• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Physics, anyone partake?

L.R.

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
1,994
Reaction score
68
I'm currently living at home in the middle of the woods, and find myself extremely bored. While working 12 hour days on a farm tires one physically, mentally I feel...restricted.

I just finished university, and it feels weird to be doing so little. So I decided to take this "holy-shit-I'm-trapped-in-Nowhereville" time to learn a few things. I'm teaching myself French, and that's going well. I'm an arts major (sociology ftw), but always had an affinity for maths. I sat in for a few courses of friends at university, and though I've not taken anything in 5+ years, I'm still able to hold my own. Business math courses seemed fairly easy, while those in calculus took me a couple classes to get a handle on. (Though at one point I scored higher on practice tests than a friend whose major it is)

Lately, I've become fascinated with the world of physics, and I feel it would be enjoyable to explore it. I know I have a mind for it, but have no desire (or financial incentive) to reenter academia. With this, I thought it would be fun to enter it at a more leisure pace.

Does anyone have some good beginner level texts/books to recommended that would start in the correct direction of learning the maths and principles behind basic physics? I've not trained in any quantitative methods (outside of statistical analysis for research methods) since high school, so bare this in mind.

Anyways, cheers and thanks for any advice!
 

Milpool

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
921
Reaction score
0
Start with ocw.mit.edu and hit up the physics lectures on video.

A good book for beginners is "Fundamentals of Physics". It has been around forever so a used version should be practically free.

Get really good at calculus and differential equations.

After that, start thinking about what area interests you most.
 

Newflyer

Active Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
27
Reaction score
1
My recommendation would be to get very good at mathematics before venturing into more advanced physics. Basic mechanics books should be fine, but without a solid grounding in mulivariable calculus, trigonometry, linear algebra, and differential equations, first year books will be about all you can handle. A good textbook for a summary of all you need to know is Mary Boas' "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences."
 

Milpool

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
921
Reaction score
0
Originally Posted by Newflyer
Mary Boas' "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences."

Just browsed the TOC on Amazon for that book. Looks pretty good, I may pick it up. I like "Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics". A colleague also suggested "Advanced Engineering Mathematics".

To the OP, I strongly suggest building up a strong library as often one text will be practically impossible to understand on a particular topic, but another text will explain it with such ease that you'll grasp it immediately.

Another suggestion is to get yourself some good basic books on an object oriented programming language (Java is nice as NetBeans IDE is free, MS still provides a free VC++ compiler, so C++ is another option).

As you learn a method, try coding it. You'll be forced to really break down the equation and get to know it, plus, over time you'll build a set of "classes" that will allow you to solve problems quickly and easily.
 

Newflyer

Active Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
27
Reaction score
1
Originally Posted by Milpool
Just browsed the TOC on Amazon for that book. Looks pretty good, I may pick it up.


It is, we used it in my mathematical physics class. The treatment is obviously shorter than in a full-blown textbook, but it goes over just about everything you need for undergrad work.
 

MasterOfReality

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
137
Reaction score
0
We used Tipler's Physics For Scientists and Engineers for our uni physics.
 

scarphe

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
Messages
5,114
Reaction score
137
Originally Posted by ramuman
Feynman Lectures. /thread.

+ 1
they were also written for people coming out of high school so as a college graduate it should be easier.
 

L.R.

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
1,994
Reaction score
68
Thanks for the advice guys! I've made a list of the reccomended texts/books, and I'll be taking a look at them the following weekend. Right now I'm leaning towards the Feynman lecture, as a quick google-ing leads me to believe they'll be ideal.
 

deadly7

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
194
Originally Posted by MasterOfReality
We used Tipler's Physics For Scientists and Engineers for our uni physics.

Those books fucking suck.
 

MasterOfReality

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
137
Reaction score
0
Hahah thats why I didn't specifically recommend them.

They are not too bad if you concentrate on it - they do require some sort of pre-requisite knowledge of mathematics.

The appendices in the back covers the basics.
 

deadly7

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
3,145
Reaction score
194
Originally Posted by MasterOfReality
Hahah thats why I didn't specifically recommend them.

They are not too bad if you concentrate on it - they do require some sort of pre-requisite knowledge of mathematics.

The appendices in the back covers the basics.


If you have no prerequisite knowledge other than of calculus, that book is awful. I recall trying to re-learn some physics with that book, and the authors' convoluted way of writing everything made it an awful experience. I've read excerpts from the Young et. al book that I found more comprehensible. To each their own, though.
 

GQgeek

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 4, 2002
Messages
17,933
Reaction score
84
Originally Posted by Sanguis Mortuum
+1

+1

Still the best IMO. And enjoyable too.
 

darkdream

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
219
Reaction score
3
Get a basic math proof book like Introduction to mathematical reasoning by Eccles. Then move onto real analysis like principles of mathematical analysis by rudin. Understanding real analysis will help a great deal with more complicated levels of physics.
 

Featured Sponsor

What's your favorite pair of shoes to wear with jeans? (Choose two)

  • Boots (Chelsea, Chukkas, Balmorals, etc.)

  • Loafers

  • Work boots (Red Wing, Wolverine, etc.)

  • Monk strap shoes

  • Oxford / Derby shoes

  • Sneakers


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
427,152
Messages
9,193,002
Members
193,078
Latest member
zeus46

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Top