Question about studying physics

In summary: The level of math at this point is pretty sophisticated, so it's not a good idea to try to learn everything at once. You might want to try a book like "The Feynman Lectures on Physics," or "Quantum Mechanics by Howard W. Glaser," which are both pretty dense and require a lot of background knowledge in other subjects.
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Hello everyone. I have question about studying of quantum mechanics. My university program isn't good and universities lectures can't help me and I situation next that I should study physics use alone and use materials from internet. I tried do that but I understand that my level of math isn't good for some parts of physics for example quantum mechanics. Some of them I can understand but not all. If say true, I feel some chaos in my head because I study it a little random I think so. And my question is next: can you tell me the correct order of studying physics and also, very important, which math material I should know for it (because I have problems with it sometimes when I tried read Feynman for example).

What I know now: I know classic physics I think on some level (Newton's physics and lagrangian physics not all.)
About math: I can understand some from linear algebra and differential equations, math analysis. Idk about fact is my level in this parts is good for understanding some part of physics or no.

My main question next: I want to know good algorithm of studying for I can study it without someone. What should I read, which materials and something about it.
Now I try read Richard Feynman lectures and I should say it's very useful, but I want to ask what should I read next and which books can help me.
Thank you!
 
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  • #2
Andre_86 said:
I have question about studying of quantum mechanics. My university program isn't good and universities lectures can't help me and I situation next that I should study physics use alone and use materials from internet. I tried do that but I understand that my level of math isn't good for some parts of physics for example quantum mechanics.
What are you actually studying at university? It almost sounds like you are studying QM on your own. If you can't do the math required to do QM, then how did you get into the class?

Andre_86 said:
And my question is next: can you tell me the correct order of studying physics
Usually people study it in the order in which the university teaches it. If nothing else you can always look at the schedule of classes for each semester for a physics program at a university and study things in the order in which they appear in the schedule.

Andre_86 said:
My main question next: I want to know good algorithm of studying for I can study it without someone.
There isn't an algorithm for learning. Everyone is different. But, generally, you read a section in your book or lecture and do as many of the exercises from that section as reasonably possible. Take notes, use notecards, or whatever else you think helps.
 
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  • #3
Drakkith said:
If you can't do the math required to do QM, then how did you get into the class?
Right answer next: I can understand the math. But not always on good level. For example, this year we studied QM but we had short program this year and professor couldn't explain all material during 2 months (because situation in my country, war in Ukraine, we had short study program this year for example ). I mean that I was learning in the past all parts of math which I should know for understand physics but level isn't good.
Next fact: our study program is next that we studied QM before optic for example.
Some professors in my university think that it's not cool too. It's not all things yet.
It's reason why I ask right algorithm of studying
 
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If you've done Calculus all the way up through Vector Calc and Differential Equations, along with linear algebra, you should be mostly ready. The University of Arizona's Physics track has its last math class as Math254 Introduction to Differential Equations. Beyond that everything is physics related, like PHYS 204 - Mathematical Techniques in Physics.

You might be able to take a look at these classes (or similar classes elsewhere) and see what additional math they are teaching that you haven't had.

Link to UofA's physics track: https://www.arizona.edu/degree-search/majors/physics
 
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  • #5
In the US, many colleges and universities teach QM at two different levels.

First, usually in the second year, is a course called something like "Introduction to Modern Physics" which introduces Schrödinger's equation, and solves it for some simple situations, including the hydrogen atom. Then it goes on to applications in atomic, molecular,and nuclear physics. A common textbook for this was Beiser's "Concepts of Modern Physics." I taught a course using it, for many years. I don't know how widely available it is nowadays. There are other books at this level, e.g. by Krane. The math is not super sophisticated at this level, although it does require calculus, complex variables, and some concepts of differential equations.

Then in the third or fourth years, comes a full-on QM course. Textbooks can vary widely in approach. Griffiths is popular in the US, but leaves many derivations and details to be worked out by the student. At the other extreme is Morrison, which takes a more leisurely pace, spells out more of the details explicitly, and is therefore much longer. Unfortunately, it's out of print and expensive now. I taught QM a few times using it, back in the 1990s.

So you might consider using as a supplement to your class, a book which is aimed at a lower level, or takes a slower pace, than your class.
 
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  • #7
jtbell said:
In the US, many colleges and universities teach QM at two different levels.

First, usually in the second year, is a course called something like "Introduction to Modern Physics" which introduces Schrödinger's equation, and solves it for some simple situations, including the hydrogen atom. Then it goes on to applications in atomic, molecular,and nuclear physics. A common textbook for this was Beiser's "Concepts of Modern Physics." I taught a course using it, for many years. I don't know how widely available it is nowadays. There are other books at this level, e.g. by Krane. The math is not super sophisticated at this level, although it does require calculus, complex variables, and some concepts of differential equations.

Then in the third or fourth years, comes a full-on QM course. Textbooks can vary widely in approach. Griffiths is popular in the US, but leaves many derivations and details to be worked out by the student. At the other extreme is Morrison, which takes a more leisurely pace, spells out more of the details explicitly, and is therefore much longer. Unfortunately, it's out of print and expensive now. I taught QM a few times using it, back in the 1990s.

So you might consider using as a supplement to your class, a book which is aimed at a lower level, or takes a slower pace, than your class.
Yes, I understand. Thanks for your recommendations, I'm going to check these books what about you said and I hope it will help me. I think about it
 
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  • #8
If possible, when studying something on the level of Griffiths, it is good to have a "Moden Physics" (slightly easier) text on hand and "graduate" (slightly harder) text as well. I liked Paul Tipler "Foundations of Modern Physics" as the easy one and JJ Sakurai "Modern Quantum Mechanics" for the harder parts but that was a while ago. There are pobably ten texts that I have used for the subject and most were very good. But they are each different.
 
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