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  1. Dec 15, 2009 #1
    I’m not quite sure what I’m doing on this forum. I was sent a gift subscription to a science magazine and was so delighted with it; I gave a grandson a subscription to the same magazine. We get into lively discussions regarding the contents of the various issues. He challenged me to read Stephen Hawking’s, “A Brief History of Time”. I contacted a friend who is a physics professor in a university. He in turn recommended several books for an elderly person who is becoming interested in physics. This past week I have read 3 of Richard Feynman’s books, Michio Kaku’s “Parallel Worlds”, and Steven Hawking. Freeman J. Dyson will have to wait until January.

    I thought perhaps I could take an online course in beginning physics but knew I would need some math background. In a Goodle search for mathematic prerequisites for physics this forum popped up. I’ve read a number of the posts and find them very intriguing. I don’t know how this forum can help me. Do you actually teach the courses? Or are you just a support for students and researchers? I haven’t found an “About Us” page, which describes exactly what the forum is all about, and where to start, even though I have discovered hundreds of interesting topics.

    I live about 130 miles from the closest university, and at my age and the weather, driving is not an option. I did take algebra and geometry in high school in the 1950’s. (Grin) I am sure I will need to repeat them.
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  3. Dec 15, 2009 #2

    Math Is Hard

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  4. Dec 15, 2009 #3
    yea, on youtube also have MIT free video of their lecture.. And this forum helps if you have any question.. it really do
  5. Dec 15, 2009 #4


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    Don't feel alone :smile:

    We are a bunch of people that like to discuss physisc and math (and some Other Sciences). "Bunch" includes students, researchers and people that don't fall in neither category (like you and me). We can't teach you in any systematic way, but you can be sure if you will try to learn by yourself and you will hit the wall, you will find someone willing to help you understand and climb higher.
  6. Dec 15, 2009 #5
    Thank you for your responses. I checked out a few online study courses, along with MIT, and they look pretty good. I will do what I can with them. If I hit a brick wall, I'll be back.
  7. Dec 15, 2009 #6


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  8. Dec 15, 2009 #7
    I will send my grandson the link. Thank you. I talked with my daughter earlier, and she stated she has all the books and materials I will need for the math prerequisites, and my grandson will teach me. That's a twist! He is really into this stuff if he is willing to teach his gran.
  9. Dec 15, 2009 #8


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    Last year, my dad asked me for an astronomy textbook for Christmas for roughly the same reason you're now into astronomy - so he could talk to me about it.

    Burning through five books in a week is impressive. If you don't want to wait for a course to start, you might try seeing what you can get out of a textbook by yourself. We can help with the math if you need it - it isn't too bad in an intro level astronomy course, though.
  10. Dec 15, 2009 #9
    That was just the heavy stuff, I read 3 Anne McCaffrey novels to rest my brain. A person can only soak up so much! Actually, it wasn't all that heavy as the books were all written for the layman. Just enough to whet the appetite. I laughed myself silly with Richard Feynman's, "Surely You're Joking.....; What Do You Care...; and the Pleasure Of Finding Things Out". Stephen Hawking is telling me things can be in two places at the same time, and Michio Kaku's Parallel Worlds tells me that we are only a 0.7 type of civilization, not even a Type I. Jeesh! But he is surely telling me what this world is coming to!

    I won't be taking any formal classes, as I just want to know. I bought my grandson his first telescope (a big, expensive one) when he was about 7 or 8, shortly after he learned to SCUBA dive. He now has a great, great big telescope so I asked him for the (now) little one back, and he laughed. His mother had parted with it long ago to get him the better one. However, I don't think the stars are in his future. He will soon be a certificated deep sea diver. I think he has lost his heart to the deep.
  11. Dec 16, 2009 #10
    Hi Kohana, good to meet you. Physics Forums isn't associated with any university or anything, at least not as far as I know. However, many of us are graduate students, postdocs, or professors in physics (I myself am a grad student), so we've taught physics classes before. I've found this place pretty helpful in gaining a better understanding of physics because it allows me to communicate with people way smarter than myself. If you've got an interest in science, I think you'll find this place helpful too.
  12. Dec 16, 2009 #11


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    Stick around, Kohana. It'll be nice for Integral to have someone his own age to play with.
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