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How important is freshman mechanics for junior level mechanics?

  1. Jul 6, 2013 #1
    I've taken freshman physics I and II about a year ago (I don't remember too much from it..) and I was wondering how important they are to the junior year classical mechanics? I've noticed that a lot of learning resources online for physics starts at the junior year classical mechanics and it almost seems like they're reteaching the earlier physics in a more rigorous way.

    Is freshman mechanics just there to introduce people to basic concepts and improve their problem solving mindset? Or is it actually an absolute prerequisite for the junior level mechanics?

    I'm trying to decide if I should bother going back and relearning freshman mechanics before trying out the higher level mechanics. I have calc 1,2,3, differential equations and linear algebra so as far as I know I'm fine when it comes to the math.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2013 #2

    robphy

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    I think intro physics helps you get a broad overview of physics, get into the problem solving mindset, and hopefully give you some physical intuition.

    Since more advanced physics courses usually build on past courses, it would be a good idea to review intro mechanics. However, if your intro mechanics seemed (or seems) boring to you, you might consider reviewing that material at a higher level to better prepare you for junior mechanics [which is more mathematical].

    A great book to use would be
    https://www.amazon.com/An-Introduction-Mechanics-Daniel-Kleppner/dp/0521198216

    I think Mathematical skill can help sharpen physical intuition and problem solving...
    but you have to develop those first.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
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