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What does it take to become the best?

  1. Mar 25, 2007 #1
    what does it take to become the best???

    hi guys,

    I am an Xi grade student who loves physics.
    I am quite good and can image situations and solve problems very well.
    I just wanted to know what should i do to get that level of intellect necessary for physics olympiads.

    Please suggest me books and their order of reading that can help me acheive this.
    Unfortunately i have no extremely good teachers nearby.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2007 #2
    Which country are you in? The level of difficulty of the national Physics Olympiad test depends on which country it is from.

    I would highly recommend finding a copy of Irodov's Problems in General Physics. That should be enough.
  4. Mar 26, 2007 #3
    XI grade? i take it you aren't in the US...
  5. Mar 27, 2007 #4


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    it takes luck. read the best sources and remember to go with what you love. being the best is not where the love is, doing what you enjoy is the key. "the best" is a title bestowed by others, hence is not a true concept.\

    consider how ludicrous is a title like "sexiest man alive". this is analogous to being called "the best".
  6. Mar 27, 2007 #5


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    XI grade? 11th Grade? how old are you? may be a bit late to start going for things like the international olympiad? anyway, there is nothing to stop you from trying... good luck
    as to suggested readings.. start by going to the international science olympiad site and look at some past problems...you will then know what is required.
  7. Mar 27, 2007 #6
    I'd say it takes more than hard work. As have been shown in any field. However mere hard work can make you 'up there' but not the best.
  8. Mar 27, 2007 #7
    I am a resident of india and i am 16 years old.
    I was looking for books that can teach u to think like a physicist.
    That can develop problem solving skills.
    Some books that r bibles in their subjects.
    Like morrison-boyd for organic chemistry.

    Topics i am looking for are:
    Classical mechanics.
    Heat and thermodyanamics.
    Electricity and magnetism.

    i have irodov and have finished with the first 3 chapters.

    I was looking for books that can teach techniques. eg. making out kinematical relationships,concept of reduced mass,etc.

    Techniques that r necessay for problem solving.

    Thanx for replying.
  9. Mar 27, 2007 #8
    hey if ur in india...arent u aiming for IIT-JEE???
  10. Mar 27, 2007 #9
    It only takes talent. The rest of the equation is up to you. Talent + hard work = mastery.
  11. Mar 27, 2007 #10
    As long as you are in secondary school, it's never too late to go for the olympiads.
    I agree -- you should try your hand at some of http://www.jyu.fi/kastdk/olympiads/" [Broken] (they have solutions, as well). Another nice book is 200 Puzzling Physics Problems.
    You don't really start hitting "bibles" until higher study of physics, but the closest thing is the Irodov book for problems. (For a general physics book, without many problems, I recommend Theoretical Physics by Georg Joos.)
    Have you done every single problem in the first three chapters? If so, you should probably start trying some of the IPhO problems.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  12. May 11, 2007 #11
    i think who understands physics and logically take it would be the best, who enjoy solving problems, (talen) i agree with guy saying ( talent + hard work = mastery. that's a real cool principle =p )

    he just needs th idea of th problems to get it...
    Last edited: May 11, 2007
  13. May 11, 2007 #12
    I disagree, for example Roger Federer was the best tennis player in 2006 because he acquired most points on the champions race. This means he won more matches than any other player. Hence, he IS the best. It is that simple.

    Pff, you are just jealous because you are not.

    Sorry man...

  14. May 11, 2007 #13
    Hmm, thanks for such nice words of wisdom. You are a class act man. BRAVO !

  15. May 11, 2007 #14


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    you are right that was cheap. my apologies. sometimes i cant take a joke. peace.

    i guess the suggestion that i am no longer the worlds sexiest man blew my fuse.
    Last edited: May 11, 2007
  16. May 12, 2007 #15
    Hey man, don't worry about it. I have been there before as well.


  17. May 14, 2007 #16


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    I hesitate to begin this again, but I have had another reflection on being the best. I have always wanted to be the best, but have never succeeded, since high school. Everywhere I have been, even if i chose it partly for the reason I thought I might be the best in that remote place, there was always someone better.

    The good side is those people who were better have been my best friends, as I have greatly apreciated how good they were, and enjoyed learning from them and working with them.

    So in my experience it has never been possible to be the best, no matter what i have done, but it has been possible to be pretty good while trying to be as good as possible, and I have met people who were simply fantastic, and enjoyed knowing them.

    Even on this little forum where I am one of the few with a PhD in math and long experience, there are smarter people and people who know more, as is obvious. This is God's way of keeping us modest.
  18. May 15, 2007 #17
    The best physicists and mathematicians have been able to free themselves entirely of selfish desires such as this; that is what you should aim for.
  19. May 15, 2007 #18


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    this may be a waste of time, but there are indeed many meanings to "the best". I was thinking of most gifted, which one canot affect. But another meaning is most accomplished, which is a measurement made later.

    I guess one can enhance this measure by hard work, and often less gifted persons eventually excel more gifted ones by hard work. Indeed I have published more papers than far smarter and more talented people who left the subject sooner.

    But to be among "the best", even briefly, usually requires both unusual gifts and also great stamina and perserverance.

    better to aspire to a pure hearted pursuit of knowledge, rather than recognition. we may not be the best, but we speak from some experience.
  20. May 15, 2007 #19
    This is not true. Most [or maybe allot of] geniuses in the history of science were arrogant.
  21. May 15, 2007 #20


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    not me. i am as modest as any genius you may encounter.

    (the rule on no short messages robs this witty post of much of its punch.)
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