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Schools I Feel Ill-Prepared for University Physics

  1. Mar 29, 2010 #1
    Heres my situation: I have taken an honors physics course at high school using an algebra/trig book (college physics). However we only covered Mechanics in the course, so I don't feel ready for university physics. I'm going to be an electrical engineering major, therefore, physics is crucial for my major. I have taken Calculus 1 and 2 at community college and I have purchased a calculus-based physics textbook. Should I self-study algebra-based physics or calculus-based physics? And will about 3-4 months be enough to complete Electricity and Magnetism, Thermodynamics/Waves/Optics, and Modern Physics?
    Someone has mentioned that after self-studying I should take a look at Quantum physics (as it is related to how semi-conductors work). What do you guys think?

    Note: I'm currently a 12 grader in high school.

    Thanks in advance! :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2010 #2
    You're plenty-well prepared. "University Physics" isn't just one big course that everybody takes. You'll start off with General Physics 1, which is just more mechanics. The second semester will be General Physics 2, which is basically intro to E&M.

    At least, that's how it works at most schools I know of. Beyond that, it depends on the specific requirements of your major. But what you call "University Physics" starts off with the assumption that the people in the class have no experience with physics at all and a fairly basic understanding of calculus.
  4. Mar 29, 2010 #3
    Looks like you got a good mathematics foothold. If you learned the rest at high school you wouldnt need to go to uni would you? =) As far as self study goes, take a look at your curriculum, get hold of past exam papers/coursework. See what you can and cant do, base your self study around that.

    When I did my first units (part time), we covered electrodynamics, thermodynamics, waves, optics, basic quantum theories and classical mechanics in about 6 months. This is an undergraduate level study outside full time work, so I assume this time schedule could apply to you as self study outside of your degree. I study about 15 hours a week, so you could easily shorten that 6 months. Luckily I also got a strong foothold in maths at high school.
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