Physics and Mathematics are extremely important subjects. Actually, that's a bit of an understatement.
Physics and Mathematics allow us to peer out into the cosmos and understand the inner workings of the universe. At once, they show us our insignificance and our remarkable potential; they give us a hint of the vast possibilities that exist—of what we could (and may) one day accomplish. They allow us to see the world and to see ourselves anew.
That begins to scratch the surface of these subjects.
No one can deny their importance; however, it is also a fact that many people don't know where to begin investigating these topics...what books to study, what themes to begin with. On top of this, many feel intimidated by physics and math—they seem to think that they are things which only the sharpest individuals are able to understand.
But nothing could be farther from the truth.
True, these subject areas might not be the easiest that you will ever happen across, but they are far from impossible. So. If you want to be a physicist or a mathematician, or if you just want to understand the subjects, here's where to start.
Huge thanks to the wonderful Moinak Banerjee for his work on this.
- Here is professor John Baez advice on how to learn physics and mathematics. He mentions the books you should read, and they are conveniently listed according to increasing levels of difficulty.
- This is the list of books that Berkeley recommends for people who want to teach themselves physics.
- And yet another list that is pretty good, which was compiled on Physics Stack Exchange.
- Nobel laureate professor Gerard 't Hooft has recommended some learning sources that are all free, and he also has advice related to how to earn your own Nobel prize.
- Here is some great advice from a physicist on Physics Forums regarding what you should do if you want to do more than just learn physics—on what to do if you want to actually have a career in physics.
- To supplement these, check out our extensive list of online physics lecture videos.
- Mathematician Terence Tao, who is also a Fields medalist and a Breakthrough prize winner, gave some beautiful advice on pursuing a career in math here.
- If you are looking for mathematics books you should read, here is an extensive list by Berkeley.
- The aforementioned should probably be followed up by the compilation from the Math Stack Exchange.
- Also, there's an extensive list of what you should read on the Georgia Institute of Technology website, and all of the texts that they link to are online and free.
- You can access more free math texts here and here.
Separating Science From Pseudoscience
- Here is a hilarious point system on how to tell if something is 'crank science' from John Baez.
- Warren Siegel has an equally hilarious write up here.
- And finally, from Gerard 't Hooft.
Now venture forth, live long, and study well.