Self-Studying in High school.

  • #1
Due to the suggestion by Crosson, I'm making another thread. Basically, I'm curious what I can do to study physics and anything else I might need in highschool.

Science Courses I've Completed:

-Physical Science ( elementary Chemistry + newtonian Physics basically)
-NJROTC Physical Sciences (Dealt with Electricity, motion, buoyancy, etc. Anything useful for the Navy)

Mathematics Courses I've Completed

-Algebra I
-Algebra II (I want to say it included statistics)
-Geometry (included some trig)

Relevant Courses I'll be taking for my Junior year:

-AP Biology

Basically, I have a pretty good understanding of Newtonian physics. I still haven't memorized all the formulas.

I've read a good bit on General relativity and special relativity, but I wouldn't mind reviewing it.

I've seen stuff about string-theory and M-theory on the Science Channel. No real formal study in it.

The mental aspect of physics (understanding how things are) is easy for me. I have zero problem wrapping my mind around the actual concepts.

I understand red shift, etc. I'm pretty familiar with "big bang" concepts. I understand black holes somewhat.

I'm rusty on all of my physics knowledge however, and I don't have the mathematical knowledge to jump straight into graduate level work.

So, any help in teaching myself more Physics, biology, and calculus would be greatly appreciated.

However, my worst problem is I don't know what I don't know yet. So I have no clue what I understand compared to all the information available.

Thanks for any help.

EDIT: I'm also extremely familiar with entropy.
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
I'm not sure why you're talking about graduate-level work - you're still about 6 years from there. And if you haven't even taken pre-calc yet, let alone calculus, you probably don't know nearly as much as you think you do.

Sounds like you'll be ready to take calculus-based intro physics when you get to college. I know it's tempting to skip it, based on your high school work and studying, but there's a good chance you missed something along the way. If you want to skip it, get a copy of Serway or Knight's intro physics books and work your way through those. You may need a little bit of calculus, or at least a basic understanding of it, so try that as well. I can't recommend a book there; I can't remember what I used, and I didn't like it anyway.
  • #3
Since you're taking AP Bio this coming year, I would just suggest learning what is taught to you in that field--the course should be just what you need for understanding and learning the subject.

As for physics, I would suggest learning calculus first and mastering trig, since both of them are extremely relevant in physics. I suppose you could learn physics without knowing calculus, but it would sure be helpful. I am personally self-teaching myself calculus-based physics this year with Halliday, Resnick, and Krane's Physics textbook, which I have found to be excellent. Along with the book, I've been supplementing it with MIT's Open Courseware lectures on physics ( [Broken]) to ensure that everything is well learned.

But, as I said, learning calc would make physics much easier (unless you simply want an understanding of the science, which is available from popular science books such as Brian Greene's books and others). I've only used a few calculus books, and I was in a class, so I don't really have any suggestions on which books would be best to self study from. I would check out Mathwonk's stickied thread in this forum for advice on books, since he has a bunch of suggestions in there.

In any case, good luck!
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #4
... get a copy of Serway or Knight's intro physics books and work your way through those
....I suppose you could learn physics without knowing calculus, but it would sure be helpful.
My high school used Serway (and Faughn, i think it was) College Physics textbook for noncalculus based AP Physics B. I'd also think it a good place to start, at least for now

Related Threads on Self-Studying in High school.

  • Last Post
  • Last Post