Calc 2 before physics?

  • #1
Is there an advantage in taking calc 2 before the first calc based physics class? Many have mentioned that integration is involved in first semester physics. I have a chance to take calc 1 this summer in a seven week course. I am taking calc based physics next january because that is the next time it is offered. I just don't know about taking calc in a seven week format while working 40-50 hours a week.

Your thoughts?
  • #2
Integration is involved in a first semester calc based physics class. However, it is simple integration which you learn in calculus 1. I'm currently taking Calc. 2 and physics 1 and havn't run into any problems. Working that many hours a week in addition to taking classes would not work so good for me, but some people can do it. I wouldn't recommend it but if you feel comfortable go ahead I guess.
  • #3
I am going to school full time this fall, so I won't be working anywhere near that many hours, if at all. So, I am considering taking this summer off from school.
  • #4
Yes there is certainly an advantage to taking calc 2, as you'll understand the subject much better, but its not necessary to get an A in the class (at least for me, since I had a VERY lenient grading professor at a community college). Most of the material is AP physics but with more detail. I had a lot of difficulty dealing with center-of-mass problems especially since I had poor knowledge of integration. Integration won't be used in too many problems, but it is used to derive some of the formulas. Do you have to work 40-50 hours a week? If so, have you taken AP calculus before or is this your first exposure to calculus? if so, then you'll probably have to spend nearly all of your free time outside of work for the calc class.

Also, a lot of the derivations for the formulas use the cross product, but the cross product is not necessary to do the problems. If you want to learn the cross product better, pick up a book that includes multivariable calculus (calc III). Some calc I and II books may include calc III in them as well
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  • #5
I have never taken calculus. I am taking trigonometry right now, and doing well. But there seems to be a great fear of calculus, so I am apprehensive about taking the class in a seven week format, while working so many hours.
  • #6
If you're in trig now, how are you able to take calculus in the summer? Don't you have to take precalculus?
  • #7
I took algebra with coordinate geometry last semester, and trig this semester, both part of the precalc sequence at the community college.
  • #8
If you're also taking calculus at the community college, then it shouldn't be too hard to get an A. Also, you could try picking up a calculus book (the one you need for your instructor) and study from it after finishing trig but before calc class starts. If you complete the course but still don't understand calc well, you could study from it more after the class ends. Anyways, don't worry! attitude makes a difference in dealing with your classes. Think of taking calculus as an opportunity to learn one of the most beautiful academic subjects there is!
  • #9
Well said.

  • #10
I agree with what proton's comment about attitude. The worst thing you can do is let yourself be intimidated by calculus. Just study and do all the homework (this means try and do more than is assigned by you teacher if you can). If you do that you should be fine.
  • #11
But there seems to be a great fear of calculus, so I am apprehensive about taking the class in a seven week format, while working so many hours.

The hardest part of calculus is the algebra. If you are good at algebra the rest of it should be fairly easy.

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