Physics Background

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AuthorTopic: Physics Background
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #0
Just a quick poll on the level of education in physics among the Spiderweb community. After the quantum mechanics posts in Synergy's last thread I wondered what the results would be.

[ Friday, December 15, 2006 18:47: Message edited by: Randomizer ]

Poll Information
This poll contains 1 question(s). 40 user(s) have voted.
You may not view the results of this poll without voting.

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Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Agent
Member # 1934
Profile Homepage #1
Sorry, but I don't think that your poll is that great. I mean, it get the point across, but the choices are limiting.
I've only taken high school physics but I think I know more about physics than the average person.
And you have to take non physics classes and out side sources in for consideration. We spent half the past semester in my chemistry class going over quantum mechanics. I also wrote a paper about string theory for English. Add that to my general science nerdyness and I'd say I have a pretty good grasp of physics.
Just saying. I hope that made some sense.

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Posts: 1169 | Registered: Monday, September 23 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #2
But I think there's a very good point in that. People who don't know about a subject, particularly a science, are fine. You can lead a productive and satisfying life without knowing a thing about quantum mechanics. It's the ones who believe that they grasp a subject when they really don't who cause problems.

—Alorael, who thinks that it's rarely true of physics or chemistry or even most biology. Medicine and psychology seem to be the fields where everyone has a pet theory with far too little technical understanding of the subject.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7538
Profile Homepage #3
Eh. High school physics. I liked the class, and I knew enough, but it was kind of a bad time in my life so I didn't really try. I just started college not half a year ago, and physics wasn't one of the ones up first, so I've yet to take it as a college course.

As far as personal knowledge of the subject, I admit that I know very little that would contribute to the strings in question. Hence, I keep my mouth shut.

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Do not provoke the turtles.
They do not like being provoked.

-Lenar

My website: Nemesis' Refuge
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #4
College physics. I'm just now arranging a double-major in Astrophysics, actually, so I should have a genuine bachelor's degree in it by the end of next school year.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6666
Profile #5
I was a bit unsure as to what my answer should be. I took ten courses in physics at my high school and also answered the physics questions in my final exam (matriculation exam), so I'd assume that's more than "a class in high school", but I was still uncomfortable with checking "courses in college", since I know from a few of my friends who continued to study physics at the university that it gets a lot more complicated than what we did. Still, I checked the college box.
Posts: 353 | Registered: Monday, January 9 2006 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #6
Yeah, as for these categories, it might've been more productive to give options regarding the type of study and not its location, as in: no physics classes at all, conceptual physics but nothing particularly mathematical, mathematical classical mechanics and E&M (and the rest of the assortment in AP Physics or the lower division classes), upper division physics, graduate study, or beyond.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #7
I'm not very sure which of those categories is closest to the education I've had in the vocational institute. It's been pretty basic, things I can apply to my everyday work, such as simple thermodynamics, newtonian physics combined with some metallurgy. Other than that, I like reading different science magazines to broaden my views. I'd say I have rather good mathematical understanding on the basic level and mediocre conceptual understanding of the more complicated things.

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I have nothing more to do in this world, so I can go & pester the inhabitants of the next one with a pure concscience.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #8
There is a difference in how material is presented at the different academic levels. High school physics usually is done using pre-calculus mathematics. Depending upon the college level course it can range from a high school level approach to an extremely rigourous one using mathematics well past calculus. Going outside physics there are several departments that use parts of physics as specialized classes such as civil engineering classes like statics that just looks at forces in rigid bodies or astronomy.

Reading about physics without taking a class is even harder to quantify since some books are not that well written to start in order to simplify material. The Feynman Lectures was an extremely well written series of books that explained college level physics without needing to use mathematics to get most concepts.

Then there are textbooks that are used in college that have so many errors that you will have trouble without knowing a lot about the subject before reading them. Two cases were one where the publisher printed a 3rd edition because the 2nd edition had so many typos it wasn't worth publishing an errata and another that averaged one mathematical mistake per page.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #9
I freely admit that the one high school physics course I took taught me very little about physics. It taught me a lot about the odds of a lone Jedi against the starship Enterprise, things to do with rubber bands, how closely something can resemble a weapon before the school adminostration became nervous, and how easy it is to start a cult anytime, anywhere, but not much else.

Dikiyoba did learn enough to know that the Cult of Perfect Physics's plan to destroy the world by lifting giant concrete blocks into orbit and then dropping them onto major metropolitan areas will fail miserably as it relies on the blocks being lifted into position by a giant pulley with a mechanical efficiency of 300%, however.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5576
Profile Homepage #10
I put down "Took college level physics class or classes", although what I'm doing is working toward a degree. Even after taking three semesters of quantum mechanics though, while I can find the stationary states of a number of cute unrealistic system, I have yet to be given any sort of explanation of why we spend our time solving the Schödinger equation. Of well, maybe in grad school. . .
On somewhat of a side note, I recently stumbled across a page written by one of my professors on many worlds theory which is quite fascinating.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
FAQSELF
Member # 3
Profile #11
I have a Ph. D. in planetary science, which included 5 graduate level atmospheric geo/astro/physics class requirements. However, I'm definitely a chemist at heart.

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A few cats short of a kitten pot pie...

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.
Check out a great source for information on Avernum 2, Nethergate, and Subterra: Zeviz's page.
Finally, there's my Geneforge FAQ, Geneforge 2 FAQ, and
Geneforge 3 FAQ.
Posts: 2831 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #12
quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

High school physics usually is done using pre-calculus mathematics.
Often, but certainly not always. AP Physics C uses calculus, and since it's an AP, it's offered in most high schools around the U.S.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #13
Don't ever let it be said that Emperor Tullegolar debates about things he knows nothing about. I may have passed high school physics but that's only because my teacher was out half the year getting gal-bladder surgery and they passed everyone in that class as a courtesy. I'm glad I stayed out of this particular debate.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #14
Seconded. Except that I might occasionally insert a note here and there if I think an error is present. However, I generally stay away from topics I know little about.

EDIT: By the way, Randomizer, did you know you have a typo in the topic title? I was afraid you were trying to restart the debate.

[ Friday, December 15, 2006 10:05: Message edited by: Nioca ]

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I tried to think of something witty to put here.

Needless to say, I failed.
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5410
Profile #15
Nio:

quote:
However, I generally stay away from topics I know little about.

Where's the fun in that?

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #16
I have a semi-relevant question. My college requires that I take at least one science course for no good reason at all. I want to take the one that is the least 'sciency.' Any thoughts? My choices are: astronomy, biology, chemisty, physics, and environmental science. Which one is the most right brain friendly? Probably that last one... yes?

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #17
It depends on the class. Read the course descriptions. A conceptual intro to biology, physics, or astronomy is pretty easy. Legitimate mathematical physics is reasonably hard, and so is detailed bio.

I'm not sure that environmental science can ever really be hard (outside of complex statistics, I suppose), but I don't know that much about it.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5410
Profile #18
quote:
My college requires that I take at least one science course for no good reason at all.
And those in sciences likely are required to take at least one arts course for no good reason. Hmm, perhaps its because it causes you to be creative, think outside your normal bax and expand your horizons. I remember a poll done of engineers a while back. The young engineers bemoaned their elective courses and wished for more "hard" engineering to prepare them for the workplace while the older engineers wished they had taken more non-engineering related courses.

I think it takes a longer view of the relative value courses provide to appreciate material taken outside of your core discipline. You will find value in it and you will grow to appreciate your course selections (in most cases).

[ Friday, December 15, 2006 13:23: Message edited by: chasm of Sar ]

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #19
I agree, part of being a knowledgable person is being familiar with things outside of your specialty. As a scientist, it is important, I feel, that scientists take non-science courses as there is a world outside of science that any educated person should be aware of.

Conversely, I feel, non-scientists should have to take a science class (particularly a lab class) so they are at least familiar with the scientific method and some of the fundamental concepts in science. Be that science, in the current time, shapes our lives in too many ways to count, a person cannot both be ignorant of the basics science and well educated.

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 2836
Profile #20
I couldn't choose any of the options for the poll, simply because I haven't got to the point where I can choose a Physics class at school. I still have plain old Science.
Posts: 587 | Registered: Tuesday, April 1 2003 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #21
I did one unit of university-level physics, but the subject was targeted toward biology students (most of whom hadn't done any physics in high school), so it actually wasn't all that far above high school level -- mostly just basic mechanics and optics and a bit about their applications to biology and medicine.

[ Friday, December 15, 2006 14:34: Message edited by: Perpetual Motion ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #22
quote:
Originally written by Perpetual Motion:

I did one unit of university-level physics, but the subject was targeted toward biology students (most of whom hadn't done any physics in high school), so it actually wasn't all that far above high school level -- mostly just basic mechanics and optics and a bit about their applications to biology and medicine.
Ah, the old physics for nursing majors class. Just kidding, but that was the way a group of introductory classes were refered to by the type of student they got. So there was physics for nurses, architects, music majors, and physical education majors (jocks). I'd say more but almost all that I heard about that class would violate the CoC due to extreme sexism and lack of political correctness.

For the record I was an engineering physics major for my undergraduate degree (I got to skip the foreign language requirement) and a physics major for graduate school minoring it relativity since that meant no more exams or classes needed for a minor. My graduate advisor was happy because it meant only 10 minutes to fill out the paperwork for graduation with no more meetings to discus progress towards my minor.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #23
Originally by Kelandon:

quote:
I'm not sure that environmental science can ever really be hard (outside of complex statistics, I suppose), but I don't know that much about it.
To Dikiyoba, it sounds a bit more political than the other classes are likely to be.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7538
Profile Homepage #24
The main reason I stayed out of these discussions was because I know very little about physics. The only thing I studied was Newtonian physics, so I have nothing to add to the debate. I'd have stuck around and tried to learn from what you guys were saying, but I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

As for knowing stuff outside of your specialty, I'm not sure if I classify. I've discovered that I'm somewhat of a 'jack of all trades'. It's kind of good to have diverse knowledge, but at the same time, it's hard to excel at anything.

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Do not provoke the turtles.
They do not like being provoked.

-Lenar

My website: Nemesis' Refuge
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00

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