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How Hard Is Physics II: Electricity, And Magnetism?

  1. May 20, 2013 #1
    So I am taking Physics II this fall semester. I am an engineering major, and I am currently split between mechanical, and civil. My questions is how hard will the class be for me? I have already done the three semesters of calculus including a vector calculus extension. I got an A in calc III, but a B in calc II because it was my first semester of college. Other than that I have gotten all A's. The other physics classes I have taken so far are Physics I, and Statics? I feel like I am worrying about nothing, but that may just be me. Any advice for the class in general?
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  3. May 20, 2013 #2
    It's a conceptually tough class, I am taking it now. The math isn't hard, at most trigonometric substitution is used as far as advanced methods of integration are considered. It's mostly just natural logs, exponentials, etc. Just learn the concepts really well
  4. May 21, 2013 #3
    Not too bad, just finished the class. I got an A. Most of the people in my class failed but I could tell it was because they didn't put in the work. The math isn't hard, just integrating as mentioned, but the concepts are important. The main thing is make sure you do practice problems over and over again.
  5. May 21, 2013 #4


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    Is this going to be honors physics 2 or regular physics 2? It makes a quite a difference (depending on your university anyways).
  6. May 22, 2013 #5
    Not terribly difficult, actually it was pretty interesting
  7. May 22, 2013 #6
    E&M's the hardest part of the core physics curriculum, in my opinion, and that's true for the intro level, the advanced undergrad level, and the grad. level.

    That said, the intro level shouldn't be too difficult. They usually try to keep the problems simple enough that basic integration techniques are sufficient.
  8. May 22, 2013 #7


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    Any weaknesses in your trigonometry or vectors and calculus will klobber you in the fundamental E&M intro physics course. This was one the the very worst courses for me.
  9. May 22, 2013 #8
    I loved that class, we even got to relativity in the end.
  10. May 23, 2013 #9


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    One of my friends took honors EM at UPenn. They used Purcell-Morin and he said the instructor structured the class so that they started with relativity. I would say this is the best model for an EM class, certainly one that would allow for a more fruitful and deeper understanding of EM. So before you decide to take the regular class, see if your school offers an honors EM class of a similar nature, or just an honors EM class period. You have the math background already so you might find an honors version to be much more rewarding. Typical regular intro physics 2 classes can be quite dull and lacking heavily in math, if that matters to you.
  11. May 24, 2016 #10
    Personally, I found it challenging. You should really know what you're doing in physics I with vectors and trig as mentioned above. But yeah, if you loved your other physics class, it really isn't that much different in my opinion. Just practice a lot and make sure you know how to approach problems.
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