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How much calculus is in 1st semester physics?

  1. Aug 18, 2003 #1
    im currently taking 1st semester physics, were using the Serway "Physics for scientists and engineers" book, and were going through chapter 22 which is thermodynamics... what elements of physics do i need to be familiar with? Will it be used alot or not really until E&M?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 19, 2003 #2


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    For physics, my school has 2 classes that are calculus based and 2 that are not calculus based. Both are beginning classes in physics UNLESS you are a physics major. If that's the case, then you have to take all 4 classes. Remember that this is my school and yours could be different, but that should give you a good idea. Take a look in your school catalog for more information. I'm sure you'll find your answers in there or even the school website.
  4. Aug 21, 2003 #3
    I'm currently using that exact textbook here, in third quarter E&M, and we use quite a bit of calculus. I didn't take the first two quarters of physics with this book, but it seems that this particular book does employ a fair amount of calculus.

    Keep in mind the material in first quarter physics lends itself to require only the most basic calculus.
  5. Aug 21, 2003 #4
    Study of thermodynamics requires both total and partial differentiation, which is hard to master without calculus preparation.
  6. Aug 24, 2003 #5
    If your mechanics course is calculus based, you'll definitely benefit from taking calc I concurrently with it.
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