• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products via PF Here!

Other Am I smart enough to study Physics?

Little bit about myself. I go to a top 50 school and I'm currently majoring in Math. I got an A in Cal 1 and 2 and a C in Cal 3. I got an A- in Discrete Math. No physics classes. I did not really put any effort in Cal 3 and did not do any hw (currently poorly motivate, which is why I want to get out of Math). Still I'm unsure whether I have what it takes to study math/physics. I got a B in regular high school physics. I have a curiosity of the natural world, but I'm afraid that this curiosity might just be shallow. I want to understand the mathematical reality which binds the physical world. How do you know if you are smart enough to study physics? Where do you get your motivation from? Also if I wanted to go to grad school in say physics, would a math degree and two lower division physics classes be enough to get in?
 

symbolipoint

Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,656
937
Your topic title:
Am I smart enough to study Physics?

and what you say about yourself:
I got an A in Cal 1 and 2 and a C in Cal 3. I got an A- in Discrete Math. No physics classes. I did not really put any effort in Cal 3 and did not do any hw (currently poorly motivate, which is why I want to get out of Math). Still I'm unsure whether I have what it takes to study math/physics.
means, Yes.
 
32,724
4,462
No physics classes. I did not really put any effort in Cal 3 and did not do any hw (currently poorly motivate, which is why I want to get out of Math).
You won't get far in physics before seeing a lot more math than you've already seen.
 

symbolipoint

Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,656
937
You mentioned nothing of Trigonometry, but one would assume that more than just basic Trigonometry was used and learned (or relearned) as part of your Calc 2 & 3. Like I say, you are almost certainly "smart enough" to study Physics.
 
You won't get far in physics before seeing a lot more math than you've already seen.
I mean I like math, but I don't see the point in studying pure math. By getting out of math I mean getting out of pure math. Although cal 3 was not a pure math class, I have to say that when you have no motivation or direction it can be hard to accomplish things. That is my real problem.. Can someone inspire me or suggest an inspirational physics book?
 
I mean I like math, but I don't see the point in studying pure math. By getting out of math I mean getting out of pure math. Although cal 3 was not a pure math class, I have to say that when you have no motivation or direction it can be hard to accomplish things. That is my real problem.. Can someone inspire me or suggest an inspirational physics book?
*I mean cal 3 is not a proof based class.
 

symbolipoint

Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
5,656
937
I mean I like math, but I don't see the point in studying pure math. By getting out of math I mean getting out of pure math. Although cal 3 was not a pure math class, I have to say that when you have no motivation or direction it can be hard to accomplish things. That is my real problem.. Can someone inspire me or suggest an inspirational physics book?
*I mean cal 3 is not a proof based class.
You may APPLY some Calculus and Calculus 3 material as TOOLS in the study of Physics. NOW you may feel better about picking Physics as a major field to study.
 

Choppy

Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
4,500
1,589
I did not really put any effort in Cal 3 and did not do any hw (currently poorly motivate, which is why I want to get out of Math).
If you don't put in any effort and don't do any homework then it doesn't matter how smart you are. Everyone runs into a wall at some point where they can't get through on their intelligence alone. If you want to be successful in physics or mathematics, you'll need some more self-discipline

Still I'm unsure whether I have what it takes to study math/physics. I got a B in regular high school physics. I have a curiosity of the natural world, but I'm afraid that this curiosity might just be shallow. I want to understand the mathematical reality which binds the physical world. How do you know if you are smart enough to study physics?
There's no real litmus test for this I'm afraid. You just start studying it and you'll find out if you're smart enough along the way. In most cases if you're not at least reasonably sure that you want to do it from the beginning, it's probably not the path for you.

Also if I wanted to go to grad school in say physics, would a math degree and two lower division physics classes be enough to get in?
Most programs won't seriously consider you unless you have a number of core upper year physics courses. There may be a rare exception, but at this point in the game if you're seriously considering graduate school for physics, it's best to transfer and pick up the course that you need.

...when you have no motivation or direction it can be hard to accomplish things. That is my real problem.. Can someone inspire me or suggest an inspirational physics book?
Motivation is intrinsic. It's not really something that we can give you. That said, you can foster it by exploring as much as you can on your own. If you're interested in a subject, read up on it on your own. Take up a project or two and get your hands dirty.
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"Am I smart enough to study Physics?" You must log in or register to reply here.

Related Threads for: Am I smart enough to study Physics?

  • Posted
2
Replies
36
Views
23K
Replies
17
Views
13K
Replies
13
Views
11K
Replies
8
Views
8K
Replies
19
Views
12K
  • Posted
Replies
7
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
3
Views
2K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top