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Modern Physics, Mech, or ElectroMag?

  1. Dec 11, 2015 #1
    I have three courses to choose from, pick two. They are Introduction to Modern Physics, Mechanics 1, and Electromagnetism 1. Which should I choose? I have picked Modern Physics and Mechanics 1, but I almost want to do Mechanics 1 and Electromagnetism 1, but since it's my first semester at the school.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2015 #2
    Won't you be taking all three eventually anyway?

    Anyway, I think at most schools modern physics I is taken concurrently or before mechanics I or e&m I (assuming that for you modern physics I == physics III). Maybe someone can back me up on this.
  4. Dec 11, 2015 #3
    At my school, modern physics--physics III--is taken at the same time as classical mechanics, with EM coming the next semester.
  5. Dec 12, 2015 #4


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    Did you mean after? Might be a good idea to edit the post to make what you're trying to say make sense. :p

    To the OP, what does your modern physics class cover? Is it SR and other such things? If so taking it before E&M is a good idea. What is your math background? Surely they aren't letting you do E&M with studying vector calculus first.
  6. Dec 12, 2015 #5
    Waves, relativity, physics on atomic/subatomic level, statistical physics.
    I have done the calc sequence and diffy q.
  7. Dec 12, 2015 #6


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    Okay, so you're further along than most freshmen, at least here in the US. Yes, do mechanics and modern if you're set on doing two physics classes. Study in E&M could benefit from the modern physics course(SR in particular).

    Are you enrolled in Linear Algebra this semester or have you done the intro class already?
  8. Dec 12, 2015 #7
    No... at least at my school, physics III is usually taken at the same time or before mechanics I and E&M I. I don't think that this is abnormal...
  9. Dec 12, 2015 #8
    Sorry, I wasn't clear before. I am a transfer student. It's my first semester at *this* school. I was at a CC now I am at a university for my upper division. I will be doing a sets and logic course for this semester then linear algebra (mandated sequence).

    I'll do the modern and mechanics one then. Mechanics looks like an extended treatment of physics 2. Is it along those lines work wise or is it way more intense? Thanks.
  10. Dec 12, 2015 #9


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    Which textbook does the mechanics course use?
  11. Dec 12, 2015 #10
    Author: TAYLOR
    Edition: 2005
    ISBN: 9781891389221
  12. Dec 14, 2015 #11
    So this is an upper division classical mechanics class? Did you already have a classical mechanics class on the level of Kleppner?
  13. Dec 14, 2015 #12
    When the OP says E&M 1 and Mechanics 1 he most likely means the courses at the Junior/Senior Level, since he can't be taking Modern Physics without the Physics 1&2 at the Freshman/Sophomore Level.

    The math in Mechanics and E&M are basically the same; one is not worse or better than the other when combined with Modern Physics in one semester. Though it would be beneficial to have seen Classical Mechanics before you study Quantum Mechanics (which I assume you'll take next year), it really isn't a hard and fast requirement and I would just pick the one you're most interested in learning at the moment.
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