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  1. May 5, 2012 #1
    My purpose is to learn physics, chemistry and biology.I don't want to have a PhD level knowledge in 3 days, but I do want to have a better understanding of how the world works and be able to do things myself.Not in 3 days of course, but I like short(depending on subject) and clear explanations.

    I tried school for 12 years since 7 till 19, but that didn't help much.I've learned something, but it's nothing compared to what has been taught.The worst thing is that I'm not an exception.

    I'm disappointed of most formal educational systems, so I'm not thinking about going to university.The thing I'm most dissatisfied about is that people become too specialized for one thing and don't know anything more.One PhD to screw out the light bulb, another 2 to screw in a new one.I want to be a jack of all trades, a master of... several ;D
    Another thing I don't like is pure theory, unnecessary terms and other stuff complicating the understanding of the subject.

    The best online resource I was able to find is khanacademy.org but it has no practical demonstrations and the order of the lessons is messy.I also understand some things from the high school and some don't.

    Do you know a website where I could take a test and it would say which subject I know and where I need more practice ? (for physics)

    I also search for some gradual table of contents of physics where I could see which topics I should learn first that I don't get into situation where I wouldn't understand a topic because of lack of knowledge from other topics.

    I will look forward to your offers :)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2012 #2
    A former professor of mine made a page dedicated to what you need to know to become a good theoretical physicist, along with learning material and everything, all learning material is available online. It is truly a good place to go for physics. The other sciences I know nothing of, so can't help you there.

    Mind you, the list of things to study is really long, thousands of hours of work literaly, but physics is a big field (I can know since I spent thousands of hours on physics and don't know all on this list). The man is however extremely smart and this material can get you there.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  4. May 5, 2012 #3
    Thanks.That seems to be a good table of contents, though information in the links seem to be quite boring.Is it only me expecting science to be both informative and entertaining ? ;D
  5. May 7, 2012 #4
    Read Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynmann. Then, read Six No So Easy Pieces.
    You can read these books like a novel, and they teach you a great foundation of physics. If you like them, I'll recommend more later.
  6. May 7, 2012 #5
    Agreed, I can't wait for Six Easy Pieces to come in the mail!

    I would also recommend checking out Cosmos by Carl Sagan.
  7. May 8, 2012 #6
    Thanks guys, Feynmann and Sagan sounds promising :)
  8. May 8, 2012 #7


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    You should know that there is a difference between learning physics, and learning ABOUT physics. It appears that you wish to learn the latter, not the former. This is fine as long as you don't fall under the delusion that you are learning physics. Learning about physics gives you a superficial idea of various aspects of physics, but it is a piece of knowledge that you can't do much with. As Mies Van deRohe used to say, the devil is in the DETAILS. To get the details, you have to learn physics, what you dismissed as "specialization".

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