Wanting to learn physics
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08-01-2013, 06:54 PM
RE: Wanting to learn physics
Just curious, and not to discourage, but you say you "absolutely want a career in physics" but you don't have enough background to jump into college physics. So I'm curious as to how you can be so certain you want to do something you haven't really done before?

If you're certain, then go for it, more power to you, and I hope you really love it as much as you think you will. But what if you're not? What inspired you to this certainty about physics, and could that inspiration be fleeting and/or misplaced?

When I was your age, give or take (since I'm not certain of your age) I wanted a career as a karate instructor. I was certain of it. Got my black belt, worked as an assistant instructor, all the right track. I loved it for years. But then I found something I loved even more. Well, two things. Technology and money. Karate became a fun hobby and I got to play with computers all day and make a much larger salary. No, I didn't sell out, I really love computers and software and didn't give up my dreams for money - I merely found a new dream, just as good if not better, and subsequently found out how much more it pays and how much I like a comfortable lifestyle.

My point is, when someone says "I absolutely want a career in X" and they're already doing it, already an expert, or nearly so, I think they know for sure what they're talking about (I was and I did and I still changed my mind, go figure). But when someone says that without having a real background in it, I wonder if maybe they're just guessing, or just inspired by something cool without really knowing if the whole reward (career) is worth the effort (education) or whether they'll really like it as much as they think.

Still, if it's your ambition, for real, then go for it. Lots of good ideas in this thread to get you started.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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08-01-2013, 07:02 PM
RE: Wanting to learn physics
Woah.. Physics and neurology is quite different.

Anyway, I agree with the post above that if you don't have a fundamental understanding of a subject it's difficult to say that you "absolutely want to have a career" in that field. When i started college I was a computer science major with a minor in art. I wanted to do graphics design for video games. But as I take classes in programming and understanding how tedious it is I knew it was not for me. I took a chance and switched to biology instead and ended up loving it.

Anyway, if you really want a career in physics then studying online is NOT going to help. You get no credit or degree from these courses. For example, no engineering school will accept you because you've watched every online tutorial on mechanical physics. You're gonna have to go to a school and earn a degree there. However, I do suggest watching those videos I posted earlier anyway to gain somewhat of an understanding in the subject. If you still want to pursue physics then you'd have to take college courses, that's all. I hope I don't discourage you from your goals, just want to give a more realistic perspective.

"It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be."
- Sigmund Freud
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08-01-2013, 07:08 PM (This post was last modified: 08-01-2013 07:15 PM by Adenosis.)
RE: Wanting to learn physics
(08-01-2013 06:54 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Just curious, and not to discourage...
I understand your meaning, many people change their mind on what they want to do throughout their lives. I had never really been sure about what I wanted to do in life, and in high school I didn't even enjoy physics 20. I looked at it as work at the time, now I look at is as a puzzle. I don't know when the switch happened, but ever since then the only thing I really care about is science, most specifically physics.

I don't hate math, but I don't enjoy it either, which is why I saw physics as work in high school. Now my 'need' to solve puzzles is much stronger than my negativity about the work involved. I have let myself get distracted by temporary interests often and it has been hampering my progress in this area.

I have been reading lots about aspects of physics and theories but not actually getting in to the equations which is a big part. So right now you could say I'm more into the theoretical aspect. But I want to understand all the equations and how we come to certain conclusions in science. It's more of a need than a want, I don't think I could see my life as having purpose without science ( I tend to be a rather depressed person due to my, quirks ). I'm pretty sure I have Aspergers, so that would help explain my interest in this area if you understand what Aspergers is.

Life without science for me would be like what most people think life would be like without music. Physics is my Music. I don't yet know how to play the instruments, but I can't stop listening to them being played.

I hope that all made sense Blush
P.S. I'm 20 years old.

EDIT: In reply to Seventhmoon.

I already qualify to get into the physics program in the city near me, all I want is basically a refreshing review of physics 20 and a look at physics 30 to make things easier on me later. I am not actually required to have physics 30, they have a different starting physics class for individuals that do not have Physics 30.

I appreciate the concerns though.

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09-01-2013, 12:37 AM
RE: Wanting to learn physics
(06-01-2013 01:11 AM)Aspchizo Wrote:  I am interested in physics and wish to go to university for the subject, however I am too old to go to a high school to take physics 20-30. So I was wondering if anyone on here knows some good sources for learning taking these classes for free. I wish I could be in a classroom to take these classes, because I would be asking so many questions to make sure I understood everything right. I have taken physics 20 before, but not physics 30. However I still want to catch up on the stuff in physics 20.

Help Appreciated Big Grin
It's all you need to start:


1. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-01-...fall-1999/

2. http://www.lightandmatter.com/

3. http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/


I am a 48 years old math and physics autodidact,

Good Luck
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09-01-2013, 12:39 AM
RE: Wanting to learn physics
(06-01-2013 01:11 AM)Aspchizo Wrote:  I am interested in physics and wish to go to university for the subject, however I am too old to go to a high school to take physics 20-30. So I was wondering if anyone on here knows some good sources for learning taking these classes for free. I wish I could be in a classroom to take these classes, because I would be asking so many questions to make sure I understood everything right. I have taken physics 20 before, but not physics 30. However I still want to catch up on the stuff in physics 20.

Help Appreciated Big Grin
almost forgot:


http://www.physicsforums.com/
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09-01-2013, 12:47 AM
Thumbs Down RE: Wanting to learn physics
"Khan Academy", wikipedia articles set to MS Paint. Oi.
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09-01-2013, 03:45 AM
RE: Wanting to learn physics
(09-01-2013 12:37 AM)arksinx Wrote:  It's all you need to start:


1. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-01-...fall-1999/

2. http://www.lightandmatter.com/

3. http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/


I am a 48 years old math and physics autodidact,

Good Luck
Much appreciated! I also signed up on that forum, same Username.

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