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E&M crash course?

  1. May 18, 2005 #1
    Dunno who already knows... but a recap...

    I thought i'd failed physics.... i though my final exam wouldn't even matter... i decided i'd retake the class, and not take the final... emailed my prof finally... he decides to give me a second chance... if i can get a C on the final... he'll pass me for the semester.

    So... now i'm screwed. i have the day tomorrow to make the best of my studying, and then the exam is first thing friday morning. i'm hoping, (like praying desperately really,) that you guys can just help point at the most important things. I know this stuff is based on a few principles and the rest can be derived. So i'm hoping you can lay out the bare bones for me, and then help me understand it well enough, so i can apply those few things to the problems.

    If you feel like being super helpful, ftp://rocky-2.physics.umass.edu/182/[/URL] thats the course materials site. Thats all i have to review from, cause the dumbass that i am... i brought my textbook home, so i can't use that. thats everything we've covered, plus the practice materials. I've just been skimming through it tonight... i'm at least familiar with the stuff through unit 6, (but by no means confident with it,) and i know nothing at all about magnetism, (i had this crazy idea that because fiance had left me... class was over...)

    anyways... i'm not expecting a ton... but maybe someone has nothing to do tomorrow and feels like teaching an entire e&m course... at any rate, like i said, i know there's a few formulas that i should be able to derive a lot of the rest from.. maxwell's equations? (sad... but i'm not super positive what those are......) any help'd be awesome. you could pm me too if thats cooler... or im me on any messengers... but here on pf works.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2005 #2
    You need to master maxwell's equations.
    Know Gauss' law like the back of your hand. Understand how to use it
    Know how the electric field looks like for:
    Point charge, Dipole, Line charge, Plane charge

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html" [Broken] is anexcellent site to learn the concepts, but you'll definitely need to do alot of problems to get it down.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  4. May 18, 2005 #3


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    well I already sent this to you, Gale, but to anyone else who is struggling with E&M before exams:

    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-02Electricity-and-MagnetismSpring2002/VideoLectures/index.htm [Broken]

    Watch every video by this great Professor
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  5. May 19, 2005 #4


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    Be sure to look at the homework. If your school is anything like mine, the teacher always ask problems in the exams that they asked in the homeworks.
  6. May 19, 2005 #5


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    and they even make sure they rub it in your face by specifying that this problem came from homework #, problem # :biggrin:
  7. May 19, 2005 #6


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    You are in dire straits, Gale17 since you have so short time.

    Be absolutely sure you understand the basic ideas, I don't think you'll have the time to do a lot of exercises.

    The best of luck to you!
  8. May 19, 2005 #7
    I took a look at the old exams on that ftp server. You might be best off trying to start there, along with the homeworks. Focus on being able to solve a subset of the problems. Being able to write down Maxwell's eqns isn't going to help you all that much if you can't apply them to a problem.

    Honestly, your best strategy is to figure out how NOT to take this exam on Friday. You need at least 2 weeks, not 2 days.
  9. May 19, 2005 #8
    there's no way he'll let me postpone it. Its the last day of exams for the whole school, and he's already giving me this second chance...

    Is it best to look over the notes and try to understand the concepts? or to just do the practice stuff and hope that the real test is similar? i have a lot of homework problems i can do, but they're hard, and i don't think the test will have them. But i'm not sure if they'd help me understand better than if i was just reading "theoretically" how i'd do the problems...

    (i'm totally screwed)
  10. May 19, 2005 #9


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    Seriously. Your best bet is to memorise as much of the homework solutions as posible and spit them out at the exam. Use the summer time to actually try to understand what is it you spat out. (You'll have to understand E&M if you want to continue in physic, it is so fundamental. Otherwise you'll run into trouble in every other class)
    Last edited: May 19, 2005
  11. May 19, 2005 #10
    I think that by doing the problems, that will lead you to learning the concepts to some extent, since it's pretty impossible to do the problems otherwise.

    My experience is that you can read some notes or listen to some lecture, and think things are crystal clear, but then when you sit down and do the problems, you realize that you didn't understand things as nearly as well as you thought you did.

    (BTW I was thinking more along the lines of trying to get an incomplete by some means or another. All of the ways I can think of would be pretty unethical though. It's also probable that students have tried every trick in the book and universities are pretty good at making sure these tricks don't happen).
  12. May 19, 2005 #11
    If anyone's feeling awesome, and is good with magnetism, and would like to be super helpful, and feels like teaching magnetism, pretty much from the begining... right now... and they have the time... that'd be like.... the best. i have a bunch of messengers, and that'd be awesome... i'd totally worship anyone who could help me like that... really. But i don't expect anyone to be able to... but just in case someone feels like spending all night teaching me.... i thought i'd try....

    At any rate, thats where i'm struggling. I missed a lot of class because i was depressed... (there's an EX fiance involved...) and basically i know nothing... at all... about magnetism, and i don't have my book, only the prof's lecture notes and the things i can google.
  13. May 19, 2005 #12
    I can help you with what I know, but dont count on anything as thorough as the people here can give. Check my profile.
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