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Where to begin

  1. Jan 19, 2007 #1
    hi

    well i am basically really liking the idea of quantum physics and find it real interesting, and think i wanna do it for a degree (either that pure maths or cosmoslogy), but dont know where to begin>?

    i havnt even started A-levels yet, but would like to get a head start cause i interested in it anyways, and reks i will 'just' about be able to follow it..

    so should i get a book to read through? or what?

    thncx
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2007 #2

    marcusl

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    Reading is always a good idea. It helps when you take the class to have already seen the concepts and material, even if you didn't fully understand them the first time around, and it will also satisfy your immediate curiosity. There are many books available, at both rigorous and "popular" (descriptive only/no math) levels.

    In the textbook categor, Tipler, "Modern Physics" is a popular undergrad book. Feynman's "Lectures on Physics" vol. 3 is also often praised, though be warned that some people have a tough time learning from it on their own (it'll either work well or fail for you, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground). You can also search your university library for any book with "modern physics" in the title.
     
  4. Jan 19, 2007 #3
    will i survive the math at my level? (small bit of a-level and gcse, but i find it all easy at this level so may understand the concept?), or will it use a whole load of stuff i have no idea about?
     
  5. Jan 19, 2007 #4

    jtbell

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    For the benefit of the Yanks among us who aren't familiar with the British educational system, could you be more specific about which math you've had so far? :confused:

    Most second-year undergraduate "modern physics" books used in the USA, assume that you know basic differential and integral calculus. They may also assume you know about partial derivatives and complex numbers, but at least some of the books I've seen do take some time to introduce you to those topics.
     
  6. Jan 19, 2007 #5
    Just to kill your delusion, nobody gets a degree in "quantum mechanics" anymore. Once you get past the basics, you'll realize that the world if physics is much larger than most people realize, and vastly more specialized that you'll believe.
     
  7. Jan 20, 2007 #6
    I think the ideal would be to study classical physics and mathematical analysis before starting quantum mechanics.

    I recommend avoiding these books, they are full of lies because their intended audience is not ready for QM.

    Just to kill your arrogance, I will point out that "Foundations of Quantum Mechanics" (which studies the consiquences of the basic non-relativistic formalism) is a fast growing field of specialization, in part due to interest in quantum computing and in part due to recent progress in experiments involving quantum optical effects.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2007
  8. Jan 20, 2007 #7

    Gib Z

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    Lol Umm Well, lets say it like this. The math you know right now, nope. You will need to know a vast variety of mathematics to cope with even understanding elementary Quantum Mechanics, let alone going further in the field. Try learning some Algebra, some advanced calculus, not that basic differential/integral stuff. Partial derivatives, differential equations, stuff like that, and obviously, things like classical mechanics, basic relativity etc

    O and btw, Crosson, where Can I get this degree you say? I'm only 15 and I bet I knew enough 2 years ago to get that degree by the way you described it. How basic is basic?
     
  9. Jan 20, 2007 #8

    robphy

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    Attached Files:

  10. Jan 20, 2007 #9
    Right, that school takes away all the uncertainties. :tongue:
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2007
  11. Jan 20, 2007 #10

    jtbell

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    :rofl: I remember seeing that exact same advertisement on the bulletin board in grad school, about 25-30 years ago. Now it can grace our bulletin board, too!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2007
  12. Jan 20, 2007 #11

    Gib Z

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