As a young student, I have decided to learn some Physics independently, before I get any higher-education. I love Stack Exchange, so I would like to use this site as my main source to do so.

My question is, how can I use this site to learn basic and intermediate Physics at a structured pace, without overwhelming myself? Basically, in what ways can I use this site as a structured learning tool?

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To be honest, what you're trying to do is probably not going to work very well. The main reason is that Stack Exchange is a Q&A site, not an online tutorial. We don't arrange to have questions on the site covering all the material you would need to learn in an intro physics class. The focus here is on filling the gaps in what the standard resources have to offer, not rehashing the same material that you would find in those standard resources. This is why we ask people to do some prior research (e.g. searching Google and Wikipedia) before asking a question here.

The other issue is that Stack Exchange sites cater to an expert-level audience. What this means, in our case, is not that you need to have a degree in physics to ask a question, but generally, you do need have to have a basic understanding of the framework of the topic you're asking about. To put it another way, it comes back to the same point about prior research. Suppose you have a question about electromagnetism, maybe something like showing that traveling waves are solutions to Maxwell's equations. Before asking about it on this site, we'd expect you to look in a textbook or an equivalent website. If you don't understand what you find there at all (e.g. if you don't know what a differential equation is), then the question you'd be asking would probably not qualify as expert-level. If you were to attempt to teach yourself physics from this site alone, you would be asking a lot of those kinds of questions.

Let me summarize it like this. There are three components of a traditional physics class:

  • A textbook (or notes), which is your primary reference for learning the material
  • Office hours and study sessions where you can ask your teacher or your fellow students questions, which are your secondary reference for learning the material
  • Homework problems to reinforce your understanding of the material

A Stack Exchange site aims to be part of the second component, not the first. For that you will need something like a textbook or lecture. I'd recommend checking out some of the suggestions in our book recommendation list, or you can also look for online courses and/or videos.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the advice. I figures that, since, of course, this is SE. The main reason for this question was to find the questions that are almost an "intro to Physics", even if they were not meant to be. That said, as an active member on several sites around the network, I understand why there aren't... $\endgroup$ – Dynamic Aug 6 '12 at 16:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Dynamic Maybe if a physics.SE blog comes to be a series there could be an introduction to some subjects, linking to specific in-depth questions $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kienzler Aug 16 '12 at 14:35

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