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Being ready for Classical Physics

  1. Jan 23, 2009 #1

    My math is good enough for Classical physics however, I believe my physics is not. I did not take high school physics which I regret but now I must catch up and take this class at my community college that is supposed to get me caught up. I am more than happy to take it because physics is really interesting to me. They called it physical science and its course description is something like this:

    Intro to Physical Science, 4 cr.
    A survey of the basic concepts of astronomy and physics, recommended for students who have not had high school physics. Lecture, demonstration and laboratory.

    But now that I am in the class the teacher is telling us how the class is split in half with one half being physics and astronmy and the other half being chemistry which is very dissapointing to me becuase its even more basic chemistry than my high school chemistry course.

    I really want to be prepared for classical physics and this is the only course my community college offers. The physics chapters include

    2. Motion
    3. Energy
    4. Heat and Temperature
    5. Wave Motions and Sound
    6. Electricity
    7. Light

    and the astronmy chapters are:

    14. The universe
    15. The solar system
    16 Earth in Space

    Here is the book we use btw: https://www.amazon.com/Physical-Sci...bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232761667&sr=8-1

    The chemistry is inbetween the physics chapters and astronmy chapters. After going through chapter 2 on motion this stuff if pretty much cake and I just feel I am not going to be ready for classical physics if this is the only class they have to offer for preparation.
    And to make matters worse the teacher is cut out the last two chapters of the physics section which are electricity and light which is insane considering this is supposed to be a class recommended for students who have not had high school physics yet.

    Here is the course description of Classical physics I and II at my school

    Classical Physics I, 5 cr.
    Demonstrations, lectures recitations and laboratory work beginning a two-semester sequence covering the subject. Mechanics is primarily covered in the first semester. Recommended for those planning to major in engineering, physics, chemistry and mathematics. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment or previous course in calculus.

    Classical Physics II, 5 cr.
    Continuation of PHY-222. Thermodynamics and electricity and magnetism are covered in this course. Lecture and laboratory

    Other classes I will be taking along with this are Calculus I and II which is a given and General Chemistry I and II.

    Should I be worried about my situation or is this physical science class actually supposed to be this easy? I need to know if I will be ready for classical physics, could anyone tell me what more I can do to make sure I am ready?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    What you really need are the Calculus courses, which you have already started. The first half of the Physics introductory course seems like a good way to help you and it may be very demanding but not really difficult. So far you are preparing well enough.

    You really need to concentrate on concepts and skills of Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus, because when you study the fundamental Physics courses (university level, lower division), you will rely on that Mathematics.
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