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Can anyone please help me out that knows physics very well?

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posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 03:13 PM
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If I wanted to self teach myself physics through means of books, audiobooks, and any other type of media does anybody know where a good place to start would be?
Like any books or maybe a certain branch of physics to study first that would make the next books more understandable.
I am currently reading The Special and General Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein. I have read A brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and a few other books but am only able to grasp the concept of maybe 60% of the books and the rest is a difficult puzzle. I am basically looking for beginners physics media and advice.




posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 03:26 PM
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If you are looking to learn basic mechanical or Newtonian physics I would start with high school textbooks available at your local library.

After that, I would goto a University or College campus bookstore and pick up a first year textbook.

From there, it depends on what you want to learn.

Quantum physics is related somewhat to chemistry (nature/structure of matter) and more difficult to grasp.

If you want to stick to concepts then reading books about physics rather than physics books is the way to go because if you want the real thing some math skills will be needed.


(BTW If you read Hawking's book I also recommend Brian Green's The Elegant Universe)
.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by seangkt
 


A lot of it is too complicated unless you go the path of degree level Physics, if you want to understand it greatly. If you're not bothered about the maths aspect to physics, then watching documentaries will help to understand qualitatively.

Although much of physics at cutting edge is so far beyond undergraduate level that you'd need a PhD in that particular area. And only those involved that research field truly understand it 100% as some of it is mind boggling and is beyond most people's comprehension.

[edit on 23-11-2009 by john124]



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 03:36 PM
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Thanks. The math doesn't scare me to much I've been able to teach myself math since 8th grade when I was home schooled. I never went to college after graduating because I didn't really know what I wanted to do and became interested by physics recently and kind of forgot a little bit due to being out of school for 4 years as far as math goes and now am working on getting to degree level but I am just anxious to try and see what I can pick up before actually taking the classes. I've really never been so interested by something and am just anxious and impatient.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 03:44 PM
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Another suggestion if you're not intimidated by the math and are looking for something that goes really in depth would be The Road to Reality by Roger Penrose.

It would be a great one IMHO if you're prepared to put in the time.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by seangkt
 


Good for you, wish you luck in your endeavors, you may want to shoot Dr. Michio Kaku an email, he teaches physics at N.Y. City University and he may have some good advice for you.. mkaku@aol.com and check out his website mkaku.org



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 03:52 PM
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The beginning is always a good place to start.


About Physics

Good luck on the wonderful journey you're starting.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by Gools
If you are looking to learn basic mechanical or Newtonian physics I would start with high school textbooks available at your local library.

After that, I would goto a University or College campus bookstore and pick up a first year textbook.


I agree, start with the high school textbooks.

Here's a good resource from MIT where you can see all the physics courses, download lecture notes, assignments and solutions, and exams and solutions for many of them.

ocw.mit.edu...

Some other MIT courses have online textbooks but apparently not the physics courses so you may need to buy or borrow some textbooks. Once you select a course, double click it and there are links on the left for "syllabus", "readings" and "assignments" where you can see what books you need.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 04:18 PM
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Wow. Thanks everyone for all the information and thank you to those who wished good luck as well. As I learn I plan to maybe do a neat little ats project that wouldn't start until sometime next year but it would be intended to maybe help people such as myself who find interest in the subject and want to try to pick up stuff outside of school or on the side. Like basic info and where to start but in fine detail.

Thanks again.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 04:34 PM
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anything by michico kaku is full of win



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 05:46 PM
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I recommend 'Six Easy Pieces' followed by 'Six Not So Easy Pieces' by the inimitable Richard Feynman - see Amazon for a low cost introduction from one of the most brilliant and inspiring teachers in physics.

Definately check out all his books and read the Amazon reviews. Even his autobiography is a good read.


[edit on 23/11/2009 by LightFantastic]



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by seangkt
If I wanted to self teach myself physics through means of books, audiobooks, and any other type of media does anybody know where a good place to start would be?
Like any books or maybe a certain branch of physics to study first that would make the next books more understandable.
I am currently reading The Special and General Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein. I have read A brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and a few other books but am only able to grasp the concept of maybe 60% of the books and the rest is a difficult puzzle. I am basically looking for beginners physics media and advice.


I try to stick to the physical aspects I can use. They are easy.
HOT/COLD/DIRECTION is about all there is to it.
A really good book IMO is ICE AGE LOST by Gwen Shultz.
A common sense , short, fun read. Not just for the beginer.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 06:29 PM
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Congratulations on discovering what interests you. People sometimes go through a college education and further without knowing what they are interested in.

I want to suggest a book to you that changed my life, and my understanding of physics and how it relates to me and how I relate to the particles that make up the universe. Here it is: The Dancing Wu Li Masters, by Gary Zukav.

There was a Chinese landscape painter in the 1600's but that's not who the book is referring to. Wu Li -- and I can't find a link to substantiate this, but just something I remember from the book -- is [in some Chinese dialect] a word that means a) beauty, b) physics and c) patterns of organic energy.

That last definition is the one that stuck with me. I took a degree in Chemistry, with minors in physics and math. I didn't really learn to LOVE physics until I was out of school...... THAT'S when the questions started, and I wish I'd have had them earlier, because they lead me to a lifelong love and appreciation of the beauty of physics. No, I'm not an expert. You can be though.

Another, after that one -- Fearful Symmetry, by A. Zee. The title, taken from William Blake's poem - The Tyger:

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry - Entire poem here

Also -- and I wish I hadn't given these all away, because they were very well written -- Isaac Asimov wrote a whole series of:

Understanding Physics: Motion, Sound, and Heat
Understanding Physics: Electromagntism
Understanding Physics: ? There were one or two others, but I can't recall the titles...


Have a wonderful ride!!! I envy you. I wish I could start fresh again, in these charged and wonderous times.

[edit on 23/11/09 by argentus]



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 06:30 PM
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Hey ther my friend sean!

You should check out "The Complete Idiots Guide to Physics".

Its good as far as to the introduction of basic physics, and all the fun math


Another good one is "The dancing Wu-Li Masters" by Gary Zukav

And, as pointed out above, anything by Michio Kaku is awesome. I am reading "Physics of the Impossible" right now by him, (not really an intro to physics, but more of a time line when some things we see in sci-fi stories may actually be real), but any of his other writings are worth reading as well.

Good luck


[edit on 23-11-2009 by ZombieJesus]



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 06:33 PM
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reply to post by argentus
 



You beat me to it.
And I couldn't say it better myself, Wu-Li masters was a life changing book for me as well.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by seangkt
 


p.s. you want to know something? I seriously doubt if 50% of people who read A Brief History of Time understood 60% of it. Good on you!

Something else that occurs to me is that I've learned a lot from teaching. Now, I've never formally taught physics, but perhaps you might want to charge this thread with questions... you know there are a lot of very brilliant physics-afficianados here at ATS. Ultimately you cross into theoretical physics, and there lies the land that is yet undiscovered; it has been mapped out, but few claims have been staked.


reply to post by ZombieJesus
 


It's a wonderous book, isn't it? I have bought it five times, and given it away each time. Now, I find, that Amazon won't export books, CDs or electronics, so I guess I just have to feel the rosy glow of having passed it on.

cheers, friend



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by argentus
 


Thank you. I wish I would have started sooner I am 21 now and starting so it's not to late but I forgot bits and pieces of stuff from school since I have been out for so long which had a small effect on what classes I am in now and also I just wish I knew more now. I became interested in astronomy one night looking at the stars and went and borrowed a friends telescope and began to read nonstop and heard so much of astrophysics I began to look into physics and now I find myself with so many questions that I need to know the answers to. At first I found myself thinking maybe some things are better left unknown but now I must know the answers. Thank you for the suggestions and I was looking into chemistry around the time I realized I liked astronomy and kind of veered off but am still interested.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 07:16 PM
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reply to post by argentus
 



Haha I had to read it twice and I also had the audiobook and when I didn't know what he was talking about I would pause the audiobook and use wikipedia to read about whatever it was to get the idea and did that chapter by chapter until I understood what I could. It took me a couple weeks of dedicated time but since that was really the first physics books I finished and put time into understanding it has really changed me. I have question after question after reading the book and now I want to learn everything.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 07:19 PM
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"symmetry" magazine is available on line and highlights a lot of interesting studies going on in the field that relate to potential practical applications



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 07:20 PM
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reply to post by seangkt
 


You're very welcome. I wish I knew more so I could help more. It has been said that Einstein began his career with the question: Why does light have no acceration period? How can it instantly manifest itself at its attributed lightspeed?

I don't know if that's true, or a romanticism of his works and life, but I do think it's a valid question, and, incidentally, one that hasn't really been fully answered yet.

I've been working on a paper for more than 20 years. I'd love it if someone with more brains than myself could pick it up and make something wonderful -- that would validate the time spent on it, you know?

Here's what I wondered: What if lightspeed isn't a constant, but an ever-increasing quantity, starting with the big singularity at the beginning, and increasing in a small, hardly measurable quantity up to the present?

Obviously, it is impossible to prove or disprove such a query, given the short period of time humans have been measuring lightspeed. Not only that....... just thinking along those lines tends toward fiddling with the Hubble Constant, and who has the stones to try and do that???? Not me. At least not until the math works. ha!!!



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