1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Where exactly do I start?

  1. Aug 10, 2011 #1
    OK, so I want to start fresh. I have a high school diploma and took chemistry instead of physics, I hated my choice after I found out what physics truly is, our god's work if there is one. I have no idea where to start when learning physics. As you can tell my grammar is bad and my math is OK comparing it to one of you geniuses(I literally googled how to spell geniuses right there). So yes, you get the picture. I don't really want to go to college because, "hello" I'm not that smart for it so I can I get a fresh start so I can start learning physics. Hope I get a response and not look like an idiotic caveman writing this down, which I'm not. Also, I'd be glad for any direction to point at for a fresh start on learning DNA, I've always been intrigued by the subject just due to the fact that I watch a lot of X-men even though I know you just can't altar your DNA and get results like that, but who knows maybe one day we could. I want to unlock the secrets of the universe and I believe that is my true purpose along with everyone else's. No I'm not a little kid writing all these true statements and I hope you people take into consideration. Also, new to this site, hope I make friends as well. :D
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Hello kwmwtaj. Without going to college it may be hard to learn genetics at a high level, it's a broad and complex field. You're right in saying that X-men has got it all wrong! The reality is far more interesting than "I have a magic gene, now I have magic".

    If you want to start learning by yourself It would suggest looking around for introductory books on the topic (in spite of the name "genetics for dummies" will probably help a lot as the for dummies series is normally very good). Alternatively perhaps look for non-college options, considering your choice of words I'm going to guess you are American. I'm not sure what your options are there but in the UK we have things like the Open University or other companies that offer part-time qualifications of all sorts (from high-school to degree) that you can work on from home. You just sign up and they send you the materials and help you along the way.

    As for unlocking the secrets of the universe it sounds like you want to be a scientist, might want to consider that ;)
  4. Aug 10, 2011 #3
    Thank you for the quick reply Ryan. I guess I can look into the "Dummies" book as you said it may be more understandable at my level of knowledge; I appreciate the reference. I know there are community colleges, but those are very bad at teaching supposedly besides the fact the cheap and very affordable in this economy; I heard others are free. I actually prefer sticking to self teaching as it really is flexible in time and may speed up where I should be in grade level. Right now I'm just good at repairing computers, but that's easy to most IT's of course, even though it's not relevant to the topic I just wanted to throw it out there.
  5. Aug 10, 2011 #4


    User Avatar

    On the contrary, many community colleges have excellent professors. Community colleges hire based on teaching ability, while most 4-year colleges and universities hire far more based on research (how many publications will you have this year and how much grant money will you raise for your research) than teaching. Many people who love to teach and are good at it end up at community colleges.
  6. Aug 10, 2011 #5
    You absolutely should check out the http://www.khanacademy.org/" [Broken]. Some of their site functionality is down right now, but the videos are up, and the videos are really the important part.

    If you want to learn some basics of genetics and evolutionary theory (or any college level math or science material, in which case you go the the appropriate section), you can check out the biology section. If you want to see if you're cut out for physics, the math and physics on there goes up to about what you need for your first two years.

    Sal Khan is an incredibly skilled educator and all of his videos are high quality. When the rest of the site comes back online, there are a ton of exercises for math up through calculus and the set up is great for keeping up motivation (it's point based, and you get 'awards' for doing different problem sets and watching enough videos).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook