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Self learning Theoretical Physics?


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Hello, i am a student of Neuroscience at University. I love neuroscience and science in general, in particular Physics: i love to question the base of reality and it's mechanism. This passion made me explore Physics by reading famous books of great scientist and communicators like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, Brian Green, Stephen Hawking etc. But now, i realised I would like to learn things more deeply, expecially the match behind it, unfortunately it is impossible for me to start a new University degree in Physics, i would do that ( if i had another life to live )but my career in neuroscience would be impacted. 

Is it possible to learn Physics and Theoretical Physics alone, self learning it ? No matter if this will take 5-10-20 years. How do i start ? What do i do ? 

I would love to hear some advice.

Greetings,

Massimo.

P.S. My knowledge of Mathematics and Classical Physics is basically 0, i know statistic quite a bit and it's application in brain research.

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Yes it's possible to achieve a realistic overview, but remember that even Physicists specialise so don't expect to cover it all.

This leads nicely to the following suggestion.

There have been a number of series of slim monographs from various publishers on a particlar topics in Physics.

Cambridge University and Oxford University both do one, but they are both quite demanding on the Mathematics (they have some mongraphs for that as well)

Other publishers have some easier ones eg this one from Routledge

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Relativity-Physics-Student-R-Turner/dp/0710200013

The series includes Quantum mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism and Classical Mechanics, EM waves which are all good.

Allen and Unwin have a good series in mathematics like this.

These books can be obtained second had quite cheaply and you can alsway ask here for more detailed help.

 

As a biomedical person I also include this book as it compares how Nature and Man achieve similar mechanical objectives in the real world, non mathematically.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=cats+paws+and+catapults&i=stripbooks&adgrpid=48840195290&hvadid=259123799715&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1007149&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t2&hvqmt=e&hvrand=11590526212339812244&hvtargid=kwd-314868215186&tag=googhydr-21&ref=pd_sl_6gzxaaawpe_e

 

Just to round it all off, I would accompany this with a good all round general physics book such as

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=cats+paws+and+catapults&i=stripbooks&adgrpid=48840195290&hvadid=259123799715&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1007149&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t2&hvqmt=e&hvrand=11590526212339812244&hvtargid=kwd-314868215186&tag=googhydr-21&ref=pd_sl_6gzxaaawpe_e

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24 minutes ago, studiot said:

Yes it's possible to achieve a realistic overview, but remember that even Physicists specialise so don't expect to cover it all.

This leads nicely to the following suggestion.

There have been a number of series of slim monographs from various publishers on a particlar topics in Physics.

Cambridge University and Oxford University both do one, but they are both quite demanding on the Mathematics (they have some mongraphs for that as well)

Other publishers have some easier ones eg this one from Routledge

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Relativity-Physics-Student-R-Turner/dp/0710200013

The series includes Quantum mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism and Classical Mechanics, EM waves which are all good.

Allen and Unwin have a good series in mathematics like this.

These books can be obtained second had quite cheaply and you can alsway ask here for more detailed help.

 

As a biomedical person I also include this book as it compares how Nature and Man achieve similar mechanical objectives in the real world, non mathematically.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=cats+paws+and+catapults&i=stripbooks&adgrpid=48840195290&hvadid=259123799715&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1007149&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t2&hvqmt=e&hvrand=11590526212339812244&hvtargid=kwd-314868215186&tag=googhydr-21&ref=pd_sl_6gzxaaawpe_e

 

Just to round it all off, I would accompany this with a good all round general physics book such as

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=cats+paws+and+catapults&i=stripbooks&adgrpid=48840195290&hvadid=259123799715&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1007149&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t2&hvqmt=e&hvrand=11590526212339812244&hvtargid=kwd-314868215186&tag=googhydr-21&ref=pd_sl_6gzxaaawpe_e

Thanks, i will give a look ! 

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Another good series of meatier Physics texts is the Manchester Physics Series.

Most of these can be navigated with A level Maths.

Start with the Properties of Matter by Flowers and Mendoza. (an older one)

https://www.google.co.uk/search?source=hp&ei=fJuoXJaFCsyckwWUr63AAg&q=Manchester+Physics+books&btnK=Google+Search&oq=Manchester+Physics+books&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i22i30.1604.14018..14986...0.0..0.244.2230.20j2j2......0....1..gws-wiz.....0..0i131j0j0i22i10i30.cjeLX2_rGXA

Edited by studiot
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3 hours ago, Elendirs said:

Is it possible to learn Physics and Theoretical Physics alone, self learning it ? No matter if this will take 5-10-20 years. How do i start ? What do i do ? 

Gerard 't Hooft has put together a guide to all the things you need to learn to become a "good" theoretical physicist (it is pretty daunting!): http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~hooft101/theorist.html

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14 minutes ago, Strange said:

Gerard 't Hooft has put together a guide to all the things you need to learn to become a "good" theoretical physicist (it is pretty daunting!): http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~hooft101/theorist.html

If someone has 0 physics and maths background, why would studying the hardest part of physics first be a good idea? Isn't this like wanting to design a building without any construction knowledge? Why wouldn't a reasonable person want to study basic physics and maths first, if they have the time to study anything? 

It seems like a mistake to start with theoretical physics. I fear the OP is thinking that you're allowed to use your imagination more than your actual knowledge when it's "just a theory".

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11 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

If someone has 0 physics and maths background, why would studying the hardest part of physics first be a good idea? Isn't this like wanting to design a building without any construction knowledge? Why wouldn't a reasonable person want to study basic physics and maths first, if they have the time to study anything? 

It seems like a mistake to start with theoretical physics. I fear the OP is thinking that you're allowed to use your imagination more than your actual knowledge when it's "just a theory".

't Hooft's list starts with basic mathematics and classical mechanics (with links to online courses and resources) so, although it would be a lot of work, I think it is suitable for starting from 0.

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2 hours ago, Strange said:

't Hooft's list starts with basic mathematics and classical mechanics (with links to online courses and resources) so, although it would be a lot of work, I think it is suitable for starting from 0.

The list up to GR would do me. I'd be ready for my after that lot.

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2 hours ago, Phi for All said:

If someone has 0 physics and maths background, why would studying the hardest part of physics first be a good idea? Isn't this like wanting to design a building without any construction knowledge? Why wouldn't a reasonable person want to study basic physics and maths first, if they have the time to study anything? 

It seems like a mistake to start with theoretical physics. I fear the OP is thinking that you're allowed to use your imagination more than your actual knowledge when it's "just a theory".

I think the OP is just making a clean start, but actually selling himself a bit short.

For instance the books I recommended include some classical basics and background.
They also include some integrals etc.

But you only  need to know what an integral is to study applications of integrals.
You do not need to be an adept at tricky formulae since all the integration needed will be carried out in the text.

But you can't have zero maths and Physics skills and be successfully studying neuroscience and statistics at university level.

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