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Self-Teaching Physics

  1. Oct 17, 2013 #1
    Hello to all!

    Here is the deal... I took my first ever physics at my community college this past summer and just fell in love with it... The book we used was Paul G. Hewitt's Conceptual Physics. Ever since then, I catch myself reading up on different theories on the internet and I want to continue pursuing it. However, because of math requirements, I won't be able to take another physics class until at least I take pre-cal (currently working on it! Only one-two semesters away!). But I don't want to miss out on other concepts/ideas/theories that I can start getting familiar with... So what I want to know is if you can recommend me either some self-teaching books, or websites/lectures? I did read up on a couple of the similar questions from this forum from several years ago as well. I just want to gather as much resources and suggestions as possible.

    Thank you all so much! :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2013 #2
    The shortest and best answer I can give you: Self-Study math.

    If you want to start self-study physics, there's no way around having a working knowledge of basic calculus. You're confined to the realm of pop-science until then.
  4. Oct 17, 2013 #3


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    I agree with Astrum's advice! You need more math to get further into the physics; math is the language of physics.
  5. Oct 18, 2013 #4
    I would add that while you don't have the math needed to proceed much further in physics, you can review your conceptual textbook and get the concepts down. Honestly, the ''calculus'' used in the intro series is so minimal that you would get a better grade if you just understood the physical concepts than if you just knew how to do the math. It's mostly algebra, with a few tidbits of calculus and vector concepts thrown in, nothing to be scared of.

    I would just focus on the concepts contained within your textbook and try to master it until you have the prerequisites for the intro series, and you will be way ahead of the game if you understand the concepts down cold, the math will follow easily.
  6. Oct 18, 2013 #5
    Test into calculus? There is a placement exam
  7. Oct 18, 2013 #6


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    Might as well redo the algebra if you can spare a semester/quarter, it won't hurt. This is of course assuming they've already taken the placement exam once, if not I'd still recommended pre-calc if you're at all fuzzy about algebra/trig. It will make your life easier.
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