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What makes an Amateur Physicist.

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#26 moynihan

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:48 PM

The phrase "amateur" simply means one who does the activity for the love of it, as an "avocation" rather than as a "vocation" or occupation.

It is possible to be a trained or self taught scientist but that might not be one's vocation or occupation.

Physics is probably one of the most difficult disciplines to master some part of in modern times, due to its math intensity, among other things. But i think it is possible.

I used to attend a thing called the Lake Superior Design Retreat every year. A presenter usually taught about something related to their vocation. But often they taught about their subject of passion. Two examples.
A gentleman who as part of his vocation discovered the basics of the mental aspects of how babies come to understand the spacial aspects of their surroundings, did a three hour presentation on his hobby, traditional Polynesian sea navigation.
Another fellow was the leading rigger (person who prepared masts and lines on sailing ships) in the world, and at the time, the editor of the primary handbook on sails, lines and knots. He taught about his hobby, the study of the flight or fight mechanism.

But few physicists are "professionals", at least in the correct use of the word, which is not the common use, which apparently means, getting paid for something. ;)
Traditionally, a professional was a person who had a vocation that required the taking of an oath (professing) before beginning their career. The true professions, if one goes back to ancient times:

Current and ancient "Profess-ions":

Religious officials
Politicians (in a republic)
Lawyers and judges
Doctors
Chemists (Pharmacist)
Soldiers

and, also in the old days,

Architects
Engineers
Librarians*
Prostitutes

*Before the invention and spread of the printing press, new librarians took an oath to not let any book or other record leave the premises.

#27 Jarad

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:20 AM

Only if you understand what they mean. Find the Ricci tensor of the given metric. (in the attachment! Ha, sorry it should be alpha squared. Just changed it)



You'd have to pay me to do that.

Oh, wait, then I'd be a professional.... :foreheadslap:

Jarad

#28 gavinm

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:23 PM

I get paid for it, I'm a professional physicist - yay

#29 Napersky

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:05 PM

Link on "How to become a REAL PHYSICIST" written for young people:

https://docs.google....8o3o0IgunPE3...

#30 CounterWeight

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:32 AM

I think to be an amature physicist all you have to agree with is that things are 'Gaussian'? ;)

Joking aside, I think it possible, absolutely, the stronger the person is in math the easier as it is the language of physics. But then are levels beyond the initial four years. I think the advantage of being schooled is that there is a harness to fit into and a general direction with waypoints. If an individual is motivated to provide these on his own, there is no real limit.

Interesting to bring up the Ricci or the Riemann-Chrystoffel or Bianchi spaces or what have you.

When Riemann came up with his formulation of manifold (and you can say same for Hamilton), no one had heard of relativity and it was considered almost a mathematical recreation.

Poincaire/Lorentz/Einstein, Lemaitre/Hubble, it's not without it's politics and flag waving, but it's the 'maths' that lead.

And interesting debate along the way, like Poincaire vs. Cantor, which in ways still exist in some math philosophy.

I think if you want to seriously state anything in physics you have to do it mathmatistically these days.

Problem is the public is much more attached to fancy animations with marketing terms and call it cosmology or physics. So invent a clever animation and some catchy phrases and your a physicist and I garuntee you'll have folks in your camp calling it physics.

I like the idea that it is the search for reality. At least then you can include chemestry and engineering and things that dont need to append 'science' to their dicipline to appear to be one? R. Penrose wrote a book 'The Road to Reality' trying to condense modern thinking and his own ideas.

#31 llanitedave

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:22 PM

I think if you want to seriously state anything in physics you have to do it mathmatistically these days.


Great coination, and a sigworthy line! :bow:

#32 Napersky

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:46 PM

Found a good starter book as "bridge between High School and College Physics".

From Sabine Hossenfelder's "BackReaction" Blog:


http://backreaction....minimum-by.html

"The Theoretical Minimum" by Susskind and Hrabovsky.What you need to start doing physics.

#33 aezoss

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:49 AM

Link on "How to become a REAL PHYSICIST" written for young people:

https://docs.google....8o3o0IgunPE3...


Interesting article, thanks for posting it.

Lee

#34 Niels2011

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:28 PM

Found a good starter book as "bridge between High School and College Physics".

From Sabine Hossenfelder's "BackReaction" Blog:


http://backreaction....minimum-by.html

"The Theoretical Minimum" by Susskind and Hrabovsky.What you need to start doing physics.


+1

Just posted on that on another thread where you were, but only just read this one. It's good so far, just going back over calculus, but there's a lot more complicated stuff to come, so I'll see how I go.

#35 glava2005

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:49 AM

it took me 2-3 years of internet browsing, reading and watching all kinds of science stuff to get an above average knowledge about all subjects mentioned here...

http://www.staff.sci...1/theorist.html

my only problem is i suck at math which does prevent me from exploring these subjects in greater detail but i think i got enough theoretical knowledge to have a meaningful conversation with any professional physicist about any subject and not be flabbergast by what he is saying. i even started spotting mistakes in TV science documentaries :)

PS. if anybody here knows and could explain why the 9th gluon is missing i would be grateful

#36 gavinm

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:40 PM

IMHO I think a big difference between an amateur and a real physicist is knowing what you know, not thinking you know what you know. Lots of people think they know what they they know but in reality they don't. I consider myself an expert in a very small area of astrophysics (transiting extrasolar planets) because that's what I did my postgraduate research on. However, whenever I speak to some academics and PhD's in the same area, I get lost pretty quickly. Its all relative...

I don't know why the 9th gluon is missing.. I didn't even know it was lost. Maybe someone forgot to sign it out? Who had it last?

#37 Rick Woods

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:13 PM

Well, I know that I know what I know I know, and know it.
(That gluon is probably with my Jeep keys.)

#38 gavinm

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:24 PM

:grin:






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