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Author Topic: I wish I'd had this when I was learning physics  (Read 4296 times)
JennyB
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« on: December 14, 2010, 08:34:47 AM »

MOTION MOUNTAIN
THE FREE PHYSICS TEXTBOOK


Quote
This colour pdf guarantees to be entertaining, surprising and challenging on every page. With little mathematics, starting from observations of everyday life, the text presents the best stories, images, movies and puzzles in physics. If you are between the age of 17 and 107, you will enjoy it.

The colour pdf tells about animals and sport (mechanics and heat), about the sky at night (relatvity and the structure of the universe), about lightning and nerves (electricity, light, the brain, language and truth), and about colours, pleasure and the stars (basic and advanced quantum physics). If you are interested, a separate volume tells about the search for a final, unified theory of physics. Enjoy!

Motion Mountain is downloaded over 30 000 times per year. Several younger readers liked it so much that they decided to study physics at university. A paper edition delivered to your home can be ordered here.

It's also big (over 1,000 pages) and beautifully designed.  Kiss  Cool

A few quotes at random:

Quote
In contrast to most animals, sedentary creatures, like plants or sea anemones, have no
legs and cannot move much; for their self-defence, they developed poisons. Examples of
such plants are the stinging nettle, the tobacco plant, digitalis, belladonna and poppy;
poisons include caseine, nicotine, and curare. Poisons such as these are at the basis of
most medicines.Therefore, most medicines exist essentially because plants have no legs.


Quote
How can the speed of falling rain be measured using an umbrella? The answer is important:
the same method can also be used to measure the speed of light, as we will fi┬Łnd out
later. (Can you guess how?)

Quote
As a consequence, if the Earth stopped rotating (but kept its shape), the water of the
oceans would ┼żow north; all of Europe would be under water, except for the few moun-
tains of the Alps that are higher than about 4 km. The northern parts of Europe would
be covered by between 6 km and 10 km of water. Mount Sagarmatha would be over 11 km
above sea level. If one takes into account the resulting change of shape of the Earth, the
numbers come out smaller. In addition, the change in shape would produce extremely
strong earthquakes and storms. As long as there are none of these effects, we can be sure
that the Sun will indeed rise tomorrow, despite what some philosophers might pretend.

 tongue
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If you don't see how it can fail -
you haven't understood it properly.
Stoic Joker
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 09:26:58 AM »

Sounds like some fun reading, thanks.
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lanux128
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 08:41:59 PM »

thanks for the heads-up, sounds like a good read.. thumbs up
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40hz
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 08:48:29 AM »

I think they've been discovered.  smiley

All the download links on their website were returning a 'server error' message yesterday whenever I tried them.  huh

UPDATE: Finally got it. Yay!  beerchug


« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 06:37:36 PM by 40hz » Logged

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Veign
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 08:55:17 AM »

Might be interested in the OpenCourseWare from MIT:
http://ocw.mit.edu/high-s...tory-mit-courses/physics/

Contains videos of classes and class projects.
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hegearon
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 09:10:43 AM »

Nice find! Hope it will help me in the near future. Thanks!
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superboyac
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 09:57:55 AM »

Those lectures on youtube from Walter Lewin are brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.  Very good example of why the top tier schools are so sought after.  I watched most of his electrical series of lectures and they were truly inspiring.  Unbelievable guy, I even emailed him once.  In my opinion, he's just as good as Feynmann.

Also, in case you haven't heard of it by now, check out the Khan academy video series for anything math related.  Another set of top notch, astounding, I can't even use enough adjectives here...videos covering math that are explained so well, you are left wondering why people think this is hard.  But it's simply because the presentation and teaching skills are off the charts.
http://www.khanacademy.org/
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AndyM
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 10:09:54 AM »

Khan academy video series for anything math related
And more than just math.  Just did a little biochemistry refreshing, much easier than I thought it would be.
Quote
Another set of top notch, astounding, I can't even use enough adjectives here...
thumbs up
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 11:29:58 AM »

+1 on the MIT courses. I've done three so far and they've all been superb.  Kiss

Back in April, the Open Culture website put up a list of links to 250 free online courses offered by major universities. AFAIK, they're all still working. Link here

----##----

Addendum:

And if you're into music, The Berklee College of Music in Boston has some excellent free courseware available here.


« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 11:47:07 AM by 40hz » Logged

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superboyac
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2010, 11:58:52 AM »

I had a high school teacher that, while not as good as Walter Lewin, was close.  And for high school, I consider that a blessing.  He got National teacher of the year at one point.  None of my profs in college were even close to that good, and we're talking UC Berkeley.  I've recently learned that there is a very large gap between a very good school, and a great school.  And an even larger gap between the great professors and good professors.  THere's something extremely inspirational about teachers like Lewin and Khan.  You listen to them talk about things that you ALREADY know, but somehow it inspires you and creates ideas for you.  These people are my most treasured resources in life.  GUys like that, even the knowledgeable people here, Stephen Fry...they create ideas for you, which is a powerful thing.
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tomos
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2010, 01:37:33 PM »

I think they've been discovered.  smiley

All the download links on their website were returning a 'server error' message yesterday whenever I tried them.  huh

same here (yesterday) but it's working for me now  thumbs up
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Tom
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 01:57:11 PM »

Quote
and we're talking UC Berkeley

I did  a course on the web by Isabel Pafford from Berkeley on  the ancient Mediterranean World and another on the Roman Empire that I thought were just great.
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Lew
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2010, 02:20:06 PM »

Memories of high school and university. Thanx smiley
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superboyac
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2010, 03:10:04 PM »

Quote
and we're talking UC Berkeley

I did  a course on the web by Isabel Pafford from Berkeley on  the ancient Mediterranean World and another on the Roman Empire that I thought were just great.
Yeah...I shouldn't be all that critical.  I was in the Engineering program, and it was rare enough to have a prof who didn't have a thick accent.  Then, it was even more rare to have a prof that was a skilled and effective teacher.  So, most of the time, it was very hard to understand what was being said, and furthermore, even if you did understand it, it wasn't anything all that interesting.  Here...let's derive this long ass formula for an hour, even though it's already derived in multiple textbooks.  I love how Walter Lewin always specifically mentions that he's not going to get into the details, 'it's in the book, he'll say" but he'll make truly thought provoking statements that really speak to your mind.
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ljbirns
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2010, 03:18:59 PM »

Yep  Walter Lewin made me LIKE physics  and even  understand 
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Lew
40hz
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2010, 05:03:20 PM »

I think they've been discovered.  smiley

All the download links on their website were returning a 'server error' message yesterday whenever I tried them.  huh

same here (yesterday) but it's working for me now  thumbs up

Still getting this from the website:

Quote
Internal server error. Please contact system administrator.

Has this book hit the torrents yet?  smiley

UPDATE: Finally got it. Yay!  beerchug

With my public thanks to all those who kindly offered to send it to me. (You folks are the best!)

« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 06:35:38 PM by 40hz » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2010, 11:27:57 PM »

Forgotten all about this Jenny. Thanks!
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zridling
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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2011, 11:12:56 PM »

Have to agree with SuperboyAC -- if you own a kid, get them to the Khan Academy site now!
http://www.khanacademy.org/

No more "I had a bad teacher" excuses for this generation.
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IainB
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2012, 03:15:51 AM »

I just noticed that there's an updated version of this textbook available.
Go to: MotionMountain
Quote
...download ALL SIX pdf volumes of the free Motion Mountain Physics Textbook (edition 24.24, June 2011) as a single zip file, in full colour, with embedded films and animations, in English. Attention, large file: 170 MB. There is not a single boring page. Promised!
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app103
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2012, 12:37:29 PM »

I just noticed that there's an updated version of this textbook available.
Go to: MotionMountain

The captcha there is awful. I must have hit the button for a new captcha about 30 times before I got one that was readable or typable.
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