# No bullshit guide to math and physics

This Year Hacker News 2
This Month Hacker News 1

No bullshit guide to math and physics

4.4

Review Date:

Wow what an amazing list. It will still take many years to learn all this material, but I think that a dedicated student could follow it and physics up big time! My time estimate for someone with normal intelligence level (i.e. not genius), starting fro scratch and learning part-time, would be 2-3 years. It's totally worth it though for the analytical power that learning physics gives the learner.

> Before you begin studying physics and working through the topics in the sections below, you have to be familiar with some basic mathematics.

That is very true and often a big obstacle for people who have been out of school for some time. Note it's not enough to just be familiar with the concepts—you must achieve fluency with the procedures so you can use them as building blocks for later studies. For example, it's not enough to just read about the quadratic formula (-b ± sqrt(b^2-4ac))/(2a) and use it a few times, spending 5 minutes each time to think about the steps, plugging in the vars, etc.

Because solving quadratic equations is used so much in math and physics, you have to package that procedure as a reusable routine that you don't think about anymore and you can apply almost without thinking, in under 30 seconds. This "fluency with the basics" will ensure you're not slowed down when you reach the more advanced topics where solving quadratic equations is used.... and there is only one way to build fluency...

> Regardless of your learning style, you'll still need to solve the physics problems in each textbook. Solving problems is the only way to really understand how the laws of physics work. There's no way around it.

This. A thousand times this. I wish someone told me that when I was studying. It may not be fun to get stuck, go down the wrong path, doubt your abilities and feel stupid along the way, but that's what growth looks like. If every time you read a solution to a problem provided by someone else you gain one "knowledge unit," then finding the solution on your own is > 10 knowledge units. Forget 10x engineer, be a 10x learner—solve some problems!

> 1. Introduction to Mechanics [...] the basics of motion in a straight line, motion in two dimensions, motion in three dimensions, Newton's Laws, work, kinetic energy, potential energy, the conservation of energy, momentum, collisions, rotation and rotational motion, gravitation, and periodic motion. > You'll need to learn calculus while working through University Physics. >

Shameless plug, I wrote a book called No Bullshit Guide to Math and Physics that covers these exact topics. It would be a great starting point for someone who wants to review high school math and learn mechanics and calculus in an integrated manner. Here are some links if anyone wants to check it out:

"Pay the authors" is a really good strategy to incentivize the production of quality content. Get rid of the publishers and just have a short supply chain: author --print_on_demand--> readers. With a price tag in the 20-50 range, a prof could make a living from this book, even if the book isn't popular. When using print-on-demand and cutting out all the middlemen, the margins are very good (50% of list price vs 5% if going with mainstream publisher).

The useful part of a publisher is developmental editing (product) and copy editing (Q/A), so there is an opportunity for "lightweight" publishing companies that help expert authors produce the book—like self publishing, but you don't have to do the boring parts. I'm working in that space. We have two textbooks out: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0992001005/noBSmathphys and https://www.amazon.com/dp/0992001021/noBSLA

> staff heard that some students were skipping meals in order to afford textbooks

!!!

If you're a freshman in college, please check out my book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0992001005/noBSguide It's super affordable and it will get you through MECHANICS and CALCULUS without too much suffering.

I have quite a few adult readers using my book to refresh and re-learn basic calculus and mechanics. You might consider checking it out[1]. It's not free, but very affordable.
Shameless plug, I wrote a book that you can read and learn the first-year science essentials: calculus and mechanics, for the price of a 24 case of beer: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0992001005/noBSguide

You won't get a degree or anything, but the knowledge will last with you longer than the case of beer ;)