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Schools Doing physics w/ astronomy in university

  1. Oct 14, 2005 #1
    Alright so I was thinking a lot about doing physics w/ astronomy in university. Now the problem is I don't do physics (I did introductory stuff in science class from age 13-15, but it wasn't offered as a single subject after that). So would I be crazy to do it in university? I could get the entry requirements and all that. Just want to know if it would be a wise decision.
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  3. Oct 14, 2005 #2
    You could pretty much jump straight into physics if you know the math (You'll probably only use algebra and trig for first year stuff).

    I only took physics in high school, then didn't take the introductory 100 course in my school, but jumped straight into the "real" physics courses (still only trig and algebra, though)

    A guy I had class with didn't even take physics in high-school and he did fine. You'll be fine as long as your math is good.

  4. Oct 14, 2005 #3
    College physics with only algebra and trig? Wow. I took that kind of physics my freshman year of high school, and calculus-based physics my senior year of high school (AP Physics Mechanics). All physics courses at my university require calculus knowledge.

    Preceptor, don't worry about your lack of physics in high school. If you're willing to work hard and learn in college, you'll be fine. You might want to read a bit before you start if you're worried.
  5. Oct 14, 2005 #4
    I agree...while my university offers algebra/trig based physics courses, the entry level physics that engineering and physics majors must take is all calc based. anything algebra based is for remedial purposes.
  6. Oct 14, 2005 #5

    The only physics in my comminuty college don't have any calc in them, then the Uni I want to transfer to (University of Washington) has first year physics as no-calc also.

    I mean, the courses had calculus requirements, but you never actually did any.

  7. Oct 14, 2005 #6


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    ????? I'm a physics major and my intro physics course discussed at least some calc be the end of the first week. I don't mean that it was hardcore calc but it was still there
  8. Oct 14, 2005 #7
    The most we did was like integrate dA or things like that. I don't even count that as calculus. Oh and we used calculus to derive the velocity needed to escape Earth's gravity. But we really didn't do that much. It's definately in the book we used, but we just never used it. We used Giancoli's Physics for Scientists and Engineers 3rd edition.

  9. Oct 15, 2005 #8
    In a calc-based physics course, most of the very fundamental concepts and definitions will be explained in terms of calculus.
  10. Oct 15, 2005 #9


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    I took the physics for biology and chemistry majors (not as watered down as for non-science majors, but not as hard-core as for a physics major), and even in that course we used calculus within the first week.

    However, this is the intent of a General or Introductory level course, to get everyone up to speed and at the same starting level, regardless of high school background, before starting the upper level courses.

    If you have not had any physics in high school, think about a back-up plan though. If you've never taken any courses on a subject, it's really difficult to make an informed decision about whether you'd like that major. So, take the introductory class and find out if it's really what you expected and want to continue doing.
  11. Oct 15, 2005 #10
    So you guys are basically saying I'm behind... :(

    Dammit, I've hit so many snags trying to get my physics degree so far and it's only my 2nd year. :(

  12. Oct 15, 2005 #11
    It depends on the university...

    Take the two top primarily undergraduate universities in Canada for example (Mount A and StFX - according to Macleans). Mount A has a non-calculus based intro course while StFX uses calculus extensively.
  13. Oct 15, 2005 #12
    At least I'm taking Calc anyway... this year I'm taking multivariable calc, linear algebra, and diff EQ's, so it's not a total waste...

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