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Are all material generally covered in Intro to Physics I?

  1. Dec 23, 2011 #1
    My professors skipped both chapter 11 & 12, Equilibrium & Elasticity and Fluid Mechanics. I'm worried that I will need to know these chapters for later classes or for the GRE.

    Has your professor skipped material in your class?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2011 #2
    Nothing you see in Physics I is stuff you won't see again in other courses, and if you're only in physics I you've got a long way to go before you start worrying about the GRE.
  4. Dec 24, 2011 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    Good grief. Just read the chapters.

    As I said before, if you are this high strung, and keep freaking out at the smallest thing, you will be absolutely miserable with a career in science.
  5. Dec 24, 2011 #4


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    There's not enough time to cover everything in two semesters in any detail. It's common for professors to skip chapters that aren't directly related to the main point of the class. Nothing is stopping you from reading it on your own and doing the homework. If you're planning to major in physics, teaching yourself a few chapters from an introductory book should be easy.
  6. Dec 24, 2011 #5
    My physics I class went over all of classical mechanics then started chapters on Gravitation, Waves, Fluids and Thermodynamics. Many classes skip alot of those extra chapters but mine didn't and as a consequence the class was extremely fast paced and I didn't really learn anything about those extra topics (which is a problem since Waves are kinda important in physics 2).

    However like everyone says you'll encounter all of those topics again and again in future courses. If you have time, it might be worth a read through on your own so you're familiar with whats involved.
  7. Dec 24, 2011 #6
    Ahaha.. I'm not freaking out, just wanted a perspective on other classes and whether they also skip chapters or not. I'm actually reading and doing the practice problems on my own. But I'll probably skip fluid mechanics.

    Agreed. :approve:

    Are we talking about the same introductory physics course here? Sounds like a bit too much!
  8. Dec 24, 2011 #7
    Some classes work at a quick pace and cover the required material, and have extra time to do another section or two -- my Physics I class was like this, and we had a vote to do Relativity or Thermo :P
  9. Dec 24, 2011 #8
    Yea.. mine was very slow paced =/

    Relativity > thermo =p
  10. Dec 25, 2011 #9


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    It's pretty common to skip those topics. If you need them in a later class, you can either refer back to your current book or there's a chance the topic will get a sufficient review when needed.

    While I took the GRE's a long time ago, I'm pretty sure fluid mechanics did not come up. I suggest looking over some GRE practice tests at some point -- preferably after getting through a quantum mechanics course -- to see what material you'll need to review.
  11. Dec 26, 2011 #10
    The point of introductory physics isn't to teach you physics, but to teach you how to do physics. That's why so many topics are covered: to introduce you to many varied techniques of problem-solving. When I had my intro physics, I was totally lost. I had no idea how to do physics. Then one day, while I was struggling to do physics, I realized I wasn't struggling. This was right about when I started my statics course, which was a year after my introductory physics classes.

    Don't fret. You're learning; you're just not learning what you think you're learning :)
  12. Dec 28, 2011 #11
    I agree, I've noticed that the challenge is developing a certain mindset on how to do physics. Once I developed an ability on how to do physics, everything else started to be a walk in the park.

    The intro course is there to try develop your approach to problems. Which is why when I tutor someone, I try to take a great deal of effort in teaching them how to develop a certain mindset that will make physics easy.

    Great idea, thanks.
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