its 1957 edition. They were from Harrow School.
    As long as Physics is concerned, I recommend you to read first FUNDAMENTAL OF PHYSICS by HALIDAY, RESNICK AND WALKER and then PHYSICS by HALIDAY, RESNICK AND KRANE. I have read second mentioned Physics book and it is very good to clear concepts.
    It is my experience not to study to get good grades. If you will study to understand the topic you can even get distinction.
  7. Mar 17, 2005 #6
    thx davorak, pengwuino, and electrophysics for your wonderful replies.
    Pengwuino: You were right, They'res no such thing as Physics BC. My mistake. Im taking Physics C (it's supposed to be more in depth, but it covers less topics and is less broad than Physics B)
    Yikes, I have two minutes to get to my next class. Bye Everyone! I'll check this later tonight. Peace! :tongue:
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