Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

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RollDagoneTide
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Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by RollDagoneTide »

I'm curious if there are any Bogleheads who are not in an educational program that enjoy the process of learning mathematics, physics or any types of science for fun? If so,
1) what book(s) are you using to study
2) what topics fascinate you?
3) what motivates you?
bryanm
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by bryanm »

Sure. I've enjoyed material from The Great Courses (I get them through Audible). I very much enjoyed Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition for example. I also have a copy of The Feynman Lectures on Physics that I've been meaning to dive deeper into.
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fizxman
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by fizxman »

I really enjoyed Brian Greene's books.

https://www.amazon.com/Brian-Greene/e/B ... scns_share
jarjarM
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by jarjarM »

bryanm wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:13 pm Sure. I've enjoyed material from The Great Courses (I get them through Audible). I very much enjoyed Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition for example. I also have a copy of The Feynman Lectures on Physics that I've been meaning to dive deeper into.
I LOVE Feynman's lecture on physics, amazing lecturer.
random_walker_77
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by random_walker_77 »

I've been reading through this book on acoustics, courtesy of my local library. Very interesting, but also very technical. The psycho-acoustical aspects of sound are fascinating, such as how your brain interprets certain ranges of delayed reflections to give you the sense of spaciousness. That said, the book isn't for the faint of heart. If you've got a STEM background and an interest in sound or music, it's a really interesting read (so far).

https://www.amazon.com/Master-Handbook- ... 0071841040
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bertilak
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by bertilak »

RollDagoneTide wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:04 pm I'm curious if there are any Bogleheads who are not in an educational program that enjoy the process of learning mathematics, physics or any types of science for fun? If so,
1) what book(s) are you using to study
2) what topics fascinate you?
3) what motivates you?
I am just now nearly done with a re-read of Heinz R. Pagel's The Cosmic Code -- Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature. (1982). Despite being nearly 40 years old, this book is still an excellent layman's discussion and quite up-to-date with the majority of things, and that's ALL the important stuff.

The part that always interested me the most is the discussion of the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen (EPR) "paradox" and the related Bell's Theorom. (I put scare quotes around "paradox" because there is no actual paradox involved.) It gets into the meanings of information and randomness. My work with computers in the 1970s involved those two topics -- not as a researcher but as an engineer making practical use of the concepts. There is also passing mention of quantum computing.
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investingdad
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by investingdad »

Reading about physics and learning enough mathematics to solve physics problems are quite different animals.

If you want to really learn the material, I'd pick up college level text books and start there.
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Watty
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Watty »

I have not done it in a while when when I am traveling somewhere I will sometimes read up on the geology or the area. That often has a huge impact on why the area looks the way that it does and developed the way that it did.
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lthenderson
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by lthenderson »

Not really studying those things actively but my degree required me to be adept in all three topics and I used math and physics daily in my career. These days I read non-fiction books on particular aspects of those subject as they are written. Some that come to mind that I've read are; "How to Build a Dinosaur", "The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World", "Astrophysics for People In a Hurry" and many others which don't come to mind. Another favorite of mine is listening to "Science Friday" podcasts from NPR. I get a lot of my books from the interviews they do on that podcast.
Cruise
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Cruise »

I've been studying Earth Sciences for the past five years or so, but also astronomy, chemistry and archeology. Now reading a book on minerology in preparation for a course in this. All of my audited coursework has been at our local university.

I'm fulfilling my long-term retirement goal of taking as many courses as possible that I avoided while in my younger- and single-minded degree pursuits.
Last edited by Cruise on Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

investingdad wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:55 pm Reading about physics and learning enough mathematics to solve physics problems are quite different animals.

If you want to really learn the material, I'd pick up college level text books and start there.
Solving problems at the end of sections or chapters is more important than reading the main body. I usually try to solve problems first and then turn to the main body of the chapter. Solving problems is a lot of pain, but no pain, no gain. Physics and math are not for the faint-hearted.
Jess Saying
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Jess Saying »

So... weird. I actually am on Chapter 2 of University Physics Volume 1, the free online textbook.

https://openstax.org/details/books/univ ... s-volume-1

I figured I'd put that saved commuting time to good use every day. Probably would help if I had someone to be accountable to for it though.

Authors are:
SAMUEL J. LING, TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY
JEFF SANNY, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY
WILLIAM MOEBS, PHD
Allan
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Allan »

I wouldn't call it "studying" but I like to read about astronomy, the formation of the universe, history of the earth, etc. Actually quite a lot of good videos on You Tube.
Marylander1
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Marylander1 »

I like the Feynman Lectures on Physics, mostly Volume I and III:
https://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/

Marylander1
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

Marylander1 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:47 pm I like the Feynman Lectures on Physics, mostly Volume I and III:
https://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/

Marylander1
Feyman lecture series is not of a low level. He created a course (a year long?) for an incoming freshman class at Caltech a long time ago. As noted in the preface, a number of professors also attended his classes. Only a small number, a few?, of students were able to follow and Feynman got so disappointed that he did not repeat the class again.
MostlyABogleHead
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by MostlyABogleHead »

RollDagoneTide wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:04 pm I'm curious if there are any Bogleheads who are not in an educational program that enjoy the process of learning mathematics, physics or any types of science for fun? If so,
1) what book(s) are you using to study
2) what topics fascinate you?
3) what motivates you?
3blue1brown YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/3blue1brown) is a good channel to learn different topics in mathematics. The concepts are presented visually and makes it easier to understand the material. Highly recommend the channel.
jm1495
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by jm1495 »

Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for those in a hurry is a great read.
MaskelyneW
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by MaskelyneW »

After reading many non-fiction popular science books, I find the stories of discovery and the history fascinating, but I know that my lack of training in mathematics will keep me from speaking and knowing the ultimate language of the universe. I've tried to teach myself more about topics in calculus by reading free textbooks from OpenStax, but it's not easy. The concepts themselves are not the challenge - it's the long list of rules and identities that make it a tedious process to learn, and I give up.

I will say I have really enjoyed Walter Lewin's lectures for freshman physics at MIT, available free on MIT OpenCourse. His demonstrations are true performance art.
Mr.Chlorine
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

I love sports and I love math, so I did my thesis on sports analytics. The actual math involved is not as intense as linear algebra or differential equations or other high level theories, but I enjoyed it. If you also enjoy sports, then there are plenty of books out there. Moneyball, Study Hall, or Sprawlball.
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tre3sori
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by tre3sori »

Forgot all of that Linear Algebra Basics? Gilbert Strang could be of help:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 15CB9EF31D
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hightower
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by hightower »

RollDagoneTide wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:04 pm I'm curious if there are any Bogleheads who are not in an educational program that enjoy the process of learning mathematics, physics or any types of science for fun? If so,
1) what book(s) are you using to study
2) what topics fascinate you?
3) what motivates you?
Yes, among other things, I read about ecology a lot. Lots of sources, but I have gone back to text books in the past for fun. If I could go back to school and do it all over, I'd pursue a career in this for sure.
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Hayden
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Hayden »

I've been learning computer science. I've taken many courses on Coursera. Some have been excellent.
Slacker
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Slacker »

I used to go to MIT's opencourseware section of the Universities website, but now I just go to Youtube and get my fill of FREE classes from MIT, Yale, Stanford, etc in a variety of topics (including Math, Software, Economics, History, Physical sciences, Engineering topics). You get to listen to all the lectures, however, sometimes it is helpful to get a used copy of the textbook to follow along if you REALLY want to learn the material in detail.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by JupiterJones »

bryanm wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:13 pm Sure. I've enjoyed material from The Great Courses (I get them through Audible). I very much enjoyed Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition for example.
Note that many of the Great Courses may be available at your local library for FREE. Around here it's mostly the audio courses, but I see a few video courses on DVD pop up on the shelves now and then. Interlibrary loan might be an option too.

All that said, I recently bit the bullet and bought a few of their streaming video courses from their website. (Never pay the exorbitant full price... always wait for one of their frequent sales.)

So far they're very good and well worth the price. (Way better than Masterclass when it comes to actual, in-depth learning.)
Stay on target...
sjt
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by sjt »

Some of my coworkers are involved in HAM (amateur) radio and shared some study materials. Browsing through them brings back memories of EE courses and is starting to get into some physics of propagation of radio waves (basic electrical circuits and basic physics) while also being useful. If I feel confident I may try the technicians exam (free or $15 depending on proctor) with my local HAM club and get a callsign.

Going more in depth, there is a more rigorous exam for a higher class license. I have a scanner (can listen in but cannot transmit) which I tune in to the local "nets" - they have every day and evening. There is also a local "SkyWarn" group which broadcasts during severe weather and is on "standby" if ever needed for official use.
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Marylander1
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Marylander1 »

tre3sori wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:30 am Forgot all of that Linear Algebra Basics? Gilbert Strang could be of help:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 15CB9EF31D
I am delighted to have never used Graham-Schmidt Orthonormalization in my professional career.

Marylander1
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tadamsmar
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by tadamsmar »

I am currently reading Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Math-Beauty ... oks&sr=1-1

Previously, I worked toward the the goal of being able to understand the mathematical derivation of special relativity and finally reached it. I was finally able to follow the math in Appendix I of Einstein's book Relativity

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/04864 ... tpbk_p1_i0

but I used some online tutorials in the math to help me get there.

I have read all the papers on bracket pool strategy. One of my hobbies is to work on improving the understanding of bracket pool strategy. I am currently working an "exact" method for the evaluation of the statistical distribution of the score of a bracket. I think I have completed the evaluation but I need to program it and test it and perhaps write it up and submit it to a journal.

Also have some interest in parenting methods and in particular the measurement of the effect of parenting methods using randomized controlled trials.

Also, I recently started spending more time on mostly-naked-eye astronomy. I set of goal of seeing Mercury and was able to do it. I regret that failed make the effort to find and see the comet Neowise. I recent happen to see the IIS which is impossible to miss if you look up at the right time.

My motivation is that I enjoy math, probability, statistics, and astronomy. And I find the situation in parenting science and common practice intriguing.
John Z
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by John Z »

fizxman wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:17 pm I really enjoyed Brian Greene's books.

https://www.amazon.com/Brian-Greene/e/B ... scns_share
+1 as he writes with a very easy to understand style. But he is (or was) heavy into String Theory ("the theory of everything" or what supposedly solves the conflict between Eisntein's general theory of relativity and quantam mechanics) and I'm not a believer so have stopped reading his works for that reason. Partly a non-believer because it seems impossible to prove anything on such a small scale as the Plank length, the length of strings in the theory.
investingdad
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by investingdad »

I do find quantum physics interesting, but only when presented in edutainment format.

I worked my butt off to pass the need physics courses for my engineering degree as higher level math was not a strength.

I'd not want to revisit it.
MP173
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by MP173 »

A couple of my hobbies are in related fields.

Astronomy - I have a 102mm refractor which I have used 34 times so far this year. That being said, I do not get caught up in all of the math involved with the hobby. My primary interests are double stars and deep sky objects such as open and globular clusters, nebula, and galaxies. I will ocassionally will view the moon but not too often. Jupiter and Saturn are easy early evening targets now, but I havent viewed either yet.

Math - I have a collection of slide rules and keep one in my office and one downstairs next to my easy chair in the family room. Every so often I will use it rather than a calculator. The slide rule has also provided a catalyst for learning other aspects such as log, sin, cosine, etc and functional uses of those. I have a couple of old text books with practical math applications the best being "Practical Mathematics for Beginners. For those who have forgotten." Published by The American Technical Society (22nd edition, 2nd printing, 1970) it provides hundreds of practical mathematical applications. Love that book. Give me the book and a slide rule and I will geek out for an hour.

Advanced math is not one of my specialties...wish I knew more.

Ed
Silverado
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Silverado »

investingdad wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:59 pm I do find quantum physics interesting, but only when presented in edutainment format.

I worked my butt off to pass the need physics courses for my engineering degree as higher level math was not a strength.

I'd not want to revisit it.
But it’s so wonderfully elegant! Voodoo for sure, but elegant voodoo.
backpacker61
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by backpacker61 »

sjt wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:26 am Some of my coworkers are involved in HAM (amateur) radio and shared some study materials. Browsing through them brings back memories of EE courses and is starting to get into some physics of propagation of radio waves (basic electrical circuits and basic physics) while also being useful. If I feel confident I may try the technicians exam (free or $15 depending on proctor) with my local HAM club and get a callsign.

Going more in depth, there is a more rigorous exam for a higher class license. I have a scanner (can listen in but cannot transmit) which I tune in to the local "nets" - they have every day and evening. There is also a local "SkyWarn" group which broadcasts during severe weather and is on "standby" if ever needed for official use.
I've been involved in the hobby since I was a young teenager.
There are actually 3 levels of licenses, each with a separate examination element. Not hard, but a bit of study will be involved.
I've found it to be rewarding and fun.
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? | 'Ride,' Pleasure said; | 'Walk,' Joy replied.” | | ― W.H. Davies
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Abel
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Abel »

I'm finally getting to relearn Maxwell's Equations, with a bit more understanding this time. Fleisch's "A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations" is excellent. I found I needed a refresher on wave theory too (cue "A Student's Guide to Waves").

An unexpected pleasure was how it opened up my interest in the people behind the science of late 1800's especially in England. I really enjoyed "Oliver Heaviside" by Paul Nihan, totally approachable book, about the quirky self-taught engineer that among his lesser achievements invented the modern nabla (inverted delta) notation for Maxwell's equations. Apparently it was for his own sanity in dealing with the math to streamline Maxwell's 27 or so quaternions into the usual four modern vector notation equations.
SemiRetire
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by SemiRetire »

RollDagoneTide wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:04 pm I'm curious if there are any Bogleheads who are not in an educational program that enjoy the process of learning mathematics, physics or any types of science for fun? If so,
1) what book(s) are you using to study
2) what topics fascinate you?
3) what motivates you?
Quantum mechanics.
Book titles are not catchy lol, would have to look them up.

Watch fermilab, nick lucid, pbs space time, and lectures on YouTube all the time. 3blue1brown? A bunch of them I can’t remember.

Also into cryptocurrency. Cool computer econ intersection with the old fashion cryptothrown in.

Goal is a noble prize, Also I like puzzles : )
investingdad
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by investingdad »

SemiRetire wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:44 pm
RollDagoneTide wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:04 pm I'm curious if there are any Bogleheads who are not in an educational program that enjoy the process of learning mathematics, physics or any types of science for fun? If so,
1) what book(s) are you using to study
2) what topics fascinate you?
3) what motivates you?
Quantum mechanics.
Book titles are not catchy lol, would have to look them up.

Watch fermilab, nick lucid, pbs space time, and lectures on YouTube all the time. 3blue1brown? A bunch of them I can’t remember.

Also into cryptocurrency. Cool computer econ intersection with the old fashion cryptothrown in.

Goal is a noble prize, Also I like puzzles : )
Fermilab does interesting things. I'm involved in a project that is supporting some of their work.
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AAA
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by AAA »

I would suggest checking out online forums, e.g., Physics Stack Exchange, Mathematics Stack Exchange, etc. While many of the questions can be somewhat advanced, there are often discussions of basic ideas that can increase your intuitive understanding of these subjects.
Mjams47
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Mjams47 »

Navy trained me in the basics of non destructive testing of metals using magnetic fields, ultra sound and x-rays\gamma rays. There's so much more in the civilian field you have to self research, since military doesn't do it. So I read up on things such as phased array ultrasound and computer radiography though a company called ASNT.
yog
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by yog »

This article inside the Apple News app was recently in Scientific American. You may need the Apple News+ subscription to read it.
How Scientists Solved One of the Greatest Open Questions in Quantum Physics

Here's a public link to the list of Open Problems in Mathematical Physics first created in 1998/1999 and curated by Princeton that is discussed in the article. Only 2 of 13 are solved, and the article above discusses the author's very interesting life story and journey in solving the problem of Quantum Hall Conductance.
jasc15
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by jasc15 »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:38 pm
investingdad wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:55 pm Reading about physics and learning enough mathematics to solve physics problems are quite different animals.

If you want to really learn the material, I'd pick up college level text books and start there.
Solving problems at the end of sections or chapters is more important than reading the main body. I usually try to solve problems first and then turn to the main body of the chapter. Solving problems is a lot of pain, but no pain, no gain. Physics and math are not for the faint-hearted.
This is the key to these subjects. You can't simply learn by reading. I've always had ambitions of going beyond the math and physics I learned as an engineering student, and remaining a lifelong student, but I haven't solved many problems since I was required to.

I have the Feynman lectures on physics on CD and in print, and have only really been able to follow along with those subjects that I've already learned.
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RollDagoneTide
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by RollDagoneTide »

jasc15 wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:23 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:38 pm
investingdad wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:55 pm Reading about physics and learning enough mathematics to solve physics problems are quite different animals.

If you want to really learn the material, I'd pick up college level text books and start there.
Solving problems at the end of sections or chapters is more important than reading the main body. I usually try to solve problems first and then turn to the main body of the chapter. Solving problems is a lot of pain, but no pain, no gain. Physics and math are not for the faint-hearted.
This is the key to these subjects. You can't simply learn by reading. I've always had ambitions of going beyond the math and physics I learned as an engineering student, and remaining a lifelong student, but I haven't solved many problems since I was required to.

I have the Feynman lectures on physics on CD and in print, and have only really been able to follow along with those subjects that I've already learned.
Thank y'all for all the recommendations!

Math is not a spectator sport!
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

RollDagoneTide wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:57 pm
jasc15 wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:23 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:38 pm
investingdad wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:55 pm Reading about physics and learning enough mathematics to solve physics problems are quite different animals.

If you want to really learn the material, I'd pick up college level text books and start there.
Solving problems at the end of sections or chapters is more important than reading the main body. I usually try to solve problems first and then turn to the main body of the chapter. Solving problems is a lot of pain, but no pain, no gain. Physics and math are not for the faint-hearted.
This is the key to these subjects. You can't simply learn by reading. I've always had ambitions of going beyond the math and physics I learned as an engineering student, and remaining a lifelong student, but I haven't solved many problems since I was required to.

I have the Feynman lectures on physics on CD and in print, and have only really been able to follow along with those subjects that I've already learned.
Thank y'all for all the recommendations!

Math is not a spectator sport!
I found out that the math and physics skills, being able to coming up with the final numbers or equations/expressions, of most of the technical people, many of them are Ph.D. holders, degrade down below the freshman level in only about 5-10 years after school except those whose main tasks involve publishing their research. Yes, they can talk and wave hands.
Last edited by MathIsMyWayr on Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MathWizard
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by MathWizard »

The physics I get from watching YouTube videos mainly about quantum mechanics and special and general relativity.

These topics fascinate me because though I have always liked the simplicity of the clockwork universe, but that failed to explain things.

I do understand the physics and math, but like additional points of view on these.
AzSkier
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by AzSkier »

3) what motivates you?

After a 30 year software development career, I decided to retire in 2015. I knew I needed a problem to work on and decided to learn a passion from high school. Biochemistry and molecular biology. I decided to focus on the cell membrane.

2) what topics fascinate you?

The focus on the cell membrane has morphed into a concept of "industrializing biological technology". Specifically, I am documenting all the pathways necessary to convert photons into Jet and Diesel Fuel. I am working through the pathways for creating alkanes, alkenes, branched-chain alkanes, cycloalkanes, etc. I try to apply my knowledge somewhat by designing machines that synthesize specific metabolites.

I consider this a 10 year project. 5 years to go!

1) what book(s) are you using to study

In the early days, I studied chemistry, biochemistry and thermodynamics using used books and online courses. Nowadays, I do a deep dive into a topic using google. I read through what ever sciences papers I can get free access to. Most of my reading today comes from online articles from science journals and on pubmed.
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rob
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by rob »

Maths yeah.... I love graph & number theory... Lots of mass mkt youtube stuff like numberfile (eg. James has a great summary of the enigma machine), Hannah Fry, 3Blue1Brown (best understandable presenter on maths out there and more detailed than most). I really like Hannah's stuff because her interest is in patterns & social interactions which interacts with real work life for me (data & data science orientated) - although she does lots of communication level stuff that is more fluff. Lots of interesting books on this stuff at reasonable prices (I never read in single blocks so BH library thing never works for me).

On physics related stuff, I love a lot of Dyson interviews/lectures and Brian Cox & Brian Greene are really great as more approachable than the Feynman lecture series (especially stuff Cox does with the Manchester Uni). This stuff is just interesting so I'm more of a superficial consumer than maths stuff.

Made little progress on my lock-down pile of books in the corner of the room... some might have to wait until retirement (making this actionable - how do I get to my pile of books sonn-est?) :D
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
weirdsong1
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by weirdsong1 »

Personally, I find many modern "pop" physics books (i.e. books by Brian Greene, Michio Kaku, etc) focus far too much on speculative cosmology often providing only a scant amount of good fundamental science. This can make for fun reading every now and then, but when it comes to actually learning something, they are poor sources. Richard Feynman, mentioned many times in this thread already, is definitely an exception. "QED" is one of most elegant explanations of weirdest of all quantum phenomenon, and "Sure You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" is just a great book.

In terms of recommendations, "Niels Bohr's Times: In Physics, Philosophy, and Polity" by Abraham Pais is an absolutely amazing book. Firstly, it is thorough and fascinating biography of one very smart man. But what sets it apart from many other very good biographies is the amount of science in the book. Unlike, say Walter Isaacson's bio of Einstein, Pais delves deep in the fundamental questions Bohr grappled with throughout his career and takes the time to properly explain very difficult concepts.

For those who like cosmology, Alan Guth's "The Inflationary Universe" is a good read about a subject many other books gloss right over. Even better because it's him explaining his theory.
sycamore
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by sycamore »

rob wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:28 pm ...
On physics related stuff, I love a lot of Dyson interviews/lectures and Brian Cox & Brian Greene are really great as more approachable than the Feynman lecture series (especially stuff Cox does with the Manchester Uni). This stuff is just interesting so I'm more of a superficial consumer than maths stuff.
...
For a lighthearted approach to science-y stuff, there's the same Brian Cox with Robin Ince on The Infinite Monkey Cage.
prairieman
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by prairieman »

I took many courses in quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, geophysics, etc... and enough math to do pretty well in them even though it wasn’t my major (Earth sciences). That was some 40 years ago.
When I retired I started revisiting the subjects and adding new ones including meteorology, cosmology, biology, immunology, and others. One of the most fun things I did, though, is listen to an overview course ( Great Courses - Audible) :

Steven Goldman - Science in the 20th Century

This is a history of science that nicely explained so many concepts and also showed how astounding some of the discoveries were - and still are.
“As long as the roots are not severed, all is well.” Chauncey Gardner
Northern Flicker
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by Northern Flicker »

Non-mathematicians so inclined can explore concepts belonging to the mathematics of infinite sets and transfinite numbers in a very accessible science fiction novel called White Light, by Rudy Rucker.
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bhwabeck3533
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by bhwabeck3533 »

jm1495 wrote: Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:05 am Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for those in a hurry is a great read.
Now that I've finished reading this book ("Astrophysics for People in a Hurry"), what should I read next to compliment it? Maybe something on the early days of Radio Astronomy? Grote Reber, Karl Jansky, Jodrell Bank Observatory.....
protagonist
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Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

Post by protagonist »

"Study" is a strong word, but I really enjoy reading math and physics for fun. It has played a large part in forming not only my view of the universe but my attitude towards life and the way I make decisions as well. I posted a thread about that somewhere else in this forum.

The book I am reading now is "The Order of Time" by Carlo Rovelli.
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