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Where to start?

  1. Aug 17, 2009 #1
    Hello. I want to study Physics. I'm 14(15 next month). I know Newton's Laws of Motion. I want to know in what order should I study Physics. I know 9th grade Algebra. No books please.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2009 #2
    Unless you plan on sorting through the relevant wikipedia pages yourself (or have someone help you do that), get a textbook. Giancoli's physics text is probably appropriate for your level.
  4. Aug 17, 2009 #3
    Almost all texts are pretty much in the same order anyways. :smile: So if I were you, I'd start where I was interested... and I personally think that creating your own project designed around your interest is a great place to start.

    This could take the form of a building project (like making your own robot.. say one that moves around on it's own, doing some simple task like a "Roomba"... or one that is stationary but perhaps throws a ball for your dog once you train your dog to place the ball in the right spot). b The fun with robots is that there's mechanical, electrical and programming aspects.

    A project could also take the form of some programming task (there's tons of real data out there just waiting for someone to do something cool with it... I had a friend who took spelunking data from a geology site and wrote a program to create a 3-D model of cave systems from this data). Or if you're musical, maybe figure out how to digitally record your instrument and signal process the recording.
  5. Aug 17, 2009 #4
    For what it's worth, I would recommend working ahead in math first.
    If this is because of price, I understand completely. If you just don't like books, I recommend learning to read. Look at the following site (this is for physics, regardless of whether you have the math background):

    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-01LFall-2005/LectureNotes/index.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Aug 17, 2009 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Note however that used textbooks are a lot cheaper than new ones, especially for old editions that are no longer currently sold and used in classes. The actual physics doesn't change from one edition to another. Publishers come out with new editions every few years because they want to keep on making money.
  7. Aug 17, 2009 #6
    libraries also stock old textbooks you can check out....
  8. Aug 17, 2009 #7
    Why no books?
  9. Aug 17, 2009 #8
    Check out what your school offers. Are there science or math societies? Do they do additional courses? Do they provide books and resources in the library?

    And don't forget to just talk to some of the teachers. I'm sure they'd be more than happy to give some good advice on where you should be looking to go and at what level. It's what they're there for and all.

    It's probably best to follow the general curricula at your school - introductory physics modules all build on the basic ideas and principles that everything else will work on and around.
  10. Aug 17, 2009 #9
    Get a book. Ask a parent, I don't see why they wont want to buy it for you.
    The first physics I ever read(which got me into physics ) was https://www.amazon.com/Physics-Scie...p_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1" It is a book that you use while you are learning calculus.

    Also, you should keep learning math, a physicist uses a lot of it. Try learning calculus, here are some great websites:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Aug 17, 2009 #10
    No books is not because of the price and I love books. It's just that I don't want to have to keep turning pages >.>.
  12. Aug 17, 2009 #11
    My school offers Living Environment which I finished. This year I'm taking Earth Science. If I do horrible in Mathematics this year I'll get Planetary Science,if I do O.K in Mathematics I'll get Chemistry and if I do excellent in Mathematics I'll get Physics.
  13. Aug 17, 2009 #12
    My local library is currently closed for renovations.
  14. Aug 17, 2009 #13
    Do any of you know any websitse I can go to so I can learn Physics because I came to this website looking for Physics Lessons. Turns out it's actually Physics help and discussions.
  15. Aug 17, 2009 #14
    Do you know what type of math you will be doing? I think I was doing Geometry in 9th grade, but it could have also been Algebra I or II.

    Regardless, I would definately focus on getting the most out of your math class. A decent foundation in math will make your life much happier now and later on.


    MIT has a high school link in the OCW. I have no idea if it has actual content or just general guidlines and such.

  16. Aug 17, 2009 #15
    Turning pages will not be a problem when you get to higher material texts.On some pages it may take you over 10-15 minutes before turning the next page. Reading a math/physics book is different than reading a novel; you have to think much more and is much slower.

    Example: Most kids can read a Harry Potter book in a week. In a mathematical text, using even twice as much work, you may be done with a chapter.
  17. Aug 17, 2009 #16
    I will be doing Geometery since I took Algerba I and the Algebra Regents.
  18. Aug 18, 2009 #17
    I would focus on your math class and work through some of the OpenCourseWare notes on the link I posted.
  19. Aug 18, 2009 #18
    HS Geometry is not a very useful subject(in fact, is is almost useless).
    Refresh on your Algebra and study Calculus on your own.
  20. Aug 18, 2009 #19
    This is certainly not true.A good understanding of basic euclidean geometry is as essential as basic algebra. Both subject might appear to be useless when you have studied calculus and other more advanced mathematics, but this is because by this time you do them almost without thinking.
  21. Aug 18, 2009 #20
    Thanks for all the help. Anyone know a good website to hone my Algebra?
  22. Aug 18, 2009 #21
  23. Aug 18, 2009 #22
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  24. Aug 18, 2009 #23
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  25. Aug 18, 2009 #24
  26. Aug 18, 2009 #25
    Somewhat true. However, it is only a few basic facts(e.g. on a circle, the radius line is perpendicular to the tangent line) that you get from experience. However, a formal geometry course is superfluous.

    Knowledge of Geometry= Useful.
    Geometry Course=Can be skipped.

    EDIT: http://hk.geocities.com/mathphyweb/puremath.htm#1e [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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