Saturday, August 08, 2009

Physics for Free!

As an undergraduate in Computer Science, I was required to take a two semester lab science sequence. In addition, I was required to take Calculus I, Calculus II, and Linear Algebra from the math area. With proper manipulation of my free electives, I was able to take a few extra courses and end up with both math and physics minors. Where an ex-girlfriend of mine was taking classes like "Rock and Rap as Cultural Phenomena" (no kidding), I was taking four-credit lab sciences like Electricity and Magnetism and higher level math classes like Linear Algebra to complete requirements. I finished my degree with 130 credits - two more than the minimum - with those two minors.

Physics, in particular, always used to fascinate me. It was always complicated, but very interesting to solve problems using the theories provided. It's an incredibly interesting subject, but it does involve a lot of higher level math, and that usually seems to be a deterrent for people. I think people would get more out of that type of science than, say, Meteorology, but that's just me. Not that there is anything wrong with Meteorology, but I think Physics really was a class that taught me how to think and apply math and science to real world problems, and I am glad I ended up going that route.

If you ever did want to learn a little about it, a professor of Physics has actually taken the time to write a free textbook, and has made it available on the Web. You can find it at the address below:
http://www.physicsforfree.com/

3 comments:

Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu said...

Don't forget Project Tuva! Feynman has the incredible ability to distill the essence of physics w/out using much math at all.

David J. Csuha, CPP, CFE said...

Wow. A major in Rock! I have mixed feelings here. On one hand, when I took electives, like you, I took courses that I thought would have more substance for me career wise, e.g. "Building and Fire Codes" or "Fire Science and Administration", instead of something art related or the like.

On the other hand, I was watching an Iron Maiden concert recently, "Rock in Rio", and I was really intrigued by very young audience members singing along to songs I listened to at their age, many, many moons ago! It did get me thinking, sociologically, about how some music transcends borders and generations. I actually thought to myself, "there ought to be a college course..."

Hmmm... A second Master's in Rock.....

Anonymous said...

All science is either physics or stamp collecting.

-Rutherford, Ernest, Baron Rutherford of Nelson