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Math Based or Conceptual Based Physics Textbook?

  1. Mar 15, 2013 #1
    I am a freshman in high school and I want to major in physics and probably mathematics in college. I would like to learn more physics and I think that math is a very important part in learning physics. However, I don't know algebra II, trigonometry, or calculus so I was wondering if I should read a conceptual physics book or if I should work my way up to calculus and then read a physics book that uses calculus. What would be the most beneficial for me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Why not do both? Go through a conceptual physics book now (such as Hewitt's "Conceptual Physics"), and then when you have enough math, do a calculus-based book (which is what you'll do in AP Physics C if your school has it).
  4. Mar 17, 2013 #3


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    Hewitt is a great book. The big barrier right now would be trig, not calc. If you can learn a little basic trig (just sine, cosine, and tangent, which you could do in an afternoon), you'll have a much wider selection of books.
  5. Mar 17, 2013 #4
    jtbell, are you suggesting that I wait until I get to more advanced math courses in school and then do a calculus-based physics book, or are you saying that I should do I conceptual physics book now and once I finished that book I go on to learn more higher mathematics?
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