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What intinitally got you interested in physics?

  1. Dec 12, 2014 #1
    This is a two-part question:

    Firstly, as stated what was it that initially got you interested in physics. What was the part that ignited the fire of physics for you?

    Secondly, for me physics is a subject that I come back to every so often. Although, it seems to be increasing and more. My whole method for learning is I'll watch a few youtube videos (with copious note taking) read a few articles and browse a few books. However, this never seems to be enough to grasp the concepts well enough I always seem befuddled. Therefore my question is; what is it for you that helps you gain a better conceptual understanding of physics? Physics is physical so maybe I should do some experiments? Any and all advice is welcomed

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2014 #2


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    My interest in physics grew out of interest in science in general, and the way things and Nature (and the Universe) worked.

    In second grade, I found an article on the hydrogen bomb, and I became interested in the energy (particularly nuclear energy) involved.

    By 5th grade, I studied the periodic table and elements, and read about protons, neutrons, electrons and other subatomic particles, so I was hooked on chemistry and physics.

    I think a methodical approach, e.g., one taken from an introductory text on physics would be a good way to learn physics. Any introductory course should also involve some experimentation in order to put the principles to practice.

    Edit/Update: My interest in physics started decades before the internet. There were no cool websites or videos - only books and magazines/journals. Actually there was a really cool professor, Julius Sumner Miller who did demonstrations on TV.

    His TV programs are on youtube!
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  4. Dec 12, 2014 #3


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    Physics was the first subject I really, truly enjoyed at school. As a child, I always liked building and testing things, and when I started studying physics I felt like "hey this is what I do, I did not know it was called physics"...:D And what really fired me up and got me truly hooked was oddly enough a simplified picture of a Bohr-like atom, somewhat like this:

  5. Dec 13, 2014 #4


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    When I was in school, like lots of students I had a hard time deciding what I liked best. I liked EVERYTHING. Well I took a philosophy class that I hated, so not everything.

    I took Physical Chemistry when I was a Chemistry major, and after that I was a Physics major.
  6. Dec 13, 2014 #5
    Physics made me meet you. I like physics because it helps me explain why I now feel soo sleepy.
  7. Dec 13, 2014 #6

    Doug Huffman

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    My career and its discipline, see it, do it, teach it.

    For instance, I learned about the bulk modulus of water for having a 1000 psig hydrostatic test of a 3000 gallon 'tank' fail for inadvertent lift of a test safety valve. The only clue I had was the volume of water released going from initial lift to final reseat pressure. Was it a gauge (no, two gauges with separate pressure lines) fault or the relief valve's (most likely but they're heavily tested) fault or the operator's fault?
  8. Dec 13, 2014 #7
    Puzzle why ice floats on watter.
  9. Dec 13, 2014 #8
    I got interested in physics by watching various physics videos on youtube. So that's what I majored in in college. But then I eventually realized I only liked the cool and interesting physics concepts and didn't really like DOING physics. But I'm about to graduate next semester with a bachelor's in physics, but I wouldn't be able to handle graduate school, so I'm probably not going.
  10. Dec 14, 2014 #9
    A sense of adventure and curiosity. Oh, and because I enjoyed and saw beauty & power in mathematics.
  11. Dec 14, 2014 #10


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    Some of us, were born this way.
    Join the crowd.
    Books, school, and physics forums. This is the 3rd physics forum I've joined. The first two disappeared. Bad business models, IMHO. But this is probably why I'm a late comer to PF. Why go shopping for a Ferrari, when your Edsel still kind of gets you to where you are going.
    I recommend, that you do at least one experiment a day. Though, as I recommended to someone this morning; "If something seems, in the back of your head, preposterous, it's best to do the math first".
    And if you should notice, that the math works, do the experiment, as there are always weird, and wonderful things, you didn't imagine, that will really mess with your head. Which, will lead to more experiments, the next day, or the following.
    You're welcome.
  12. Dec 14, 2014 #11


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    aaaahahaha, you've been here as long as I have: over seven years now! You're no late comer :oldwink:!
  13. Dec 14, 2014 #12


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    I am too a late comer! It was just yesterday, that I showed up here, at the forum.
    Though, I do suffer from Chronoaphasia......:oldconfused:
  14. Dec 15, 2014 #13
    I've known about physicsforums for almost 8 years but only visited the forums once in a while. I don't know why I like physics. But wherever there is gold there are diggers. :DD
  15. Dec 15, 2014 #14


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    Initially I wanted to challenge my mind by perusing physics--I was a stupid/careless person [and fairly still]. Now I think there are many little keys we are missing which can solve/unlock many puzzles we don't understand in nature, I am interested in finding one. Wish me luck. :D
  16. Dec 15, 2014 #15
    I've always enjoyed building and designing contraptions, etc.
    I got involved with civil engineering and construction and hated it.
    For years I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. I decided one job I'd always toyed around with was Bio-medical Equipment technician as it would let me "tinker" in a semi non-customer service/retail environment. While I was taking the bmet courses at a local community college, I had to take some applied hydraulics and control systems classes. I truly enjoyed those. I took it upon myself to study the physics behind it all. Some places pay some darn good money for those jobs as well, lol. I decided to keep going and am now working towards a B.S. in Mechatronics Engineering.
  17. Dec 17, 2014 #16
    12 yrs and in casual conversation my mom tells me time travel to the future is possible...iirc my initial intuition was "....Santa was a lie." lol

    The world was a magical place again. Thanks "physics" :oldtongue:
  18. Dec 25, 2014 #17
    The equations I couldn't understand but which explained a lot of our world
  19. Dec 30, 2014 #18
    I liked it because it was easy in high school.
  20. Dec 30, 2014 #19
    Does that mean you no longer like it ?
  21. Dec 30, 2014 #20


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    I started studying physics when I was at high school. Actually I it wasn't because of the physics I was learning at school. I was good at physics in school and I liked it but it wasn't enough to make me to go into it and become a physicist. So how I got into physics? Now that's a tough one because I have memory issues but the oldest thing I can remember about it(which I only remember vaguely, I mean I know well what was it but the emotions and thoughts, I hardly remember) is reading a series of short science-fiction stories in a book which were written by an Iranian fan of Asimov. He explained a little bit of physics after each story and in fact those were just some popular exciting physics not that much actual physics. That was the first time I met Lorentz transformations and I started studying about them on the internet. My studies were like this that I went into a wikipedia page and read it. Then I clicked the links to read about related things.(I rarely read some little parts of some books too. ) Some I understood a bit, some totally disappointing. But this chain of readings led me to almost all areas of physics. After some years of continuing this, I started to learn advanced mathematics. It took me years but now I managed to learn special relativity and general relativity. Of course I'm still continuing to learn them because I'm far from knowing them well but I got the main ideas of SR in the first year I came to university and GR, after some more months. But university was of no help for me in learning SR and GR. Also I knew QM basically from my own studies and the QM course in university was just of little help because the professor wasn't the right man for it. I'm now struggling with GR and QFT to learn them in their true mathematical form.
    But an important point I'm sure of, is that I didn't become interested in physics when I was in high school. I just discovered that I am interested in physics and I should become a physicist.
  22. Dec 30, 2014 #21


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    Free food at conferences
  23. Dec 30, 2014 #22
    No, I still like it, which is why I an here. After freshman year I switched to ME, fearful of the need for graduate school to make anything of a physics degree. Never looked back.
  24. Dec 30, 2014 #23
    Exactly! Every time my school held any local or global conferences, I was always present. Because I didn't have to cook or spend $$$ for lunch or dinner then.
  25. Dec 30, 2014 #24


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    1)Gary Zukav's Dancing Wu Li Masters (don't judge me).

    2) do the physics homework problems to build an intution for physics. Read papers in the subjects in physics you're interested in.
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