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What order should I learn physics in?

  1. Dec 4, 2011 #1
    I have little to no knowledge in physics but I have a very strong understanding of the main topics in maths (trig, calculus etc). What should I start with in physics and what order should I progress in? What're the main topics I should know? I've heard of (but know nothing about) classical mechanics, relativistic mechanics, quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. Are there any other major topics I should do as well?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2011 #2
    learn classical mechanics first, then continue with electron dynamics, and then special relativity, continued with quantum mechanics and relativistic theory.

    For classical mechanics and quantum mechanics, it would be really helpful knowing some calculus of variation to begin with, but not necessary.

    Quantum field theory will require quite a bit more.
  4. Dec 4, 2011 #3
    The usual order is classical mechanics, electromagnetism, then optics and modern physics
  5. Dec 4, 2011 #4
    Following a typical undergraduate physics curriculum:

    Start with a general introduction to physics. I recommend Physics by Resnick, Halliday, and Krane. You can pick up the 4th edition for $1 on most websites. You'll get a broad, conceptual view of the most common fields in physics.

    Then you can focus on the specifics.

    Classical Mechanics
    Special Relativity
    Quantum Mechanics
    Thermodynamics/Statistical Mechanics
    Condensed Matter
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