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*Need help in mastering physics*

  1. Jun 21, 2015 #1
    Hello everyone..! I am new to this forum. I'm a 17 year old school student in need of guidance. I am currently preparing for competitive exams and i wish to reach an advanced level in physics. How do i master physics in one year?. I am stuck while solving complex problems n wanted to know how to develop the knack of solving difficult questions. Please guide me stepwise towards my road to mastering this beautiful subject. Thank you :)
     
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  3. Jun 21, 2015 #2

    phinds

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    Are you seriously asking that question?
     
  4. Jun 21, 2015 #3
    How can you master physics in one year? Bring a few textbooks and professors with you on a trip into space and travel away from and back to earth at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light, so you'll be able to fit 7-8 years of study into 1 year.

    Note: it will only be 1 year in your reference frame.

    Alternately you could try accelerating the earth in the same situation. But perhaps it's just better to focus on learning the basics of physics before you become an expert.
     
  5. Jun 21, 2015 #4

    QuantumCurt

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    How can you master physics in one year? You can't. It takes an undergraduate and graduate education, as well as years of experience actually working in physics. And even still, this isn't going to be a 'mastery' of physics.

    You may want to narrow this question down a bit. What type of physics are you trying to learn? There really are no tricks to it aside from taking the time to make sure you understand the concepts and working lots of different types of problems.
     
  6. Jun 21, 2015 #5
    Like the others have said it is hardly likely that you could understand all of "physics" in one year but if you want to start I would say look on Amazon for cheap old text books to buy and read. I'm not sure how up to speed you are in math, so if you can understand calculus and differential equations then I think you can start with a basic mechanics book (personally I do not like the basic mechanics courses taught to undergrads) since it helps you get comfortable "doing" physics. After that I would say get an intermediate level mechanics text which is much more satisfying than the undergrad mechanics courses, I used Marion and Thompsons Classical Dynamics, I loved it at the time (there is a free version of it as a pdf online don't spend the $300 bucks since that is a total waste) then after that move on to Goldstein which is way more satisfying. The nice thing about Golstein is it is relatively short but beautiful and he has alot of awesome references which you can also check out like Whittaker -Analytical dynamics, which is awesome but very old so it's interesting to see how the style of physics textbooks have changed over the years I personally prefer the old style. Then while studying the analytical mechanics topics (basic mechanics -> intermediate mechanics -> more advanced mechanics) you will probably want to study basic electricity and magnetism which is included in many undergrad text books, you could probably skip circuits and go back to them later, then look into Griffiths -Introduction to Electrodynamics again free pdf online and study that text it has a nice presentation and easy to understand if you take the time, but unlike mechanics where you can just go from basic to intermediate to advanced, you cant go from basic electrcity and magnetism to electrodynamics to Jacksons -classical electrodynamics, before you study from Jackson which most students have to do anyways I would say get a mathematical physics text book (Boas-Mathematical Methods in the Physical sciences (free online pdf) or Arfken-Mathematical Methods for Physicists (free as pdf)) while studying the mathematical physics I would say also check out Gibbs-Vector Analysis to learn vectors from their creator. Once you do that you have to go back and study Griffiths again while readying a special relativity book (I don't happen to know any good ones I used Koguts and it was alright I didn't really pay attention in that class, but once you do that then you can try Jackson. While doing intermediate mechanics and Griffiths Electrodynamic stuff you can start studying quantum mechanics, I used Griffiths -Introduction to Quantum mechanics and I loved it at the time (it is free online as a pdf) but then when I prepared for grad school I read Albert Messiahs -Quantum Mechanics and I fell in love with his text, it gives you a history then starts with wave mechanics and then does some matrix mechanics (Schrodinger tells us they are equivalent!) this text is also free online as a pdf but I think you should purchase this text since it is just classic! I also went through sakurai-modern quantum mechanics (also free online as a pdf) which is more matrix mechanics so it is great learning from both styles. However you might want to learn Linear algebra. I used David Lays Linear algebra and its applications but that is just a introduction to the subject I found Shilovs-Linear algebra (a dover publication so it is very cheap) to be amazing, at first it was hard for me to understand it but then one day I read it and it all made sense to me and I just wish I could get an original hardcover copy of it. Hmmmm what else oh and you will need to learn thermodynamics which is taught in intro physics text books but you will probably want a more advanced text on it because they are more satisfying but I dont happen to know since I havent found one I like but you ask anyone they could tell you theirs. Also if you live near a college you probably could pretend you are a student and just walk into the physics department and ask a random professor questions if you cant figure something out. I know a lot of the people say you can't do this in a year but as physicists we should realize a lot of things are possible and however unlikely this is, you can do it depending on the circumstances. Best of luck to you.
     
  7. Jun 21, 2015 #6

    QuantumCurt

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    Woah. Paragraphs are a good thing.
     
  8. Jun 21, 2015 #7

    phinds

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    I would LOVE to bet you money against it. I find the concept hilarious.

    And, as was said, if you are going to stay on this forum, please learn to use paragraphs.
     
  9. Jul 18, 2015 #8
    I think you didn't get my query. What i meant by mastering physics was to build a solid foundation for competitive exams and stuff.. Even a 4 year old may know that physics cant be mastered on a degree level in a year.
    Just wanted to know how to solve advanced numericals for olympiads and books to be referred. Thanks Anyways.
    @axmls why don't you actually understand what a person wants or Atleast try to.. And then maybe type your oversmart comments.
     
  10. Jul 18, 2015 #9
    Thanks mate.. Ur comment was the only valuable one. Appreciate the books. And i kinda have a base. Just wanted an advanced level concept building for olympiads. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  11. Jul 18, 2015 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    I can understand why a four-year old might think that. But I don't.
     
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