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1 point

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9th Mar 2022

As for Susskind's book, you can find it on Amazon, at least in the US. I'm not sure why it's not titled *Classical Mechanics* like the other two in the series, but there you are. Whether you choose that or Thorne and Blandford, or another reference, I hope your search for the meaning of tensors is fruitful!

1 point

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20th Jan 2022

I would suggest "The Theoretical Minimum"

https://www.amazon.com/Theoretical-Minimum-Start-Doing-Physics/dp/0465075681

It's not a pop sci book that give handwavy woo-woo explanations, it delves into the math but explains what the equations mean. A college educated person would have no problem with it.

1 point

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26th Nov 2018

I would STRONGLY recommend The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind and George Hrabovsky. While not strictly focused on QM, it’s an excellent introduction to physics and some of the basic mathematics required.

1 point

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3rd Oct 2018

Any one any thoughts on "the theoretical minimum" by Leonard Susskind? Decent place to start?

1 point

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19th Sep 2022

I would also suggest the Theoretical Minimum Series by Susskind

https://www.amazon.com/Theoretical-Minimum-Start-Doing-Physics/dp/0465075681

1 point

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1st Apr 2022

A great resource is the Art of Problem Solving books. They are great for talented kids but also for motivated professionals, They call topics through calculus and emphasize conceptual understanding. I'd go through the books, starting with whatever level is appropriate. Supplement with online videos, Khan academy etc, but use the AoPS as the core framework as imo videos/lectures are way too passive.

​

> I’d love to start some formal studies of astrophysics

I'd just jump in (or at least get a preview) while doing the above to keep your motivation going. The following book from a Stanford physics prof is aimed precisely at people like you:

https://www.amazon.com/Theoretical-Minimum-Start-Doing-Physics/dp/0465075681/

Also "A Student's Guid" series to physics:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/series/students-guides/DE92BAAE79DC05E3E353080483FF05A0

Shankar also gives a nice roadmap/review of the necessary maths:

https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Training-Mathematics-Fitness-Students/dp/0306450364

See also his excellent intro lectures at Yale:

1 point

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21st Feb 2022

I'm going to say this first so that it doesn't get lost: The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind is absolutely indispensable. That should be your primary focus.

The answer to this question depends a lot on what you already know, so I'm just going to suggest a wide range of things.

The basic mathematics you need for physics are calculus/differential equations and linear algebra. Once you are comfortable with linear algebra (which you should learn from an abstract standpoint -- not doing endless, tedious matrix calculations) you should have the mathematical maturity to seek out and learn further math on your own.

In general, videos (and particularly lectures) are helpful, but you can't really learn something without a book.

Calculus:

- Essence of Calculus from 3Blue1Brown
- I second Khan Academy
- I can't recommend a specific book, but you can always look up the syllabus of some college course and see what they use. Same goes for differential equations.

Linear Algebra:

- Essence of Linear Algebra from 3Blue1Brown
- Linear Algebra Done Right by Sheldon Axler. This book is
*excellent*.

Tensor Analysis:

- You'll need this for general relativity, but it will help with special relativity and field theory as well.
- [Introduction to Tensor Analysis and the Calculus of Moving Surfaces](http://213.230.96.51:8090/files/ebooks/Matematika/Grinfeld%20P.%20Introduction%20to%20tensor%20analysis%20and%20the%20calculus%20of%20moving%20surfaces%20(Springer,%202013\)(ISBN%209781461478669\)(O\)(303s\)%20MDdg%20.pdf) by Pavel Grinfeld
- Also see his lectures on the topic

Physics

The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind

- Books
- Lectures - available on Stanford's YouTube channel. Start with these:
- Classical Mechanics
- Quantum Mechanics
- Statistical Mechanics
- Special Relativity and Field Theory
- You can branch out from here -- Susskind has many similar courses on more advanced topics

Spacetime and Geometry by Sean Carroll -- a nice introduction to general relativity and a more abstract introduction to tensor analysis than Grinfeld

Emmy Noether's Wonderful Theorem by Dwight Neuenschwander -- a discussion of the principle of least action and Noether's theorem, which describes the connection between symmetry and conservation laws. Susskind's lectures will introduce you to this as well.

An Introduction to Thermal Physics by Daniel Schroeder is a solid intro to statistical mechanics

I could recommend more, but this is already a lot. Again, I don't know what level you are at now, but if you are comfortable with calculus you can jump into Leonard Susskind's lectures immediately, and I would recommend that you do. You *will* need linear algebra for quantum mechanics, as others have said.

Have fun!

1 point

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15th Feb 2022

> A technician like I was at the time, doesn’t need to know much beyond k factors, small and large nuclear force, and fission interactions. I’m not at all surprised that they didn’t go deep enough into the math to cover all the details.

This is what I constantly advocate for in this sub and others: no one knows everything. We as a species need to rely on experts to collectively piece together information. That viewpoint is despised on this sub. I'm not sure if it's hatred at any sort of collective approach, or a general failure of the Ego of man. But you wouldn't hire a plumber to fix your car. And you wouldn't hire me to run a nuclear sub.

We are a very long time away from creating dyson spheres and antimatter drives. But I don't consider them science fiction. We just need the materials and infrastructure. We could actually build a dyson sphere right now, it would just bankrupt the world.

> Got any papers or books you recommend on the subject?

As you likely know, physics is written in mathematics so any book without mathematics isn't going to be that great. A good compromise is the "Theoretical Minimum" series by legendary physicist Leonard Susskind. As an engineer, you should be able to parse most of the mathematics so long as you've studied differential calculus and linear algebra.

https://theoreticalminimum.com/courses https://amazon.com/Theoretical-Minimum-Start-Doing-Physics/dp/0465075681 https://amazon.com/Quantum-Mechanics-Theoretical-Leonard-Susskind/dp/0465062903/ https://amazon.com/Special-Relativity-Classical-Field-Theory/dp/1541674065/

And yes, I think you are correct in that renewables now, in most cases, do not compete with the energy density over the product lifecycle of fossil fuels, especially given that they take fossil fuels and environmentally-harmful products to make. But I think you are drastically underestimating how much we can improve once widespread adoption takes place. Microgrids, decentralized power schema with renewables supplemented by a baseline of nuclear energy seems to be future proof, more environmentally friendly, and nowhere near as finite as fossil fuels.

1 point

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17th Jan 2022

1 point

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18th Dec 2021

There is a really good book that goes into this

And a youtube series taught by the author

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-rICyRc1Qz144U91HTd6zY9pDVVPwskg

1 point

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24th Nov 2021

I've never actually watched this, but Leonard Susskind's Theoretical Minimum set of courses might be worthwhile for you. There's also a book with the same title by him, which sounds like what you're looking for. The book and the courses are both stand-alone, the first isn't a textbook you need for the second.

I'm pretty sure the courses are free to watch, so I'd suggest starting with them. The eBook or paperback versions aren't that expensive, though.

1 point

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16th Oct 2020

There are a lot of great suggestions already, but I have two additional recommendations I think you should consider.

First, I'd recommend The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind. There is both a book series and a set of video lectures. The first one is on classical mechanics, which I wouldn't skip because it builds up to what a Hamiltonian is in general, which will help when you get to quantum mechanics. I don't think solving all the various potential well problems is the focus of the courses, so I don't know how much it will help with those goals.

The second thing I'd recommend is Quantum Mechanics in Chemistry by Simons and Nichols. This book covers a lot, but most importantly it has detailed solutions for most of the problems in it, which is great for self study. Used copies are around $10. (Note that this is *not* the book by Schatz and Ratner, which is terrible book for self study.)

1 point

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5th Apr 2016

For non physics majors and even them I recommend reading this book: The Theoretical Minimum (and later on the second title about QM).

To gain knowledge in the domain of natural sciences follow this guide:

How to become a good theoretical physicist by Nobel price winner Gerard 't Hooft.

For very small scales the Planck length may become relevant. To get insights but not learn read the Planck stuff, for insight read Minimum, for understanding do the Hooft thing while studying science at an established academy.

$50 - $100

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$50 - $100