42 Week Course - 42 Assignments
Modules: Older Classical Physics; Relativity; Basic Quantam; Modern - Non Quantam; Modern - Quantam; Modern - Other; Recent Nobel Prizes; Interdisciplinary
Our weekly assignments invite students to explore essays, book chapters, news features, lectures, podcasts, videos and websites. Each assignment requires students to engage for approximately an hour, they vary in length depending on their difficulty. Lengthy book chapters allow for students to get deep into the text whilst short videos present more challenging material whilst leaving more time for thinking.
About the Course
I have tried to mix YouTube lectures and videos with articles. Some are very long, others are short. Some are much more difficult than others so if you find something very difficult one week don’t give up as the next week might be shorter and easier to understand. Also some articles get detailed in the middle and then explain better towards the end so try your best to persevere through the entire article provided. Even picking up some of the terminology in a tough article will help a potential physics career.
Another thing, even if you learnt about a topic in A level physics still persevere to the end of each article/video as they may say things in a more accurate or more jargon like manner that will be helpful in the long run.
I think I have covered almost all the buzz words one should know in the world of physics today but it is a very broad field and if some things have slipped through the gaps my apologies. Also due to the breadth not everyone will find every topic interesting, that’s the way the cookie crumbles I’m afraid. A physicist specialises quite heavily in one or two of the range of topics covered in the sections entitled modern onwards.
Some side notes, look out for material from Cambridge lecturer David Tong as he is amazing at explaining difficult topics well. In your spare time go to his website where he provides his lecture notes for all to see.
I have tried to make the reading list as wide ranging as possible but there will inevitably be gaps. If you are unfamiliar with the period being discussed, please persevere: at the very worst, you may glean some new approach you can apply to your own study and at the best, you will discover a new, hitherto discounted, topic to incorporate into your study at university.
Finally, many of the source websites (especially history.ac.uk and podcasts.ox.ac.uk) are a treasure trove of lectures and podcasts, and I would recommend looking through their content to see if there is anything of particular interest or use to you.
"Look out for material from Cambridge lecturer David Tong as he is amazing at explaining difficult topics well. In your spare time go to his website where he provides his lecture notes for all to see."
- Jason Myers
Meet the Course Designer
My academic background can be summed up by saying I have many years of experience in applied mathematics and physics. The slightly longer version is I have obtained an MSc in both these areas and I am currently working on my PhD in theoretical physics at King’s College London (KCL).
A (very!) brief description of my PhD topic is I am interested in applying new mathematical techniques to understand out-of-equilibrium-quantum-systems (it's great that using jargon makes a sentence look more complicated than necessary, this is particularly true when getting to use the word quantum). I am not only focused on physics and I do expend time and energy learning about other areas, in particular, I am inclined towards learning about history and economics when I get the chance.
Physics has had an incredible influence in my life as I have always found the world a fascinating place and physics is a powerful tool in trying to get to grips with it. Moreover not only has physics provided a specific framework and language to begin understanding our world but has also taught me a very important approach to problem-solving in general.