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How did you know you were smart enough to study Physics?

  • Thread starter jake7766
  • Start date
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Do you need to be a math genius to become a Physicist? I know a "math genius" is the wrong term, but you get the picture. I am currently a freshmen in college and have gotten an A in intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, College Trigonometry, and Calculus I. I feel very comfortable with the subjects we learned in these courses. However, when it comes to the difficult problems I tend to need help seeing how to set them up and solving them, but then I have no problem solving them on my own. Would this be a problem down the road if I go into Physics?

The only two careers I would consider going into are Physics or Medicine, but my interest in Medicine is not even close to my interest in Physics. I find myself neglecting to study my biology in order to self teach myself Physics. However, I have a 97 percent in the course even though I usually do not study much at all. As you can see, I understand Biology very well. The fact that I am able to understand Biology so well, but I need to struggle to understand the diffuclt problems in mathematics worries me a little bit.

Do you think, from the small amount of information I gave you, that I am capable of studying Physics? I guess I am just worried that I would fail if I go into Physics. By the way, if I went into Physics, I would go into graduate school. Should I try to take the Freshmen Physics courses first just to see if I enjoy them or not? Thanks in advance!
 
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You will be fine. As long as you aren't mentally challenged, hard work is the most important factor.
 

lisab

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,832
616
Go for it, you sound perfectly qualified. Just know that it will be a *lot* of hard work - that's pretty much for everyone, regardless of how quickly you can learn things.

You do have to be very determined to make it through a physics program. Good luck!
 
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I didn't decide I was smart enough, I decided I was going to be smart enough.
 
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Biology in high school or some introduction to biology course is simple recall of facts. There's nothing hard about it; you just read the book/pay attention to lectures and you memorize. There's very few concepts you need to know for AP Biology or a similar course. Like Physics and Math, Biology too will get harder as you get boggled down under the concepts and it becomes less memory-based. It's hard to tell if you're "good enough" for any subject to be honest, but hard work is the fundamental stone to success. Intelligence only determines how much hard work you need to put in.
 
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You're totally inept and will never be able to study physics. I wouldn't recommend taking an introductory physics course in order to determine if you enjoy studying physics.

And yes, one does have to be a math genius in order to study physics. Most students have finished calc III before taking any university level physics courses.

I'm sorry to say, but your ship has sailed. You might be able to find a janitorial position if you apply yourself.

Best of luck

;p
 

Pengwuino

Gold Member
4,854
14
You're totally inept and will never be able to study physics. I wouldn't recommend taking an introductory physics course in order to determine if you enjoy studying physics.
I hope the OP knows that you're kidding.

I personally knew I was smart enough to study physics when they gave me my BS in Physics :biggrin:
 
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I'm sorry to say, but your ship has sailed. You might be able to find a janitorial position if you apply yourself.
Heh, speaking of janitorial positions.
This is even true at the doctoral and professional level—there are 5,057 janitors in the U.S. with Ph.D.’s, other doctorates, or professional degrees.
More http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/why-did-17-million-students-go-to-college/27634" [Broken] :biggrin:
 
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Pengwuino

Gold Member
4,854
14
Heh, speaking of janitorial positions.
More http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/why-did-17-million-students-go-to-college/27634" [Broken] :biggrin:
Humanities majors need jobs too you know.
 
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I decided I was smart enough after I actually took a physics class. There's no harm in taking calc-based general physics 1 to see what you think.
 
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I don't think the study of physics, like most things, is dependent on intelligence. I often find myself outwitted by others and stuttering to communicate ideas, but I still continue in my own fascination with physics. Intelligence is only part of potential skill in any given field. The rest is dominated by conscientiousness and creative interest. If you have the other two, intelligence does not weigh as heavily.
 
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Unless you get that 4.0GPA, don't expect you can go to med school...or so they say.
 
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Unless you get that 4.0GPA, don't expect you can go to med school...or so they say.
Not surprising. Who wants a lazy and/or less-than-perfect doctor? When I go to the doctor's office, I like to (not saying that I always can) know that I can depend on them to know exactly what they're doing. Treating another human being's illnesses and injuries is not something you can slack on as a job. Especially in our more advanced countries.
 

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