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First Physics Class

  1. Jan 16, 2013 #1
    Hey Guys,

    So I am taking Physics 1: Mechanics (Calc Based) this semester along with Calc 2 and General Chem 1.

    I am pretty worried since I have never taken a physics class and this class is notoriously hard. With enough studying and effort is this a class you can do well in regardless of taking previous Physics classes? Are there resources online besides khan academy that can help get me up to speed?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2013 #2
    Hey what's up? Is this at a University or Community College? To me Physics is hard and you have to dedicate a lot of time on it in order to understand it. Based on my experience, it is a different type of thinking. It is not just about knowing the formula and plug and chug. It can be pretty hard when you are introduced a problem that you have never seen before. If you think you can handle all of that then try it. You can always drop out from one of your classes during the first couple of weeks without a W if it becomes too hard. If I were you though, I would just take Physics and Calc2 or Physics, Calc2, and a laid back elective class. This would give you more time to focus on the two harder classes and have a better chance at an A. If you are plannng to transfer soon though then just take all three. To me this is a heavy load though. It's all your choice though. Good luck!
  4. Jan 19, 2013 #3
    Yes there are many exists such as MIT OCW or Yale Open Courses or You Tube Videos but decide which one is good for you.
  5. Jan 21, 2013 #4
    This is at community college so I know they are not as intensive as they would be at a 4 year university. I feel like I need to get used to a schedule with multiple classes that are difficult since that will be the norm as I progress in my degree. I also work 30 hours a week but I don't think that should be an excuse for not getting good grades since it tests my time management skills.

    I have watched the MIT OCW online lectures but they don't seem to do any practice problems that help you understand the topic, just how certain formulas are derived etc.

    I would also like to know if there are any books with a lot of practice problems since my Physics book has limited practice problems.
  6. Jan 22, 2013 #5
    What textbook are you using for the course? Generally most of the mainstream ones, Young and Freedman, Halliday and Resnick, etc.. will be perfectly fine for the scope of a physics I/II course in terms of practice problems. OCW MIT is an invaluable resource. For the duration of your course, Walter Lewin will become your best friend.
  7. Jan 22, 2013 #6
    We are using "Physics for Scientists and Engineers" by Paul A. Tipler and Gene Mosca. I'm not sure how this compares with the texts you mentioned.
  8. Jan 22, 2013 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Tipler/Mosca is about the same as Halliday/Resnick, Young/Freedman etc. in terms of topics covered. Differences are basically a matter of taste.
  9. Jan 26, 2013 #8
    This textbook is a joke, I don't understand how anyone could possibly recommend this book. It's barely calculus based to even begin with.
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