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Mechanics before LA/Vector Calc

  1. Nov 3, 2011 #1
    Hi - I'm doing well in intro mechanics this fall (got perfect score on first exam) and i'm gonna take intro E&M this spring. i've done multivariable calc up to triple integrals but not vector calc or LA or DEs (though i've watched some khan academy on LA, DEs and vector calc lol). Can I learn this on the go and take mechanics? My prof says its hard but not impossible. I'm just nervous I don't wanna get burned out and/or turned off if I don't have the proper math background. On the one hand I hear in physics you always learn new math so there is no point in postponing things till spring 2013 just because u haven't taken the pure math courses for it (e.g. what pure math class in undergrad teaches calculus of variations?). On the other hand I feel like DEs, LA and vector calc are so basic to advanced physics that it'd be suicide to not take em before taking upper level mechanics. Any ideas? Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2011 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What are the official prerequisites for the mechanics course, as listed in the university's course catalog or web site?
  4. Nov 3, 2011 #3
    They contradict lol. One source on the CUNY registration site has it as that which I've taken already (up to triple integrals and intro mechanics) - another source on the physics website has a requirement for the course as the first math methods course which covers ODEs and Vector calc - the department head said i can take it but it would be challenging so 'take at your own risk'. idk tho - they use marion and thornton and do most of the book in one semester.
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