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Need some Guidance

  1. Apr 27, 2012 #1
    Hey guys,

    I am having issues with E&M. I am taking it again this summer and I am scared to death. Last time I took it, I wasn't able to withstand the load and drop out before the deadline. I am very good in Math, but the teachers are horrible.I was able to pass the first test with a horrible grade. (56% :( ). I am in the beginning of my 3rd year and I need this class in order to take another electrical class. I am willing to invest in other books that is easy to understand. I am using the Physics For Scientists And Engineers 8e.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2012 #2
    What exactly were you having troubles with?? Can you elaborate a bit??
  4. Apr 27, 2012 #3
    Well, I was unable to comprehend the teacher. Here is his rating: Mod note: link deleted He doesn't explain anything. He just talk bunch of crap and post it on to a PowerPoint. The worst part is that I will be getting him again this summer (bad luck huh). I guess my problem is that I can't visualize the basic idea.
  5. Apr 27, 2012 #4
    OK, but at this point in the education you should really be self-sufficient enough not to rely on a professor too much. Of course it's easier if the professor can be well understood and if he's interesting. But otherwise, you always have a textbook at your disposal and the internet to ask questions.

    So, what was wrong with the textbook? What did you not understand??
    How did doing research on the internet go for you??

    PS Please do not post your professor's real name on this website, I don't think he would appreciate it.
  6. Apr 27, 2012 #5


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    Science Advisor

    Hey JustHere155 and welcome to the forums.

    I recommend that if you have a specific course related question, you jot down a specific question and ask it in the physics or electrical engineering forums. Questions if they are asked correctly and you have shown effort with your work, will in my experience, usually be answered pretty quickly.

    If you don't clarify your question by making it too broad or too vague, or if you don't show your thought processes and any efforts to establish these then people are going to be unlikely to answer your question straight away or sometimes at all.

    People here are very friendly, but they don't like it when people ask questions where they haven't put in the effort themselves to make it easier for the readers to know what their asking and shown exactly what is wrong by showing what they have tried.
  7. Apr 27, 2012 #6
    I've never been one to believe a statement like that. Being good at math has to transfer something to physics, I mean at least passable scores. Especially if we're talking earlier math courses like vector calculus. I have a feeling that "being good at math" is equaling cookbook math because if you've taken a course in vector calculus and understood things very well, not just doing algorithmic type problems, then E&M shouldn't be too bad. Vector calculus is almost equal to E&M, it's the closest connection I've seen of any math and physics course. Now if you haven't taken vector calculus yet then I can see why you're failing because that would be downright brutal.

    Also, we've all had bad professors. There's been many times in college and life that I didn't have someone to hold my hand through every step of the way. This is where real learning occurs, I know it's a huge pain during the semester but now's the time to get started. Use every resource you can, the internet is so incredibly informational that you will find someone who has shown you the path.
  8. Apr 27, 2012 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    This sounds like the second semester of introductory physics, not an intermediate level E&M course using a textbook like Griffiths. At many schools, this course does not have vector calculus (Calculus III) as a pre-requisite, just basic derivatives and integrals. The course introduces the concepts of surface and line integrals qualitatively, and most or all applications have enough symmetry that you can write down the answers without actually having to "do an integral."

    You do need to have (or develop) the ability to visualize electric and magnetic fields in three dimensions, recognize the symmetry of a situation, and apply it to reduce the integral to a non-integral. Many students have trouble with this. It's different from anything they have to do in the first semester which is mostly mechanics.
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