1. Standard memberadam warlock
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    11 Sep '08 22:19
    Let's not kid ourselves: physics is the greatest science and theoretical physics is just the next best thing after sliced bread. Some say it is even better than sliced bread. I kid you not guys and girls. (I just said it haven't I? ) Anywhoo I've come across this page on the internet and I am cursing myself for not stumbling upon it way sooner but that's just how things go.

    This are some advices of a Nobel prize for people that want to make it big in physics and have no problem in working through a lot of some very useful and hopefully fun stuff. I've seen some of the books and resources he indicates and I can tell you that some of them are really good and some of them I didn't like that much. But the bottom line here is that a Nobel prize is willing to give us a few secrets of his craft and from what I've see on this site a lot of people are truly interested in physics. So this is a chance for you to actually mess around with some real physics and not the toned down wishy-washy stuff they try to pull down our throats with pop-science.

    So enjoy yourselves: http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/theorist.html

    And two more links with some more free resources that I've seen: http://www.geocities.com/alex_stef/mylist.html
    http://www.theassayer.org/cgi-bin/asbrowsesubject.cgi?
    http://www.theassayer.org/cgi-bin/asbrowsesubject.cgi?class=Q

    I'm thinking about renaming my club to something related to the 't Hooft page and have some people interested in science (strong emphasis on physics and math but of course all other branches included too) to join it. Do you think this might be a good idea?
  2. Subscribersonhouse
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    12 Sep '08 03:021 edit
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    Let's not kid ourselves: physics is the greatest science and theoretical physics is just the next best thing after sliced bread. Some say it is even better than sliced bread. I kid you not guys and girls. (I just said it haven't I? ) Anywhoo I've come across this page on the internet and I am cursing myself for not stumbling upon it way sooner but that e all other branches included too) to join it. Do you think this might be a good idea?
    That is a LOT of work! The thing is, if you do it, what can you do, who would hire you without a degree? Also, if you actually gutted it out and finished the whole thing, what would it be equivalent to? Masters degree? I don't think you could call it Phd work when there is nothing original going on. Is he saying an MS in physics is not as good as his formula? Would this be maybe like a double major kind of thing or something better than an MS but not as good as a Phd?
    What would you say to a prospective employer? I was T'Hoovin it?🙂
  3. Standard memberadam warlock
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    12 Sep '08 10:24
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    That is a LOT of work! The thing is, if you do it, what can you do, who would hire you without a degree? Also, if you actually gutted it out and finished the whole thing, what would it be equivalent to? Masters degree? I don't think you could call it Phd work when there is nothing original going on. Is he saying an MS in physics is not as good as his formul ...[text shortened]... but not as good as a Phd?
    What would you say to a prospective employer? I was T'Hoovin it?🙂
    That's a lot of work but people that really want it and can put their brains into it should do it if they are apt enough. There are some physicists that this kind of thing in their time just because they loved physics so much (Feynman,Schwinger,Landau and some more...). I'm not saying it is easy but it can be done.

    I think that if one do all of that work it should equivalent to an Ms. Not in the sense of having a thesis published but in the sense of work done and knowledge gained. A really good Ms. 't Hooft himself says that in some point you'll have to take a degree so to get respectability and to hang around people that can guide you and discuss yours and their ideas. I don't think he's saying that an Ms in physics is not as good as his formula what he's saying is that if you want to be a good theoretical physicist than you have to start early and dipping right away in the serious stuff. I agree with that.

    Now what would one say to a potential employer after studying the 't Hooft way and not having a degree in physics? Well when you go to a physics interview you can be rest assured that the potential employer will try to get as much of what you know, what you can do and what do you want to do. I think it is preferable to have at least an undergraduate degree in physics if one thinks about starting to do research right after completing this study (but after this study it is pretty safe to say that you would be a piece of cake) and/or to publish some results. So you would have to do the 't Hooft syllabus and also read some modern articles and try to publish something worthwhile based on them. People around the world know that there are some Ms's and Phd's that have no worth whatsoever and always try to realize in which side of the trench people are when they go for an interview. So Id say that a degree is a necessary condition but by no means a necessary one for one to do some real research. If you want you have some examples of people that did just that. First off is this guy John Moffatt he is mentioned in 't Hooft's site. He was a painter when he decide to work on physics. He studied and after some time turned in a person that was awarded a Phd on physics without having a previous degree. But for him to be accepted to do the Phd he had to prove that he knew a large good part of physics and also that he could make some new one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Moffat_(physicist) . And now for exhibit B: This guy was studying for his post-doc when suddenly the faculty realized that he had no Phd to begin with. That was a bit embarrassing so he had to write a phd thesis he wrote one but now the problem was that the guys on Chemistry department couldn't understand most of what was on in the thesis. Then came the Math department guys that said that we would be more that happy to award thys gentleman a Phd under our department for this work if you don't want to. Then of course the chemistry guys awarded him the Phd http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onsager . The last guy I'll mention is Julian Schwinger. By 16/17 he head already oublished his first article on physics. And it was on QM. And by 19 he had already written his phd thesis that only was awarded to him by 21 due to bureaucracy. A Nobel prize winner and one of the greatest physicists of the last century. Yes, this is a very hard job but that's the way to go if you really want to leave your mark on physics. All of these giants had to do it so why not us mere mortals. I mean even Newton, Gauss and Einstein had to work really, really hard to get what they get so why would us get away with just some flimsy notions?

    The other way to see the resources posted is that people can get free access to very good material on physics and math and not just repeat what's said on pop-science book without really understanding the why and how of what's being said. But if one is happy with the latter approach he hasn't got to do this program. Of course he'll never be a good theoretical physicist.

    One piece of advice I can offer is to download of Richard Fitzpatrick's books. They are deeply pedagogical and cover some good material.
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    12 Sep '08 13:36
    Originally posted by adam warlock

    I'm thinking about renaming my club to something related to the 't Hooft page and have some people interested in science (strong emphasis on physics and math but of course all other branches included too) to join it. Do you think this might be a good idea?
    I'd join, although I'd probably always be at the back of the class.

    "What if you are older, and you are not at all looking forward to join those noisy crowds of young students?" That would be me.
  5. weedhopper
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    12 Sep '08 15:09
    pretty cool stuff
  6. Standard memberadam warlock
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    12 Sep '08 17:21
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I'd join, although I'd probably always be at the back of the class.

    "What if you are older, and you are not at all looking forward to join those noisy crowds of young students?" That would be me.
    No problem about being in the back of the class. There's no back of the class to begin with 😉. We'll be just a group of guys that really love to question and everynow and then we might come across some answers. In my view asking interesting questions is the bulk of the fun on science (please read physics 😉) and I'm more than sure that you are capable of doing that.

    I'll do the renaming thing and post this on the general forum to see if we can get enough people interested to get a club forum.
  7. Standard memberadam warlock
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    12 Sep '08 17:23
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    So Id say that a degree is a necessary condition but by no means a necessary one for one to do some real research.
    I of course meant to type: "So Id say that a degree is a necessary condition but by no means a sufficient one for one to do some real research."

    😳
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    13 Sep '08 15:09
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    I of course meant to type: "So Id say that a degree is a necessary condition but by no means a sufficient one for one to do some real research."

    😳
    You might dig this one: a little lecture by Feynman using chess as an analogy to physics:
    http://www.chessmaniac.com/2008/09/richard-phillips-feynman-may-11-1918.php
  9. Standard memberadam warlock
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    14 Sep '08 20:17
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    You might dig this one: a little lecture by Feynman using chess as an analogy to physics:
    http://www.chessmaniac.com/2008/09/richard-phillips-feynman-may-11-1918.php
    Thanks but I had already seen that one. I think it on the documentary "The Quest for Tannu Tuva".

    Pretty good comparisons that he makes. He really had a way with words. 🙂
  10. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    15 Sep '08 10:23
    Need 20 members for a forum ... join, people.
  11. Standard memberadam warlock
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    27 Sep '08 14:55
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Need 20 members for a forum ... join, people.
    Yes that's right people. Please join and let's get a forum going on. It'll be fun. I promise.
  12. Subscribersonhouse
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    27 Sep '08 20:25
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    Yes that's right people. Please join and let's get a forum going on. It'll be fun. I promise.
    So how far along the way are you in the Hooft method?
  13. Standard memberadam warlock
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    27 Sep '08 20:56
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So how far along the way are you in the Hooft method?
    I have a degree on physics but some things are a little bit more foggy than others. So I'll restudy things soon enough and plan to help people that join the club 😵 and intend to do things the Hooft way.
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