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Preparing to study Physics

  1. Sep 13, 2008 #1
    Hey all,

    I'm currently attending the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, and I'm probably going to study Physics when I start College (a little less than two years from now). I'm just wondering whether there is something I should/could start doing now. Any good books? Any suggestions as to which topics I should work extra hard on in High School?

    Physics Higher Level is built up of a Core curriculum, and several options from which I can choose. I think I need to choose 2 or 3 options, so knowing which topics will be most useful for further physics studies will help me with that choice as well. Thanks.

    Edit: Right, two options it is. I need to choose two of the following topics:
    Electromagnetic Waves
    Medical Physics
    Particle Physics

    Any tips?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2008 #2
    Well, the edit button is gone. Anyways, I was just going to add an additional question.

    A friend of mine (a Math major in the UK) said that if I enjoyed Particle/Quantum Physics, I would enjoy studying Physics, and if I preferred more concrete stuff like mechanics, I'd be happier in Engineering.

    What do y'all think about that?
  4. Sep 14, 2008 #3
    Your Bacc. should prepare you for College. Read what you find interesting, and as widely as possible! You'll have liitle time to read widely when you take up the grind of professional studies. I'd recommend Kafka's short stories.

    Engineers often do some quantum mechanics, I can't see how they could call themselves well rounded engineers if they did not. I did mechanics and QM in my University physics course and found them equally enjoyable. I hated astrophysics -- but that was mainly the lecturer's fault (I now realise). I was forced to do medical physics, but it actually turned out interesting.

    I would take whatever sparks your interest most. Do you want to know how TV works? Do electromagnetic waves & communications. Interested in the LHC? Do particle physics. Wanna cure cancer? Do medical physics.
  5. Sep 14, 2008 #4
    Thanks for the reply :) Think I'll do Medical Physics and Particle Physics for options, then.

    Another, slightly related question.. How does one know if one is best suited for engineering or physics? I feel I'm probably a better fit for physics because I'm interested in how things work, and the laws which govern our universe and so on, but I've never really had the urge to pull something apart to see how it works.
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