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Calculus vs. algebra based phyics 2 (electricity and magnetism)

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  1. Nov 3, 2011 #1
    I am a biochemistry major and I need to take the first two introductory physics courses as a prerequisite to physical chemistry. I can take regular pchem, which requires calculus based physics or pchem for biochemists, which only requires the algebra based physics. With the way my university teaches pchem and in order for me to graduate on time, I planned to take the regular pchem series so I am currently taking the calculus based physics 1 (mechanics). Well, my school decided to change things around so now in order to graduate on time, I need to take pchem for biochemists. This leaves me with the decision to continue with calculus based physics for electricity and magnetism or take the algebra based one.

    I have already taken calculus III but must admit I didn't understand the last chapter too much (flux, Greene's theorem, etc). Are things like those used a lot in physics II?

    Basically, I am looking for some advice on the differences between the calculus and algebra based classes for someone who is not the best at physics. If it is strictly the difference in math, I believe I would have no problem with things like integrals and derivatives. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2011 #2
    When I took intro E&M, there wasn't really that much calculus. Yes you have to understand flux, but the integrals are not that difficult. The applications are usually simple geometric figures such as spheres, cylinders, planes, etc. You should be fine.
     
  4. Nov 3, 2011 #3
    Well the algebra based EM class was a lot harder than the mechanics, I can say that much lol.
     
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