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Importance of learning Physics II in the long run? 
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#1
Mar612, 08:40 PM

P: 1,306

I'm currently taking Calculusbased Physics II, an introductory to electromagnetism. While I'm working hard to understand the material as deeply and intuitively as possible, I wonder how much of the material will be useful later on? I am seeing a bunch of concepts such as electric potential V, potential energy U, electric flux, capacitance etc. but how much of what I am being introduced to will help in my understanding of future classes such as electrodynamics or quantum mechanics? How useful is it to learn everything introduced as intuitively as possible?



#2
Mar612, 08:48 PM

PF Gold
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#3
Mar612, 09:02 PM

P: 1,306

I'm doing pretty much half the problems in the chapter, I was just hoping it would be to good use in later classes. 


#4
Mar612, 09:06 PM

PF Gold
P: 7,120

Importance of learning Physics II in the long run?
Don't worry if you don't develop a fantastic intuition during this class. You will see this material again. 


#5
Mar612, 09:20 PM

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#6
Mar612, 11:38 PM

Sci Advisor
Thanks
P: 2,305

There are different levels of understanding physics, and each one is important. Particularly to get also physics intuition is mandatory; particularly if you become a theorist. It is not very helpful to just do formally complicated calculations without any feeling for what's going on in the problem from a healthy physical intuition, because without it you can get easily lost in some complicated formalism with nonsensical or even plain wrong results, because either you have made physically unjustified assumptions or even made a mistake in your calculation. Then you need physical intuition to critically judge such results and perhaps be able to figure out mistakes!
Electromagnetism is very important not only from a practical point of view but also from a conceptional one since it's the most simple example of a relativistic field theory, and relativistic (quantum) field theory is the most fundamental model for a large part of nature (particles, matter, etc.). 


#7
Mar712, 09:45 AM

P: 1,306

And yes, I'm planning on doing theory at the moment, only time can tell. 


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