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Where do I start?

  1. May 19, 2012 #1
    Ok, I'm in year 9 at school so I'm 14 and really intrested in physics and astronomy, but i've only really covered what was taught at my school so where should i start i only know very very basic calculus and some logarithms, so where do i start for both physics and astronomy.

    btw ive looked in the learning materials and read the first 2 documents, thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2012 #2


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    Hey Ryanzmw and welcome to the forums.

    I would advise you to make sure you have adequate grades from high school to get into the university of your preference.

    Other than this though if you want to explore these topics, I would recommend Khan Academy for this at www.khanacademy.org which has a lot of video tutorials.

    Also post in this forum if you have specific questions on something.

    Most important in terms of classes is to take the highest mathematics subjects you can as well as physics and possibly chemistry. Also make sure you do a decent english course as well. Whatever the hardest courses are in those areas (except english, but still do a decent level course for english), do those and get the best marks you can for those.
  4. May 19, 2012 #3
    Chiro's advice is good of course: do well in your classes and take the highest science classes available.

    However, next to that, you might like self-studying. Maybe you could try self-studying trigonometry or geometry and stuff??

    The book "Basic mathematics" by Serge Lang contains everything you need to know before starting calculus. Maybe you should try your hand at reading it?? Warning: it's not an easy book AT ALL for a 14 year old. So perhaps you would like easier books...
  5. May 19, 2012 #4


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    I'd suggest joining a local astronomy club. I did that at your age, and I learned a ton of about astronomy before I got to college - enough to be hired as a lab assistant my first year.
  6. May 19, 2012 #5
    To learn physics in general, Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt would be a good start. It doesn't require much knowledge of mathematics, and when I read it when I was 13, it was rather comprehensible. The older the edition, the better.


    As for learning Astronomy, eri suggested the best option. Its great to join a local club because that gives you a ton of experience.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  7. May 19, 2012 #6
    ArtofProblemSolving and EPGY have math classes. Take the placement test (AoPS has those) and take the corresponding course! It's most probably going to be harder than what you'll do in high school but will turn out to be useful, in my opinion.

    Another book (besides "Basic Mathematics") you can look into, which was recommended to me by Mathwonk, is "Elements of Algebra" by Euler. It's available for free - and legally so - on Google Books. It looks like a really nice book.
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