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I'm kind of angry: In dire need of guidance for self-teaching basic physics

  1. Mar 18, 2009 #1
    I am enrolled in ILC independent study to earn a Gr. 11 Physics credit. I took gr. 10 science as a prerequisite but it turns out I'm stuck right now on Chemistry and the Physics section as I forgot everything from grade 9. This angers me because ILC takes forever (there is a lot of stuff I need to learn that I don't really need). I don't even really need these credits as I'm already in a college preparing for my actual college program (Academic Upgrading). The college program's (Electromechanical Eng. Technology) only requires college math and english as a prerequisite - no mentioning of physics at all. It still doesn't make sense the program does not require any physics prerequisites regardless if it's only a "technology" course. To be safe, I have made it another objective to try and learn as much basic physics as I can before Fall terms starts.

    I have three very important questions:

    1. Do I need some chemistry for understanding physics? I am not talking about dealing with the tiniest behavior of particles, but rather real-world application like, "the amount of *blah blah blah* to power a robotic arm" or "if a car that weights x is traveling at y ... etc. etc." basic type of stuff like that.

    2. What kind of books should I be looking for to learn basic physics?

    3. Should I drop out of the ILC course and just buy a good quality textbook for basic physics? I've already spent 40 bucks on one course, and since I'll need gr. 9 I'll have to spend another 40, and then plus another 40 for the gr. 11 Physics course materials. This totals to 120 bucks already -- a price of a decent textbook. And precious time is wasted. Every day counts.

    I feel like crap :( I'm so confused on what to do. I really don't want to wait an extra 4 months if I end up not finishing my prerequisites on time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    I would have though the other way around. It depends on if you consider atoms and electrons and so on as chemistry or physics.
    If you just mean do I have to remember stuff like the atomic number of Sodium or which nitrates are insoluble to be a physicist = no.
    However if you mean I don't want to learn all that stuff about atoms/electrons etc because it isn't directly relevant to solving mechanics problems = are you sure physics is the right subject?

    Do a search here - the most common ugrad intro textbook in the US seems to be Halliday+Resnick in it's many forms. Get a couple of editions old one cheap - intro physics hasn't changed much in the last 5years even if they do keep bringing out new editions.

    That depends on you, how you learn, the purpose of the course and it's content.
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