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Getting into physics?

  1. Jun 19, 2010 #1
    I took a term of Newtonian Mechanics (foundation of physics type of class) and found that I didn't enjoy it very much. I think it was because I never read the text book and tried to just dive right into problems, I didn't feel attending lecture ever really helped explain things to me, and I also am not the biggest fan of memorizing equations. NOW, that being said, I've finished single-variable calculus and I am taking multi-variable and lin. algebra next fall term. I truly am interested in physics, but it seems like I'm only interested in it when it's on my terms, but I think it might be worth trying physics again.

    Opinions? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2010 #2
    If you were trying to learn physics by memorizing equations, you were doing it wrong.
  4. Jun 20, 2010 #3
    I don't mean like equations for entire problems. But let's say, whatever the equation for a Joule is...
  5. Jun 20, 2010 #4
    Forget the "equation" of a Joule, do you know what a Joule is, without looking it up?
  6. Jun 20, 2010 #5
    Meh. I'm leaning towards work
  7. Jun 20, 2010 #6
    Like okay. I understand the differences between forces being acted ON an ojbect and BY an object, I understand work and etc. But here's my problem. Let's say the problem is, "Figure out the velocity of a satellite in orbit around the earth, given variables distance from earth, and et cetera type variables." I'd assume you use gravitational constant to figure out the problem in some way. I just cannot seem to figure out these types of equations though for some reason
  8. Jun 20, 2010 #7
    You don't really need much memorization to solve something like that, though. If you understand what it all means, it's easy to derive. For instance, with your example:

    [tex]v = d/t[/tex]

    In a circular orbit, d is given by [tex]d = 2\pi r[/tex] (the circumference of a circle)

    [tex]\implies v = \frac {2\pi r}{t}[/tex]

    You can derive that from the basic definition of velocity and simple mathematics.
  9. Jun 20, 2010 #8
    You don't really sound like you like physics at all, to be honest.
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