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  1. Jan 10, 2005 #1


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    i dont want to give away too much personal info, but ill try to explain my situation as best as i can so that (hopefully) you can help me

    i am in highschool, and i have taken physics 1 (just the usual highschool physics class) in harvard extension school w/o calc.

    i know calc and im finishing mv calc there. i was wondering what im going to do next year in physics. i looked in HES and they dont offer a continuation to the course im taking, and im not sure where to look. basically im looking for what i should take next year (in physics) thats local (i live in the boston MA area), not nesceserily an evening class, but im not going to apply to a college since i still have 1 year of highschool left. (I graduate 06).

    any ideas?

    also as a sort of P.S., what goes next in physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2005 #2
    Well Physics 1 (first year college physics and/or high school physics ) is not what physicists do professionally. Its what physicists did (electricity and magnetism)150-300(newton's laws) years ago. Its important to know, because many of the ideas are simple special cases of modern physics, but its not what physicists do.

    My school goes from INtro Physics to modern physics, which is a 2 quarter intro course in Special relativity, quantum mechanics, kinetic theory, wave particle duality, bohr atom, schroedinger equation, quantum statistics, lasers, solid state physics, free electron theory of metals.

    From there we go into advanced classes that are more specific such as Electromagnetic Fields and Waves, Quantum Mechanics, Analytical Mechanics, Optics, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Thermal Physics, solid state physics, etc.
  4. Jan 11, 2005 #3


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    Real world applications of physics are more sophisticated than they were in the old days. Franznietzsche correctly points this out. You need more advanced knowledge now than in the past [what a shock]. The best way to stay ahead of the curve in modern physics is to stay ahead of the math. Ideas are cheap, math comes hard. Learn enough practical knowledge so you can drop out of the race for the genius trophy and settle for a lousy engineering job. At least you can pay the bills while morning. Anyways, you think Einstein had fun living off clerks pay while writing those relativity papers?
  5. Jan 13, 2005 #4
    Congrats on covering so much material while still in hs. if you are finishing up with multivariate calc now, there are a number of things that could come next.

    See if any of your science or math teachers will agree to supervise an "independent study" section of physics. If they will, come back to the forum for textbook recommendations. This way, you could potentially knock-out year of calc-based introductory physics.
    Pros: Shows your initiative and motivations. Cheaper than taking an extension course. Cons: Will need to be addressed in college admissions essays. This isn't necessarily a con, but just requires you to elaborate on the "indep study" they'll see on your transcript.
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