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Behind in Physics?

  1. Jun 14, 2010 #1
    I'm planning to double major at Berkeley (which is why I chose Berkeley over Princeton by the way) with Math and Physics. I'm currently taking Math 53 (Multivariable) and Math 54 (Linear Alg/Diff Eq.) this summer so I can take Math 55 (Discrete Math) fall semester. Then I can get into upper division courses my second semester as a Freshman and hopefully start taking some graduate courses by Junior/Senior year.

    This seems all dandy (assuming I can survive and learn at a competent level), but I'm wondering if I'm also on the right track for Physics? You see, I have to take Physics 7A (Mechanics), 7B (Optics), and 7C (Elec/Mag). This means I won't get any upper division courses until my second semester of my Sophomore year. Then I'd probably take Quantum Mechanics and some other stuff. Comparing this to my progression in Math, does it seem like I'm behind in Physics?

    First, I just want to note that of course I'm not technically "behind" in terms of the average Physics major. However, I want to be ahead of the average Physics major and advance at a quicker rate (assuming I can) so that I can take more challenging (perhaps graduate level) courses before I graduate. Hoping this doesn't interfere with my necessity to take some breadth required classes, maybe I can take Physics 7B and 7C at the same time?

    Note: This is all merely a plan. I won't know how fast I would want to progress or how slowly I would want to progress until I start taking some classes. I'm just a big worrier. In case you're interested about my background, I'm hoping to go into theoretical physics and do research as a professor in a university. This goal would most likely change with the 8 years left in school.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2010 #2
    It's better to be ahead in math by the time you take the physics. If you have to learn the math while you learn the physics, it is less than ideal. It is much nicer to just focus on the physics and learn the physics rather than learning both at the same time. If you already know the math you can just concentrate on the physics intuition and knowledge. I'd say you're on a good track. Don't worry too much.
  4. Jun 14, 2010 #3
    Thanks for the assurance. I also just realized that I can take Physics 7C over the summer next year if I want so I can go into Quantum Mechanics at the beginning of Sophomore year.
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