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Bachelor of Science in Physics

  1. May 17, 2010 #1
    Hi, I was considering taking Physics in my first year at university starting this year on September, but I am little concerned about the work involved. I am currently doing Physics at my secondary school and am coping well with the theory but when it comes to practical it seems I am unable to access the knowledge gained from the theory and use it in practice and I feel inadequate in that area.

    My concern is that when I told my teacher I was considering taking Theoretical Physics he informed me it contained a substantial amount of practical, so my question is this : Do I have a good chance at surviving the physics course and getting a good grade even if my practical isn't as good as my theory?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 17, 2010 #2
    Uh, by practical do you mean lab?

    In my experience taking freshman physics, lab isn't so important. What really matters is being able to solve problems on paper. Usually the lab is a fairly small proportion of your grade (something like 15%), so it can't hurt you that much. Besides that, usually you get a good grade if you just show up and do what the lab book says.

    It's worth noting that this won't actually help you if you go to grad school. As a physicist, I rarely use the stuff I learned in most of my classes. All of the stuff I do makes use of skills I learned in my experimental classes: programming, circuits, statistical analysis of data, etc. But if you're still at the freshman physics level, that probably doesn't matter.

    Just my experience, anyway. Yours may differ.
  4. May 17, 2010 #3
    At least Physics labs aren't like Chemistry ones, I mean they always throw a few chemical trivias and expect you to know them immediately.
  5. May 17, 2010 #4
    I'm doing physics at my school this year and the lab work was fairly minimal but I just thought that as you get higher up the academic ladder more emphasis is on the experimental work than on the theory but as long as it is still possible to get A grades while relying on theory work mostly, I'll be happy. I suspect that university equipment will be better and I'll be given more time in the lab than at school-schools seem more interested in abstract concepts than experimental techniques it seems- giving a lot more time to practice and get better at experiments.
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