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Thread: Aspiring physicist...

  1. #1 Aspiring physicist... 
    Forum Junior Vroomfondel's Avatar
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    Well, I have been studying physics for quite a while now, and i seem to be a a point of indecision. I have a firm grounding in calculus, having gone through calc 3, and I have read the first to volumes of Feynman's lectures, so i have a firm grounding in pre-modern physics except for generel relativity. At this point, I would normaly continue reading Feynman's lecures for quantum mechanics and then decide what to do from there, but I am ansure of whether or not to study General relativity first. What should i do from here?


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  3. #2  
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    It may be most practical and rewarding for you to alternately study them both? Given your background, you'll probly find it easier than you anticipate?


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    Forum Junior Vroomfondel's Avatar
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    I went ahead and got a General relativity book.
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  5. #4 tensors 
    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    Howdy,
    To fully get the feel of GR you might want to also try to learn about tensors. And it seems that the notation varies from text to text so beware....

    I think if I were starting again I'd start out with a book that summarizes GR in a small number of pages. One such book is J.N. Islam's "An Introduction to Mathematical Cosmology." He summarizes GR in a few pages giving the main equations. You can find other books that do the same thing. It's just that I happen to have this one on my desk at the moment.

    Also look up Sean Carroll's website. You can download his book for free, and it is becoming one of the standard texts. He also has a "No Nonsense Guide to GR" you can download free too.

    Anyway, the purpose of this would be to get the big picture first before going into the gory details. But of course, the next step would be a book dedicated to GR.

    From a practical standpoint though, I'd study QM first. For example, if you did the whole undergrad and grad thing, you'll probably take roughly 4 to 5 quantum courses in total as opposed to one GR course, and many grad schools don't even require it.

    Also, there is the GRE to worry about if you want to go to grad school. I don't believe there are any GR questions on it, but you can bet your life that there are QM questions. All the more reason to find a short, few-page summary of GR with all the key equations just to get a "feel" for it and then move on to QM.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Junior Vroomfondel's Avatar
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    Sounds good. Im only a sophomore in high school, so i have plenty of time to get through GR before moving into QM. Thanks for the advice.
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