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PDE or Electromagnetism?

  1. Oct 22, 2012 #1
    I have a choice between 2 classes next semester that conflict, and if I choose one I will graduate without taking the other.

    Partial differential equations or electromagnetism?

    I'm a math/chemistry major and I want to go to grad school for chemical physics or physical chemistry. Any insight as to what would be more beneficial would be very helpful! I'm an avid self studier so whichever one I miss out on I will surely catch up


    EDIT: I could not take both and take pottery
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2012 #2
    **double post
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  4. Oct 22, 2012 #3
    E&M. I didn't realize how useful E&M is in chemistry until very recently. And you'll learn a lot of useful math techniques in there too.

    I'm in chem grad school and I'd pick E&M, no question.
  5. Oct 22, 2012 #4
    "EDIT: I could not take both and take pottery"

    Lol. Since you plan more on the physics side of the double major, pde's
    "applied" for e&m may be more beneficial. Is the PDE course applied? By this i mean: solving heat, wave, laplace equations and or using fourier series? Or is it taught as a course with some proofs?
  6. Oct 22, 2012 #5
    It's a rigorous proof based course, which is the best way to learn it in my opinion.

    I think PDE would be easier to self teach because I love math literature and have taught myself various subjects (abstract, number theory, complex) just for the fun of it
  7. Oct 23, 2012 #6
    Sounds like a good course. Here at my university, we need to take a lot of analysis and an applied pde course to take the proof based one(s).

    I believe math is much easier to self teach than physics. More straightforward and builds up to previous ideas.
  8. Oct 23, 2012 #7
    Take pottery, it will give you insights into 3 dimensional geometry that is produced by rotating something on a ceramic wheel.
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