Fundamental Lessons From String Theory
If youre looking for mini lessons from award-winning string theorist, Cumrun Vafa, this is the course for you! Videos only average 10-15 minutes in length, expertly breaking down the fundamentals of stringy theory. Not only do you get quick and approachable videos, you also have access to summaries that get straight to the point, office hours with designated questions that Vafa answers in recorded videos, and finally, a discussion section where you can interact with other physics learners.
Easy to listen to and tightly organized, you can track your progress as you make your way through each module. These are not extensive lessons, so these modules are meant for those looking to gain more knowledge specifically in the area of string theory.
Learn By Solving Problems Not Just Passively Watching Tutorials
Einstein often skipped classes in college. Isaacson quotes him as saying, I played hooky a lot and studied the masters of theoretical physics with a holy zeal at home. He was not interested, nor compelled, to attend his lectures. He found something more engaging and fulfilling he used his time to focus on solving hard problems and obsessively playing with ideas and equations on his own.
There are a lot of books and tutorials that can teach you programming. But they often only give you a shallow introduction to new concepts, whereas the deeper understanding and learning is done while solving real-world problems using those concepts.
Dont fall under the false impression that you have learned something by passively watching someone rapidly developing a web application. Dont pretend that you understand something when you havent truly learned it yet. As Einstein wrote, Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Instead, you should be actively engaged in solving problems in order to learn new concepts. You may find technical problems that can test your understanding of the fundamentals from online judges such as LeetCode, Codility, HackerRank, CodeChef, CodeForces, etc.
This kind of work actively engages your brain as you find new approaches to existing solutions, which as a result help you learn and retain the information in the long term.
How Smart Was Einstein
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One of the most common stories about Einstein is that he failed grade school math. I think this is one of those ideas that sounds so good it has to get repeated, regardless of whether it is true or not.
Unfortunately, its not true. Einstein was a strong math student from a very young age. He himself admits:
I never failed in mathematics. Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.
While the story about Einstein being an early dullard is certainly false, its not the case that he was universally regarded as a genius, either.
In college, Einstein often struggled in math, getting 5s and 6s in physics, but getting only 4s in most of his math courses . His mathematics professor, and future collaborator, Hermann Minkowski called him a lazy dog and physics professor, Jean Pernet, even flunked Einstein with a score of 1 in an experimental physics course.
At the end of college, Einstein had the dubious distinction of graduating as the second-to-worst student in the class.
The difficulty Einstein had was undoubtedly due in part to his non-conformist streak and rebellious attitude, which didnt sit well in an academic environment. This would follow him in his future academic career, when he was struggling to find teaching jobs at universities, even after he had already done the work which would later win him the Nobel prize.
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Focus On Important Aspects Of Each Problem:
Whenever any problem in physics is solved, run through the important points that are mentioned. Also, get to know the details that you are trying to solve.
Avoid details that arent required for the problem. Important aspects of the problems are ones that would help you score in the examination. Hence, focus and remember to write those points without fail.
Is Physics Harder Than Chemistry
Physics is considered comparatively harder than chemistry and various other disciplines such as psychology, geology, biology, astronomy, computer science, and biochemistry. It is deemed difficult compared to other fields because the variety of abstract concepts and the level of maths in physics is incomparable.
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Finding A Job And Working As A Physicist
How To Study Physics: 5 Techniques To Be Outstanding
We continue our How to Study blog series where we share the best tips and techniques for improving your study of different subjects. As we are currently covering the sciences, this blog-post focuses on ways to learn Physics. Take a look at out previous articles in this series discussing how to study Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, History and Law.
Physics is a subject that often gives students many headaches as it includes complex mathematical problems. However, it is a fascinating natural science that has contributed greatly to helping us understand the world around us and to develop technologically. We discuss some top tips below to help you gain an understanding of physics and achieve good exam results in this subject.
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Strengthen Your Maths Skills:
As already mentioned, if you are studying Physics then you will see that it incorporates many mathematical elements. This means that you would easily master this subject if you were adept at tackling multiple formulas and problems. Review or study Mathematics alongside your Physics and this will help you to improve your management of the formulas and concepts.
and youll be able to join our Physics Group where you can ask questions and view physics resources created by other students and teachers!
Learning As Einstein Did
Einsteins approach towards learning cannot be entirely separated from who he was. Was his obsessive focus a result of his intelligence or his curiosity? Did his ability to easily visualize thought experiments come from encouragement in an unusual Swiss education system, extensive practice or natural ability? Was his revolution in physics a product of genius, rebelliousness, luck or maybe all three? Im not sure there are clear answers to any of those questions.
What is clear, however, was Einsteins reverence for nature and the humbled attitude to which he approached investigating it. As he wrote:
A spirit is manifest in the laws of the universea spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.
And, so even if Einsteins genius may lay outside the reach of most of us, his curiosity, humility and tenacity are still worth emulating.
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Always Account For Small Details
Every physics problem is a model of real-world situations, and they simplify the way things work to make the situation easier to understand. However, this means that the forces that can change the answer to the problem, such as drag and friction, will be deliberately left out.
The tutor will, in most cases, leave out the details to test your understanding. This comes to build on the fact that you need to memorise small details that will ensure you get the most accurate answer.
All Knowledge Starts With Curiosity
Curiosity has its own reason for existing, Einstein explains. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.
This curiosity is probably Einsteins most defining quality, after his intelligence. His love of physics started as a boy when he was given a compass and fascinated by the idea that the needle moved because of an unseen force.
Curiosity was his motivation for learning physics. Einstein, who could be quite lazy and obstinate when a matter didnt interest him, nonetheless had an intense passion for understanding the things, the ordinary adult never bothers his head about. Curiosity was also, in his own mind, the greatest reason for his accomplishments.
Einstein believed that, love is a better teacher than a sense of duty. Love of learning and knowledge is, perhaps, a more important skill to cultivate than discipline.
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Math And Problem Solving
A core part of physics is being able to perform the math that explains why the universe works the way that it does. For this reason, its important to make sure that youve refreshed your ability to perform math before taking your physics coursework. Most physics requires students to at least know trigonometry and algebra. More advanced physics coursework requires students to perform calculus. Youre going to need to be willing to brave math courses in order to succeed in physics.
Being able to solve math problems means more than being able to punch numbers into a formula. Youll also need to be able to be a creative problem solver. Sometimes, physics problems can require innovative and creative approaches to find a solution. Youll need to learn how to think outside the box and look at problems from different perspectives.
A Final Note: Know That Physics Can Be Easy If You Stay On Track
Physics may appear to be cloaked in all kinds of complex formulae, equations, theorems, and laws but at its core: physics makes sense. More than that, it actually helps you understand why stuff happens, affording you a detailed glimpse into how things fundamentally work at the level of molecules, sub-atomic particles, and sub-sub-atomic particles.
What this means is that physics can be easy if you stay on track, and this is the mindset you might try to apply when you’re learning this subject.
My biggest handicap when walking into my first-ever lecture of first-year physics was believing I couldn’t understand it. I just had to somehow rote memorize the facts and pray to the Gods of Pythagoras that I’d pass on memorized knowledge alone. But physics doesn’t work that way, as you now well know.
So, if you implement the five strategies we’ve covered in this guide, you’ll find yourself learning more efficiently, effectively targeting your weaknesses, and maybe even enjoying physics a whole lot more! And don’t forget to make the most of Brainscape as you rise to the challenge of this exciting and challenging science subject!
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Learn The Core Concepts
Try to understand the atomic structure, chemical nomenclature, and metric system. If you do not completely understand these basic concepts before learning advanced concepts, you will find chemistry hard to learn.
- You can learn the basic concepts of chemistry through university websites that offer free learning materials.
- Take the help of guidebooks, such as For Dummies books and SparkNotes. You can find them at your local bookstore.
- To learn and remember the concepts, write them by hand. According to studies, youre more likely to remember the notes when you write by hand.
How To Study Physics: 5 Killer Strategies
Physics is a tough subject that requires an open mind and the right approach. Here are our 5 favorite strategies for studying physics.
Physics, man, amiright?
When I was in college, I totally bombed first-year physics. Barely clawed through it in high school, too. And yet I ended up with an advanced science education . How did I turn it around? It took a significant paradigm shift in the way I thought about and studied physics.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to teach you about in this article: five killer strategies for understanding and learning physics so much better than you do.
These strategies aren’t just my own, but are the product of yep, using science to help you learn scienceas well as our many conversations with top students and professors in the realm of physics. So, with that said, here are five killer strategies for defeating my previous arch-nemesis science subject!
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Why Should You Learn Chemistry
There are a number of reasons why you should learn chemistry.
- Chemistry teaches you how to think logically and how to solve problems.
- Basic knowledge of chemistry helps you understand and read product labels. Reading product labels is necessary to ensure that items do not contain unhealthy ingredients.
- Chemistry helps you understand news about technological breakthroughs, environmental pollution, and product recalls.
- A knowledge of chemistry can help keep you protected. Youll know which household chemicals you can use safely and which are harmful to mix.
Get Experience Using The Transistor As A Switch
The transistor is the most important single component in electronics.
In the previous step, you got an intro to how it works. Now its time to use it.
Build several different circuits where the transistor acts as a switch. Like the LDR circuit.
After completing this step you should know how to control things like motors, buzzers or lights with the transistor.
And you should know how you can use the transistor to sense things like temperature or light.
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Make Flashcards For A New Concept Or Word
Make a flashcard for a new concept or word every time you learn. Flashcards are great for learning the periodic table and other principles. Chemistry is full of chemical formulas and symbols that you should learn and understand correctly. Flashcards help you learn these formulas and symbols easily and quickly. So, read the flashcards many times every week to remember the information.
Physics Essentials For Dummies
Physics Essentials for Dummies explores the core concepts of physics, including force and momentum. It presents an overview of Physics in accessible language and connects each concept to real-life scenarios. Some of the subjects it explores include vectors, force, and relativity.
This book is available in both Kindle and Paperback versions.
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Mastering The Basics Is Necessary:
One of the easiest ways of learning physics is to master the basic theories. Learning the basic laws will help you in solving complex problems later on in the advanced stages. Even better, create a graphical mind map that includes an overview of all the concepts and relate them to the complex problems. Create the map on a piece of paper and follow it thoroughly to obtain a deep understanding of the subject.
Thermodynamics And Statistical Mechanics
What It’s All About
Thermodynamics is the field of physics concerned with kinetics related to heat and energy, while statistical mechanics is all about the microscopic principles that underlie the Laws of Thermodynamics. This is where you’ll learn about the laws of thermodynamics, entropy, the canonical ensemble, Maxwell distributions, Planck’s distribution, Fermi-Dirac statistics, Bose-Einstein statistics, and phase transitions.
The Best Textbooks to Use
Introductory Statistical Mechanics by Bowley and Sanchez . This is a really amazing, concise, and clear introduction to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics – the best I’ve found so far!
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Tips For Writing Physics Exams:
There are a few basic things that you need to take care while writing a physics exam.
Find Discipline And Motivation
This is inevitably one of the hardest parts of studying for the MCAT, regardless of whether you take a course or not. Finding the will and motivation to continue studying after you have studied for 5+ hours will be hard. Being consistent with your schedule and sticking to it is hard. I failed countless times. There were days where I would just sit at a desk and get nothing done. I would feel like crap afterwards knowing I had to do twice the amount of work to catch up. Each person will have to face the problem of discipline and motivation, theres no escaping it. There were a few things that I discovered that helped with motivation and discipline.
Have Support A support group can be your family, friends or fellow MCAT takers. Find someone who can be your cheerleader and will encourage you when things get bad. Have someone you can complain about the MCAT with. Even having them cook you a meal or do your laundry once in a while really does make a big difference. These people will ground you in reality and will stop you from stepping off into insanity. They will be your morale booster, a source of inspiration.
You dont have to read books either. It can be an online blog or motivational quotes. A few fantastic posts for motivation can be found at the Student Doctor Network. I have listed two threads that I drew a lot of inspiration and ideas from.
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