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AP Physics

  1. Apr 30, 2010 #1
    Hello everyone. I'm not sure if this is the correct section, if not please move it.

    I'm currently in 10th grade and I'm finishing up Algebra 2 this year. I'll be in Pre Calc in 11th grade and taking AP Physics. Is this enough math for me to be taking (I'm pretty strong in math and can learn new things by myself, but not really TOO hard). The problem is I'm scared that it might be too hard for me to take, but I looked over the class layout and the first half of the year seems really basic and things that I understand.

    NOTE: I haven't taken physics... I've taken Biology and chemistry.

    Please give me some advice on what to do over the summer to prepare me for this or should I switch out of it asap.

    Please and thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2010 #2
    If this is AP Physics C, you will have no chance whatsoever because the course is calculus-based. If it is AP Physics B, you will be fine.
  4. Apr 30, 2010 #3
    Yes it's AP Physics B, C would really kill me lol. I know there will be lots of trig in it, but is there a lot (or any) calculus? I understand basic principles of it, just it doesn't make complete sense to me.

    Thanks for the response ;)
  5. Apr 30, 2010 #4
    There is calculus involved, but if you take calculus or have taken it, it will make it a lot easier.
  6. Apr 30, 2010 #5
    Like I said I'll be taking pre calc. Are there like only limits involved or are there derivatives and integrals?
  7. Apr 30, 2010 #6
    I took Physics B last year (got a 5 on it too! Hooray!) and I can confidently say that you do not need to know Calculus to do well in the class. Does it help? Yes. Is it necessary? No.

    The Physics B curriculum doesn't really use limits, derivatives, or integrals - as in, it does not use these mathematical tools in its equations. However, the concepts associated with the derivative are used (the "slope" of a velocity graph is its acceleration.) Still, it is at a very basic level. I was taking Pre-Cal when I took Physics B and it was fine.
  8. Apr 30, 2010 #7
    That is very helpful and makes me much less nervous. I will just do the summer homework I get and continue on learning some calc so I have an easier time in AP calc (when I take it)

    Thank you for the answer, it helped me A LOT.

    Also; So you're saying that if I know some calc it can help me in which way?
  9. May 1, 2010 #8
    The only way I can think of is that it will be easier to grasp concepts like velocity and acceleration. It took me a little while to wrap my head around this because I hadn't taken Calculus, so this is one instance where Calculus would have helped. However, it's still not necessary.

    I can't at the moment think of anything else in the B curriculum that would benefit from Calculus.
  10. May 1, 2010 #9
    I know velocity and acceleration have something to do with derivatives, but yeah other than that I don't either.

    Thanks for the help.
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