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Should I pursue physics?

  1. Jan 5, 2016 #1
    Do you think i should get a degree in physics even if i am bored in physics classes at school. I love higher physics l like the complicated maths and the pricipals and theorys but i am really bored in class everyday
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2016 #2


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    Physics at university is usually very different than physics in high school. It definitely involves more math and more thinking. Whether you like it or not is something you really can't know until you've done it. So try to do higher level physics, and go into physics iff you enjoy it.
  4. Jan 5, 2016 #3
    Will higher physics textbooks give me a look about the major or it is completly different?
  5. Jan 5, 2016 #4
    They should give you a rough idea. You can also look at online lecture notes or use open course materials from different universities; there should be plenty.

    Also, I know that intro physics can be boring (and when you get to your freshman courses you might still be itching to get to those more advanced courses), but try to focus on what you're learning presently to build a good foundation. If the course pace is too slow, do some reading and studying on your own from material that's slightly more advanced and in-depth. That said, you can still keep an eye toward the more advanced material; but to really learn it well you want to first focus on building a foundation in physics and math
  6. Jan 5, 2016 #5
    Yeah thank you very much but the problem is that i read that the most successful of physicists were in love with every part of it and would spend all their days on it . All i want to know is will i be like those people? thanks .
  7. Jan 5, 2016 #6
    If you find your courses boring, then there is some things you can do. If the boredom stems from course material being to easy or lack of insightful insights, then get a second book on the subject and go through it.
  8. Jan 6, 2016 #7
    Can you advise me of any good physics books for starting .I am now in my last year of high school and I would like something to introduce me to the physics of university
    (I am confortable with all Newton's 3 laws. energies . Pendulums. Momentum (linear angular) . Wave interference . Electricity and magnetisim ( now i am at faraday and lenz laws ) ...)
  9. Jan 6, 2016 #8
    I'm not sure that's true. Where did you read that?

    Disliking Newtonian mechanics would be an absurd reason not to go into physics. Physics is a huge discipline just like every other branch of science. Take biology for example, there's a pretty big difference between microbiology and botany. Of course they're related in some aspects (mycology) but that's not the point. If you dislike botany but want to go into microbiology as a career, then there's no reason you shouldn't pursue microbiology as a career.

    What mathematics do you know? I personally like University Physics by Young & Freedman. You would need to know basic calculus for the Newtonian mechanics chapters.

    You should also go look in the Science and Math Textbooks section. I'm sure your question has been asked countless times.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  10. Jan 6, 2016 #9
    I would say it gives you an impression of how being a student of physics will be in the worst case possible. That is, if a) your lecturers cannot offer anything that beats reading a book by yourself and b) if your fellow students hate you and refuse to discuss with you. One of the best aspects of being a physics student is that you have an environment of people with a similar interest - and an interest to discuss it.

    Textbooks will, in my opinion, give you a wrong/misleading expression when it comes to what working in physics is like. They mostly contain what is already known, and often do so in a rather dogmatic style. The main criterion for choosing exercises is that they can be easily solved and demonstrate something about the topic introduced (same as the exercises given to students). Working as a physicists is about the unknown, much less dogmatic, contains lots of trial&error (textbooks obviously don't spend lot of time to discuss all the approaches tried in the last 100-200 years that did not work), and often requires calculations that are much less elegant than the cherry-picked homework exercises. Plus side to this is: no one expects you to finish your assignment by next week (except for "write one paragraph about what you did last year for the upcoming conference" or stuff like that).

    Rules of thumb: If you like doing calculations and learn something from the calculations (like what would have happened if one input condition would have been different) then physics may be interesting for you. Alternatively (but probably hard to decide for you): If you love to see how actual measurements of something fit to what the calculations predicted, then physics may be interesting for you. Whether these calculations/measurements are decays of a radioactive substance or the mean density of uncooked rice does not matter much, in my experience.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  11. Jan 6, 2016 #10
    Thank you very much for the advice but i am entering university at sophomore year so is university physics still good or do i need something more advanced?
  12. Jan 6, 2016 #11
    What course will you be taking this semester?
  13. Jan 6, 2016 #12
    Actually this is what i love most . For exemple once i was in lab at my school and we were working on sound waves so i calculated everything and then after i saw the results i was so happy and interested. I love doing that so i think physics is actually for me . Thank you very much for your help.
  14. Jan 6, 2016 #13
    What math do you already know?
  15. Jan 6, 2016 #14
    I actually learned it in french i will do my best in translation :
    _fonctions: drivatives, integrales, ...
    _Logarithmique equations (ln and log)
    _exponential equations ( based on e and a)
    _conic section (parables hypeboles elliptic)
    _trigonometry ( including arc sin arc cos ... and with all there derivatives and integrals )
    _numerical sequences
    _vectors ( in planes and space )
    _2 dimensions polar coordinates
    _space geometry and plane geometry
    _irrational equations
    _complexe ( i)
  16. Jan 6, 2016 #15


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    Go through intro to mechanics, by K&K and see how that suits your tastes. The problems are interesting, and rather difficult. First or second edition is fine.

    You'll get to see basic physics from a physics majors perspective from that text.
  17. Jan 6, 2016 #16
    Thank you very much
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