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Subalee

Looking for advice about science

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Hey everyone,

 

I have a few questions about physics, engineering and so on...

 

The thing is I'm currently 18 years old... Studying IT and i know quite a lot about computer.. well compared to the most people i know... but that's not important.

 

Since my school didn't really work out the way i wanted... I wasn't able to get that much into engineering, physics and robotics as much as i wished...

 

So the question is if i want to start learning about all this stuff, where do i begin? there is just so much knowledge i'd like to learn but i'm lost and have no idea where to begin :/

 

So if you could help me and point me of what should i start with, it would be great.

 

I'm almost asleep and i'm not native English speaker, so i hope this post is at least a bit understandable :)

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So the question is if i want to start learning about all this stuff, where do i begin? there is just so much knowledge i'd like to learn but i'm lost and have no idea where to begin :/

 

The place to start could be to read as much popular science as possible and ask questions on this forum.

 

The other option is to get hold of recommended text books and learn by yourself. That I think would be difficult, though you could possibly find a personal tutor.

 

Do you want formal qualifications? If so, distance learning could be an option, depending on your circumstances. You might be able to get UK A-level qualifications in say mathematics and physics.

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I agree with ajb.

 

On the surface, there are many cool science/engineering topics, which are often found in popular scientific programs, articles, websites and magazines. They usually deal with the results, but not much with how the results were achieved. For example, building a new bridge: they will show the construction and the finished bridge (and the grand opening). They don't show the team of engineers who were doing calculations for months or years, and who were designing many different options.

 

So, I guess you have to ask yourself: are you interested in the popular science and popular engineering, or do you want to become a scientist or an engineer?

 

To achieve the former: following the popular scientific sources of information is enough. It will be a hobby for you.

To achieve the latter: you will have to build up a strong background in maths, physics, and possible chemistry, biology or something else. And then you have to learn how to apply that to your chosen field of science/engineering. And the recommended way to do that is to finish your school and go to a university. There isn't really a shortcut, I'm afraid.

 

There is a middle way though. We all need programmers. Scientists and engineers often use specialist computer programs. Those are built by a team of scientists and good programmers. I have no idea how you can get such a career as a programmer though. The risk is that you get close to the science, but that you instead end up in the IT department of a large company... fixing people's crashed computers. Be sure to apply not just at the right company, but for the right job too, if you follow this path.

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Hey everyone,

 

I have a few questions about physics, engineering and so on...

 

The thing is I'm currently 18 years old... Studying IT and i know quite a lot about computer.. well compared to the most people i know... but that's not important.

 

Since my school didn't really work out the way i wanted... I wasn't able to get that much into engineering, physics and robotics as much as i wished...

 

So the question is if i want to start learning about all this stuff, where do i begin? there is just so much knowledge i'd like to learn but i'm lost and have no idea where to begin :/

 

So if you could help me and point me of what should i start with, it would be great.

 

I'm almost asleep and i'm not native English speaker, so i hope this post is at least a bit understandable :)

 

Hi there. To be honest I wouldn't worry too much about science education prior to 18 years old. Being blunt, most high school curricula are crap. If there are any particular areas of science that you are interested in, then look up university books, or increasingly commonly, online university courses like those that can be found on iTunes. The Khan academy is also an excellent resource for quite a few things. Don't forget of course getting involved in places like here!

Edited by Radical Edward

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My main focus is and will be computer science and programming, however i'd like to learn more about physics etc. I want to do it as my hobby atleast for now. :)

 

Could you please write down some great books about physics, engineering even for beginners :)

 

And thanks for the answers :)

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There are also many websites that have anything from video lectures to short talks. Here are a few to start you off:

 

http://video.mit.edu/

http://www.academicearth.org/

http://thesciencenetwork.org/

http://videolectures.net/

 

 

There is also TED but I find that it's hard to determine if the video will be good or crap until you watch it, so if you are looking to actually learn a subject I wouldn't start there.

 

[edit]

 

Didn't realize Edward also mentioned websites, Khan is a good place to start, but sometimes he explains things oddly or mildly incorrectly (at least last time I looked at some of the videos). But you can't expect the guy to be able to expertly teach every subject.

Edited by Ringer

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Thanks for the links! :)

 

Yea, i watched like 2-3 TED videos and 2 of them were crap :/

 

 

Khan academy is a great resource too and for the time being his explanation are enough for me :) Maybe later i will wind them less informative or accurate :)

 

Anyway, thanks so much :)

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Could you please write down some great books about physics, engineering even for beginners :)

 

It depends what you want and how much you know already. That said, I like the book Fundamentals of Physics Extended by Halliday Resnick and Walker. I have the fifth edition and use it to remind myself of basic physics as and when required. You can get the book via amazon.

 

To use the book you should have a good grasp of basic algebra and calculus as well as high-school physics.

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