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What is next in Physics

  1. Feb 28, 2008 #1
    That, is, I have almost completed the 3 courses in the General Physics series. I am taking other courses in Dynamics and mathematics, but mostly for engineering.

    I would like to branch out a little now, or better still, hone in on some other areas of physics. After studying the fundamentals of physics, i.e. Newton's Laws through electricity and magnetism, what is the next logical step? I won't necessarily being taking classes in it in school, but I would like to continue to study physics.

    Should I start looking into the modern fields? What do you think the next few topics I should get into are? I have completed 2 of 3 Calculus courses, and I am in the middle of an intro differential equations course.

    What do you think is next?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2008 #2
    Doesn't your university give you a four year plan of study for your major.
  4. Feb 29, 2008 #3
    It sounds like Saladsamurai isn't a physics major, although he could probably still switch if he wanted to. It sounds like you've taken freshman mechanics and E&M, and the next logical step would be a higher level classical mechanics or E&M course. There's a lot more to both of those subjects, and in classical mechanics in particular you'll learn a lot of math and basic physics which will help you understand even higher level courses. Think about taking classes instead of learning from books, I think lectures are a much more engaging way to learn than by reading equations out of a book.

    Just my two cents.
  5. Feb 29, 2008 #4


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    I think learning something about modern physics would be a good choice, since you've taken the classical physics courses. The material is quite different from what you've taken so far, and really interesting.

    I'm afraid I don't know of any books, but many schools offer a modern physics course. You could study the text for that class, or ask one of your physics professors.
  6. Feb 29, 2008 #5


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    I think a course in Modern Physics is the next logical step. I suggest using Serway's "Modern Physics." It's a great book and will give you a basic introduction to relativity and quantum mechanics.
  7. Feb 29, 2008 #6

    Correct. As of now, I am not a Physics major. I am at a two year college completing the first two years of mechanical engineering. I like engineering, but I love physics. I am hoping to be allowed to do the double major in both at my four year university when I transfer. But I can't really wait a whole year before taking another physics course. I love it too much to wait that long.

    For General Physics, we are pretty much through with Halliday and Resnick's Fundamentals of Physicss (7th ed.) And like I said, I am about through with the calculus series. Will I need anything else before starting this book GO1?
  8. Feb 29, 2008 #7
    For me it went like this:

    1st year: Freshman physics, I assume this is what you are taking.

    2nd year: I took a few physics classes per quarter, some of which were labs, which I won't mention, since you can't do them on your own anyway.

    Thermodynamics-------Modern Physics---Classical Mechanics
    Mathematical physics---Math Phys 2

    3rd Year: Now I'm taking 2 per quarter also

    E&M 1 -------E&M 2-----will take E&M 3
    Quantum---Quantum 2---will take statistical mechanics
  9. Mar 1, 2008 #8
    I have taken Physics 1,2 and 3. 1 and 2 were basically the foundations of mechanics and thermodynamics, and 3 is E&M.
  10. Mar 1, 2008 #9


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    in sweden we have a program called "Engineering Physics", 4.5years.

    And I agree with G01: Modern Physics is the next step if you know math, E&M and classical Mechanics.
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