## Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

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Topic Author
RollDagoneTide
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:52 pm

### Anyone study math, physics or science for fun?

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
Posts: 312
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:48 pm

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

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.

fizxman
Posts: 298
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:44 am

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

I really enjoyed Brian Greene's books.

https://www.amazon.com/Brian-Greene/e/B ... scns_share

jarjarM
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:21 pm

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

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
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:49 pm

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

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

bertilak
Posts: 7567
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

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

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.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet

Posts: 1752
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:41 pm

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

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.

Watty
Posts: 19990
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

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

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.

lthenderson
Posts: 5052
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

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

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
Posts: 857
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:17 pm

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

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
Posts: 1923
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:47 pm
Location: CA

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

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
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:42 am

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

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
Posts: 870
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:15 pm
Location: Houston

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

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
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:18 pm
Location: Baltimore & DC

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

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

Marylander1

MathIsMyWayr
Posts: 1923
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:47 pm
Location: CA

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

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.

Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:54 pm

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

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
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:06 pm

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

Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for those in a hurry is a great read.

mstone3
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:12 pm

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

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
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:17 am

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

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.

tre3sori
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:13 am

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

Forgot all of that Linear Algebra Basics? Gilbert Strang could be of help:
Let every man divide his money into three parts, and invest a third in land, a third in business, and a third let him keep by him in reserve. Talmud | 34% Real Estate, 40% VGWL, 17% VAGE, 6% 8PSG, 3% Cash

hightower
Posts: 688
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:28 am

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

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.

Hayden
Posts: 1331
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:13 pm

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

I've been learning computer science. I've taken many courses on Coursera. Some have been excellent.

Slacker
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:40 am

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

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.

JupiterJones
Posts: 2864
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

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

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
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 3:03 pm
Location: NC

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. "The one who covets is the poorer man, | For he would have that which he never can; | But he who doesn't have and doesn't crave | Is rich, though you may hold him but a knave." - Wife of Bath tale Marylander1 Posts: 268 Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:18 pm Location: Baltimore & DC ### Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun? 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 tadamsmar Posts: 9029 Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm ### Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun? 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 Posts: 423 Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:42 pm ### Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun? 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 Posts: 1752 Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:41 pm ### Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun? 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 Posts: 2103 Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:03 pm ### Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun? 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 Posts: 331 Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:07 pm ### Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun? 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 Posts: 53 Joined: Wed May 20, 2020 6:36 am ### Re: Anyone study math, physics or science for fun? 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

Abel
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:35 pm

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

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
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:44 pm

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

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 : )

Posts: 1752
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:41 pm

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

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.

AAA
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

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

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
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 22, 2020 10:52 pm

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

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
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:57 pm

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

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
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:36 pm

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

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:38 pm
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.

Topic Author
RollDagoneTide
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:52 pm

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

jasc15 wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:23 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:38 pm
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
Posts: 1923
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:47 pm
Location: CA

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

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
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
Posts: 4239
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

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

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
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:56 pm

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

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.

rob
Posts: 3247
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

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

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?)
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

weirdsong1
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:39 am

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

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
Posts: 877
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 12:06 pm

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

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
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:17 pm

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

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.

Northern Flicker
Posts: 5986
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:29 am

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

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.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.