1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I want to be a physicist but I'm not good at math

  1. Aug 24, 2014 #1
    I always think if is it hard if you are not good at math
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2014 #2
    You don't need to be naturally talented at math to do physics, and your math ability is not static either. Yes, you'll need lots of math to study physics (calculus, differential equations, linear algebra are the basics); look up books by Serge Lang and videos by Khan Academy and start practicing.
  4. Aug 24, 2014 #3
    Thanks dude
  5. Aug 24, 2014 #4
    I'm taking a college level physics I course right now, and I find it pretty challenging.

    The actual figuring isn't hard for me. (Unless you have problems with trig, like me. :D)

    It's deriving the pieces of the equation that proves to be tough. You've got to know the material pretty solid, because much of it seems to just build on the previous matter. You are given a few figures as a word problem, and may have to plug that in to 3 or 4 different formulas to get your final answer. All the while manipulating the equations as you go to find what you need.

    The actual concepts are easy to understand (You have an idea of what something is going to do just by envisioning it,) but it's taking the problem and condensing it into mathematical form that is the kicker. (For some, I guess... There are those in my class who have the opposite problem.)

    I would say that it's where the rubber meets the road when it comes to math. You have to know your concepts well enough to be able to pull constants and variables out of formulas to find what you need.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook