# Is physics not for me?

1. Mar 3, 2015

### CosmicRover

I am very interested in physics, I feel like becoming a physicist is something I really want to do. I love learning about the universe and how it works, I am also very interested in Michio Kaku and his work.
I know to be a physicist you need to know calculus, but I am trying to learn calculus and I just can not seem to pick it up. I just sit there and look at the equations thinking "what the hell is this", if anyone could link me to a very basic calculus learning site, or possibly teach me to learn it, that would mean the world to me.

2. Mar 3, 2015

### mrnike992

http://www-math.mit.edu/~djk/calculus_beginners/
This is how I taught myself a fair amount of calculus the summer before my senior year. First semster Calc I was a breeze.

And this:
http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
Has some calculus classes available.

However, it may be that you are not ready for calculus. To even attempt calculus, you must first know Algebra I & II, Geometry I, and Precalc (or Trig and some more algebra). If you are deficient in any of these, you will soon find that calculus is incredibly difficult, however, if you are proficient with all of these, calculus is not that hard. Also, calculus is much, much more than equations, it is a way of viewing change from a mathematical perspective. You can't treat it like a geometry class, simply learning formulas for the areas of various shapes. Good luck!

3. Mar 3, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

What level of school are you in now? You may simply need to work through the prerequisites that mrnike992 mentioned. Take the time to master them well. In particular, learn how to rearrange equations that don't have any numbers in them (just symbols) so as to isolate one of them on one side of the equation. In university physics classes, you will be doing a lot of that. Beyond the introductory level, very few exercises involve calculating with numbers.