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Studying What's the best way to start learning physics?

  1. Aug 16, 2016 #1
    Consider a person who has never studied physics, never is the right word, what do you think is the best way to start? Or, how to start?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2016 #2

    symbolipoint

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    In high school?
    Learn Algebra and Trigonometry. Enroll in the Physics course offered at the high school.

    Community College?
    Learn Algebra 2 and at least the basics of Trigonometry. Enroll in Introductory or elementary Physics.
    Had at least one semester of Calculus at the college level? Try the first real Physics course intended for the science & engineering students.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2016 #3

    micromass

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    What's your math knowledge? That will determine where to start.
     
  5. Aug 16, 2016 #4

    symbolipoint

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    I'm not sure what happens in high school Physics. Take the more advanced approach if you are qualified. Why? Anything less than Physics 1 - Mechanics, as intended for the science and engineering students, will be missing too much and you get less powerful instruction and less powerful learning. The Physics 1 course will force you to learn about vectors, force you to think analytically, and this course and beyond it require at least Intermediate Algebra, significant Trigonometry, and as you progress, increasingly more use of Calculus.
     
  6. Aug 17, 2016 #5

    vanhees71

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    Of course, math is very important, but what's as important is to also do experiments!
     
  7. Aug 17, 2016 #6
    I think this is a very good point. Without the experiments and demonstrations, the most important concepts are just words ("force," "acceleration," and so on). I think people who try to learn physics only by reading books really miss out (especially at the beginning). Many of the threads here on PF are started by people so confused, because they have no real feeling for the meaning of the words they use.
     
  8. Aug 18, 2016 #7
    My math knowledge? I just finished first year of upper secondary school, my math is pretty basic
     
  9. Aug 18, 2016 #8

    micromass

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    That doesn't tell me much. Please be detailed in what math you know and don't know.
     
  10. Aug 18, 2016 #9

    ZapperZ

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    In all of your posts in this thread so far, you never once mentioned anything on the REASON why you want to study physics, and what is your eventual goal. Are you interested in it as a hobby, so that you can understand the basic idea? Or do you expect to have the same level of physics education as an undergraduate major? Or do you want to gain a Ph.D level knowledge?

    Each one of those carry different paths and different level of commitments and difficulties. Without your elaboration on your goals, there is no way anyone can give you any kind of accurate response, or at least, I certainly can't.

    Zz.
     
  11. Aug 18, 2016 #10

    symbolipoint

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    I'm guessing, Algebra 1 at best. Natalinatul would seem to be ninth-grader. Three more years of college preparatory Mathematics in high school are still needed. Then, keep going with more Mathematics.
     
  12. Aug 18, 2016 #11
    I can attest to this statement.
     
  13. Aug 19, 2016 #12

    jtbell

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    Different countries have different educational systems. I don't know what "first year of upper secondary" means in terms of typical age or the level of math studied. I suspect few other people here know, because I don't remember ever seeing that term before.
     
  14. Aug 20, 2016 #13
    There's a lot of open course ware on the Internet where you can learn a vast amount of subjects. However, my limited experience has yielded very informative lectures/videos with a homework program on a website that doesn't work and stays broken for quite an extensive period of time. Very disgusting especially when I was actually enjoying learning calculus and being productive for once.
     
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