Rising Physicist

  • Thread starter Allen93
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I am currently a junior in highschool taking Pre-AP Physics, classical mechanics (pre-requisite for AP Physics, still classical mechanics). I chose to take this class because I had SOME interest in learning about the physical world and how it works. I'm exactly one semester into the class and I have never been so much in love with a school subject. I read, watch videos, work out equations from the work book during any spare time I have. I want to go deeper into the field, into quantum mechanics. I am also taking Pre-Calculus and will be taking AP Calculus AB.
I have a series of questions:
1. Would it be best if I also took Probability and Stats (math class) along with AB Calc instead of AP Biology if I know for sure that I want to be a physicist?
2. What can I do for now to prepare myself for AP Physics, and physics in college?
3. Physics is my life. Average Teen : Call of Duty :: Me : Physics. I want to emphasize my second question, PLEASE, what can I do to perfect my understanding of this class? I want to know MORE!
 

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  • #2
fss
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1. Would it be best if I also took Probability and Stats (math class) along with AB Calc instead of AP Biology if I know for sure that I want to be a physicist?

I don't know if that would be "best"- but it wouldn't hurt. AP Biology (which is being revamped next year) and AB Calculus don't have a whole lot of statistics inherent in the course.

2. What can I do for now to prepare myself for AP Physics, and physics in college?

Do lots of practice problems.

3. Physics is my life. Average Teen : Call of Duty :: Me : Physics. I want to emphasize my second question, PLEASE, what can I do to perfect my understanding of this class? I want to know MORE!

Buy a book.
 
  • #3
atyy
Science Advisor
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Read The Feynman Lectures on Physics. They do have errors, but he is the patron saint of the subject. http://www.feynmanlectures.info/

Volume 3 has an introduction to quantum mechanics.
 
  • #4
G01
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Read ahead! Don't get discouraged if you get lost or confused, though. That's normal, even for someone learning physics without reading ahead.
 
  • #5
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Read The Feynman Lectures on Physics. They do have errors, but he is the patron saint of the subject. http://www.feynmanlectures.info/

Volume 3 has an introduction to quantum mechanics.
The price is quite heavy, but if you really do recommend it, I would be glad to invest towards reading the book. You have mentioned that there ARE errors, but are they small enough to be negligible? The book description states, "Now, we are reintroducing the printed books to the trade, fully corrected". When you were saying that the book does have errors, were you referring to the book before or after the 'reintroduced' version? Thank you so much.
 
  • #6
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I don't know if that would be "best"- but it wouldn't hurt. AP Biology (which is being revamped next year) and AB Calculus don't have a whole lot of statistics inherent in the course.
Could you please elaborate on how AP Biology will be revamped, if you know. To clarify what I was implementing on whether or not taking AP stats vs AP bio will be better for my path towards taking Quantum Physics; I understand that quantum physics is based on probability and randomness (please correct me if I am wrong), so will taking AP stats prepare me at all for what I will be learning during Quantum Physics? Thank you so much for your help! :)
 
  • #7
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Read ahead! Don't get discouraged if you get lost or confused, though. That's normal, even for someone learning physics without reading ahead.
Thank you! I will gladly read ahead.
 
  • #8
G01
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Thank you! I will gladly read ahead.

Once you cover electricity and magnetism, and have some calculus under your belt, you can try to start reading a modern physics text.

Usually, physics students won't cover this material until their sophomore year in college, so don't be surprised if it is hard to follow the first time through.

A good book for this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0716723271/?tag=pfamazon01-20

This is a great book for intro to special relativity. It's not quantum physics, but it is still extremely cool stuff and the book is written at the level of someone who just finished a course in introductory physics. I think it's a great book for someone interested in extra self study.

Good luck and enjoy!
 
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