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Physics and Mathematics are extremely important subjects .
Actually , that is a bit of an understatement .

Physics and Mathematics allow us to peer out into the cosmos and understand the inner workings of the universe . At once , they show us our insignificance and our remarkable potential ; they give us a hint of the vast possibilities that exist — of what we could ( and may ) one day accomplish . They allow us to see the world and to see ourselves anew .

That begins to scratch the surface of these subjects .

No one can deny their importance ; however , it is also a fact that many people do not know where to begin investigating these topics . . . what books to study , what themes to begin with .

On top of this , many feel intimidated by Physics and Math — they seem to think that they are things which only the sharpest individuals are able to understand .

But nothing could be farther from the truth .

True , these subject areas might not be the easiest that you will ever happen across , but they are far from impossible .

So . If you want to be a Physicist or a Mathematician , or if you just want to understand the subjects , here is where to start .

Huge thanks to the wonderful Moinak Banerjee for work on this .


Here is professor John Baez advice on how to learn Physics and Mathematics .

Baez mentions the books you should read , and they are conveniently listed according to increasing levels of difficulty .

This is the list of books that Berkeley recommends for people who want to teach themselves Physics .

And yet another list that is pretty good , which was compiled on Physics Stack Exchange .

Nobel laureate professor Gerard 't Hooft has recommended some learning sources that are all free , and Hooft also has advice related to how to earn your own Nobel prize .

Here is some great advice from a physicist on Physics Forums regarding what you should do if you want to do more than just learn Physics — on what to do if you want to actually have a career in Physics .

To supplement these , check out our extensive list of online Physics lecture videos .


Mathematician Terence Tao , who is also a Fields medalist and a Breakthrough prize winner , gave some beautiful advice on pursuing a career in Math here .

If you are looking for Mathematics books you should read , here is an extensive list by Berkeley .

The aforementioned should probably be followed up by the compilation from the Math Stack Exchange .

Also , there is an extensive list of what you should read on the Georgia Institute of Technology website , and all of the texts that they link to are online and free .

You can access more free Math texts here and here .


Here is a hilarious point system on how to tell if something is " crank science " from John Baez .

Warren Siegel has an equally hilarious write up here .

And finally , from Gerard 't Hooft .

Now venture forth , live long , and study well .