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Ways for a high school student to geek out at home?

  1. Aug 25, 2013 #1
    Hey, weird post but I am interested in science and building things and I wanted to ask any good ways to learn and have fun at home with science (preferably physics) and also some ideas of stuff I can use physics knowledge to build. THANKS!
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  3. Aug 25, 2013 #2


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  4. Aug 27, 2013 #3


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    Build a cloud chamber.
  5. Aug 27, 2013 #4
    What's a cloud chamber?
  6. Aug 27, 2013 #5
    Have you consider electronics also. That is one of the easiest thing to play at home. That's how I started my 30 years career in EE. I remember when I was like 5 or 6, I started cutting up Christmas lights, stuck them in a cardboard box and hooked up in different banks so I could light them up in different sections. It's almost like some sort of digital controlling. Winding electro magnets and even motor when I was a little older. That was in the 50s and early 60s.

    Now if you go to Fry's or on Amazon, you can find so many electronic project games. Play with those. Then start building on your own. Get some books and read.

    Then in my teenage days, I was into music, I started modifying guitar amplifiers. That's how I got into EE. I had a degree in Biochemistry, but never work a day in that. Never have a formal education in EE but been an EE for 30 years designing all sort of interesting stuff.
  7. Aug 27, 2013 #6
    If we're suggesting electronics, then an Arduino is the obvious choice. Buy an Arduino project kit and a good guidebook (say, O'Reilly's book on the Arduino).
  8. Aug 27, 2013 #7
    I do like electronics so I'll get into that.
  9. Aug 27, 2013 #8
  10. Aug 27, 2013 #9


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  11. Aug 27, 2013 #10
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  12. Aug 27, 2013 #11
    I don't know what is your level of tinkering. Look into radio also. Here is a link for some simple stuff, see whether it's too simple.https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_9?url=search-alias%3Dtoys-and-games&field-keywords=radio%20kit&sprefix=radio+kit%2Celectronics%2C272

    Radio is very important, cell phone, wireless connections etc. are all two ways radio!!! I so wish I had these growing up.

    Electronics is very important even for a physicist. I worked with a lot of PhDs in physics, a lot of them tinker with electronics and designing their own circuits as no body have time to help them on small projects. It's a big advantage to know electronics. It's an electronic world!!! You have a chance to get your hands wet in RF. As frequency goes up, electronics and electromagnetics( classical physics) start to cross path and the line becomes blur.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  13. Aug 27, 2013 #12
    Another thing you might want to dip your hands in......Computer programming. That you can do with a laptop or desktop. I am no expert in programming now, but I know for a fact most physicist write programs for themselves. Someone else should advice you on this, I am just an analog/RF man!!!

    Scientific programming require deep knowledge in physics. I worked with a lot of programmers that had to write program that require knowledge of signal processing, Forier transforms and others that require knowledge of physics. I worked with various scientific instrumentation, the lines between physics, electronics and programming are very blur. I even ended up had to do a lot of FPGA programming....which is almost the same as software programming. In this fast paste world, you don't have time to do one part of the design, then ask someone else to do the programming, or design circuits. The most valuable workers are the one that can do a little of all even they specialize in one field.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
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