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Self-teach physics?

  1. Mar 11, 2013 #1
    Hi I am a high school student. I want to know about a good way to start physics curriculum on my own, whether this is through videos or a well known textbook.

    I've already had a very basic "Physical Science" course where I learned Newton's & Kepler's laws, a bit about forces and optics, all through the context of Astronomy. When I will start learning physics, I will have just completed a year of Calculus. So, I may as well learn Physics with Calculus from the start right?

    The book or lectures or other things should be very clear and introductory. At the same time, I want to get a lot of practice, and actually go in depth so I will be able to retain and apply knowledge later. If such a course or text exists, please tell me about it! I figure Physics Forums would know. Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2013 #2
    If you don't mind challenging and difficult books, then I highly recommend Kleppner and Kolenkow.

    As it stands, you might want to learn a bit more calculus first, such as integration and integration techniques and (very important!!) solving basic differential equations. But you should be able to learn these things quite quickly. After that, you should be able to start a book like Kleppner or Morin.

    The problems can be quite difficult though, but they will teach you way more than solving stupid problems from Halliday & Resnick. Feel free to use this forum to ask questions or to ask for help.
  4. Mar 11, 2013 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    If you know the basic concepts and applications of derivatives and integrals, and your algebra is solid, and you know some trigonometry, you're ready for a first-year college calculus-based intro physics textbook. There are several widely-used ones you can choose from. See our physics textbooks forum:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=224 [Broken]

    and check out the ones tagged as "Intro Physics".

    Actually, even for a calculus-based course, you'll use algebra and basic trig a lot more than calculus when doing the exercises. The calculus is mainly used to simplify the derivations of important equations.

    Kleppner & Kolenkow is a step above these books. The exercises do use more calculus!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Mar 11, 2013 #4
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