Physical prerequisites for electromagentism

In summary: I can't find a good link at the moment. But I would highly recommend doing that before continuing on to Electromagnetism.The best I can recall, Fundamental Physics-Electricity & Magnetism has the Perquisite Mathematics course of Calculus & Analytica Geometry II. That is the official published requirement,... but I can't find a good link at the moment. But I would highly recommend doing that before continuing on to Electromagnetism.
  • #1
simphys
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Hello guys,

I am using the book 'university physics with modern physics by freedman'(just started chapter 6: energy). I was wondering if someone could point out what is needed to be known to continue with electricity. 2nd semester just began and I haven't had previous physics encounters besides university. As said I just started the chapter of energy. I realize that I am kinda behind big time... But I need to identify what I need as a prerequisity for electricity at this point. As I see that electricity uses some previously introduces concepts but I am not really sure which one.
Could someone help me point / list them out fromt this table of contents? (electromagnetism starts from chapter 21 onwards)
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Thanks in advance!
 
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  • #2
simphys said:
Hello guys,

I am using the book 'university physics with modern physics by freedman'(just started chapter 6: energy). I was wondering if someone could point out what is needed to be known to continue with electricity. 2nd semester just began and I haven't had previous physics encounters besides university. As said I just started the chapter of energy. I realize that I am kinda behind big time... But I need to identify what I need as a prerequisity for electricity at this point. As I see that electricity uses some previously introduces concepts but I am not really sure which one.
Could someone help me point / list them out fromt this table of contents? (electromagnetism starts from chapter 21 onwards)
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Thanks in advance!
I think that your use of the term "electricity" is probably a language translation issue. You get an electrician's trade license if you want to work with electricity.

Are you asking instead about Electromagnetism? It looks like you are pursuing a standard degree in EE or Physics with an Electromagnetics course?
 
  • #3
berkeman said:
I think that your use of the term "electricity" is probably a language translation issue. You get an electrician's trade license if you want to work with electricity.

Are you asking instead about Electromagnetism? It looks like you are pursuing a standard degree in EE or Physics with an Electromagnetics course?
He must really mean, "Electricity And Magnetism", as is the usual name for the earlier course for the students of Science & Engineering. (Part of Physics studies)
 
  • #4
berkeman said:
I think that your use of the term "electricity" is probably a language translation issue. You get an electrician's trade license if you want to work with electricity.

Are you asking instead about Electromagnetism? It looks like you are pursuing a standard degree in EE or Physics with an Electromagnetics course?
Oh yes haha that is true my apologies. It was a translation issue.
It’s for EE, correct
 
  • #5
symbolipoint said:
He must really mean, "Electricity And Magnetism", as is the usual name for the earlier course for the students of Science & Engineering. (Part of Physics studies)
Well it’s ‘elektricity’ in Belgium
We have it divided into electric circuits, a lab and electrostatics(i think it was)
 
  • #6
simphys said:
Well it’s ‘elektricity’ in Belgium
We have it divided into electric circuits, a lab and electrostatics(i think it was)
I also misunderstood, in my not reliably interpreting "EE" ; I confused this with the Physics courses.
 
  • #7
symbolipoint said:
I also misunderstood, in my not reliably interpreting "EE" ; I confused this with the Physics courses.
it is the same haha, At the end of the day it is the same because the 'first' year is a general formation and plus electricity is a fundamental concept which is physics.

So Interpret it in general, not in terms of engineering as the physics is the same in both degree programs.
 
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  • #8
How's your math? I think I would recommend taking or studying vector calculus before diving into electromagnetism.
 
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  • #9
Joshy said:
How's your math? I think I would recommend taking or studying vector calculus before diving into electromagnetism.
Hmm well I don’t know anything about that.. only calculus 1 (basic integrals en derivatives)
 
  • #10
Joshy said:
How's your math? I think I would recommend taking or studying vector calculus before diving into electromagnetism.
What wuld you recommend me to study this with? As i wouldn’t also really have the time to study it very extensively extensively as well at this point
 
  • #11
Does your school just allow you to take courses at random? Does it not have course progression sequencing? Normally one would take Calculus I & II, Physics I & II, and maybe Linear Algebra I, before moving on to E&M I. Have you taken these courses already?
 
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  • #12
gwnorth said:
Does your school just allow you to take courses at random? Does it not have course progression sequencing? Normally one would take Calculus I & II, Physics I & II, and maybe Linear Algebra I, before moving on to E&M I. Have you taken these courses already?
The best I can recall, Fundamental Physics-Electricity & Magnetism has the Perquisite Mathematics course of Calculus & Analytica Geometry II. That is the official published requirement, but more preparation could be better.
 
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  • #13
I will concede that point.
 
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  • #14
gwnorth said:
Does your school just allow you to take courses at random? Does it not have course progression sequencing? Normally one would take Calculus I & II, Physics I & II, and maybe Linear Algebra I, before moving on to E&M I. Have you taken these courses already?
Some schools - colleges and universities - use a three-course sequencing like this:
(this copy of the table is now deleted. See the "EDIT" below.)

Either the "1" or the "3" may also contain some topics about viscosity, sound, thermodynamics, or statistical mechanics.

EDIT: Let me try to include some of the topic's requested information included with a table.

BASIC NAMEMATH PREREQ.The PHYS CONTENT
Physics 1Calc 1Mechanics, Kinematics
Physics 2Calc 2Electricity&Magnetism
Physics 3Calc 3 (Interm. Calculus)Modern Phys(Optics, Light/Radiation, Nuclear, "Quantum"

The Calc 1 & 2 are mostly 1: Differentiation, intro to Integrals; 2: Techniques of Integration, multiple integration, Sequences & Series
 
Last edited:
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  • #15
Joshy said:
How's your math? I think I would recommend taking or studying vector calculus before diving into electromagnetism.
It wouldn't hurt, but it's not necessary. In the typical course sequence, students take Calc 3 the semester after taking intro electromagnetism.
 
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  • #16
simphys said:
Could someone help me point / list them out fromt this table of contents? (electromagnetism starts from chapter 21 onwards)
If you learn up to energy, you'll be in decent shape, but the assumption will be that you are also familiar with momentum and rotational motion as well.
 
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  • #17
The E&M section in Freedman and similar texts don't require vector calculus. They introduce a few concepts but don't go heavy into the mathematics of E&M, it's mostly basic derivatives and integrals.
 
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  • #18
symbolipoint said:
Some schools - colleges and universities - use a three-course sequencing like this:
(this copy of the table is now deleted. See the "EDIT" below.)

Either the "1" or the "3" may also contain some topics about viscosity, sound, thermodynamics, or statistical mechanics.

EDIT: Let me try to include some of the topic's requested information included with a table.

BASIC NAMEMATH PREREQ.The PHYS CONTENT
Physics 1Calc 1Mechanics, Kinematics
Physics 2Calc 2Electricity&Magnetism
Physics 3Calc 3 (Interm. Calculus)Modern Phys(Optics, Light/Radiation, Nuclear, "Quantum"

The Calc 1 & 2 are mostly 1: Differentiation, intro to Integrals; 2: Techniques of Integration, multiple integration, Sequences & Series
First Year
Physics I - linear and rotational mechanics,kinematics, dynamics, and the relevant conservation laws
Physics II - simple harmonic motion, waves, interference, electrostatics, magnetostatics, introduction to quantum physics

Second Year
Modern Physics - Special relativity, Introductory quantum physics
E&M I - Electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, Maxwell’s equations, D.C. circuits
E&M II - Differential form of Maxwell’s equations, A.C. circuits
Mechanics - Dynamics of a particle, simple harmonic motion and resonance, central field problem, many- particle systems, non-inertial systems, generalized coordinates and Lagrange’s equations
Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics - The laws of thermodynamics, classical and quantum statistical mechanics
symbolipoint said:
Some schools - colleges and universities - use a three-course sequencing like this:
(this copy of the table is now deleted. See the "EDIT" below.)

Either the "1" or the "3" may also contain some topics about viscosity, sound, thermodynamics, or statistical mechanics.

EDIT: Let me try to include some of the topic's requested information included with a table.

BASIC NAMEMATH PREREQ.The PHYS CONTENT
Physics 1Calc 1Mechanics, Kinematics
Physics 2Calc 2Electricity&Magnetism
Physics 3Calc 3 (Interm. Calculus)Modern Phys(Optics, Light/Radiation, Nuclear, "Quantum"

The Calc 1 & 2 are mostly 1: Differentiation, intro to Integrals; 2: Techniques of Integration, multiple integration, Sequences & Series
I think the confusion lies in whether the op is discussing the general introduction to E&M that's covered in first year introductory Physics II, or E&M I that's offered in second year.
 
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  • #19
gwnorth said:
I think the confusion lies in whether the op is discussing the general introduction to E&M that's covered in first year introductory Physics II, or E&M I that's offered in second year.
Probably o.p. should clarify. The information about "Physics 1,2,3" is only for the three-semester course sequence intended for all Science & Engineering students.
 
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  • #20
The OP referred to Young and Freedman which is an introductory physics book. It sounds like this is the first time the OP is taking physics.
 
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  • #21
First of all, Thanks a lot for the help and advice to everyone! And my apologies for answering at sucha late time.

2nd: This is the first time I study anything from physics. I was specifically talking about Electrostatics Which is indeed an intro. (and indirectly also talking about the requirements for vibrations and waves which I also have this semester)

3rd:
So to answer and clarify:
vela said:
The OP referred to Young and Freedman which is an introductory physics book. It sounds like this is the first time the OP is taking physics.
That is correct, first time.
vela said:
If you learn up to energy, you'll be in decent shape, but the assumption will be that you are also familiar with momentum and rotational motion as well.
Well... the problem is that I am not with either of these...
For the energy concepts ( which I am studying now..):
I don't see me following the 'outlined' curriculum without studying AT LEAST work, energy and potential energy first.. problem is that it's a bit of a different thinking process than Newton's laws and as I've never had those concepts it took quite a bit more time than anticipated to finish the work-energy-power chapter which I just finished (perhaps watching some video's about the basics on khandacademy would be more beneficial before starting to get the big picture).f.e. didn't really understand what work, power,.. actually meant as the explanation was a bit poor in the book, it just defined it as being the force times displacement and that there'd be only work done if there is a force acting in the direction of the displacement. (not clearly mentioning that it is the transfer of energy by a force exerted on the object)

also another thing:
I asked a couple of them teachers, and every time they just tell me: oh just look through the concepts quickly and that will be enough.. but how I am supposed to actually understand what is going on without actually learning it and doing a bit of the maths behind it... worthless.

And ALSO:
I just looked to what we had in first semester and see that it was indeed dynamics and energy BUT NO ROTATIONAL MOTION. It was titled dynamics and energy, covering kinetics, kinematics (of particles in 2d), and the latter which I did not come to study at all: energies, linear momentum and a part from temperature and heat. like kinetic theory of gasses etc.

question: You said that besides the energies, I would also need to go through angular motion and momentum. To what extend should I do that, going through the book or perhaps watching some vids from khanacademy would be enough for those?

ADDITION: I also need these concepts for vibrations and waves, correct?


symbolipoint said:
Some schools - colleges and universities - use a three-course sequencing like this:
(this copy of the table is now deleted. See the "EDIT" below.)

Either the "1" or the "3" may also contain some topics about viscosity, sound, thermodynamics, or statistical mechanics.

EDIT: Let me try to include some of the topic's requested information included with a table.

BASIC NAMEMATH PREREQ.The PHYS CONTENT
Physics 1Calc 1Mechanics, Kinematics
Physics 2Calc 2Electricity&Magnetism
Physics 3Calc 3 (Interm. Calculus)Modern Phys(Optics, Light/Radiation, Nuclear, "Quantum"

The Calc 1 & 2 are mostly 1: Differentiation, intro to Integrals; 2: Techniques of Integration, multiple integration, Sequences & Series
Okay, so for Calc 2 I am nowhere to be seen yet. We are having it right now, named 'mathematical modeling'
For calc 1: The important things I do not know are:
arc length by using an integral in 2d and sequences and series(!)

So for vibrations and waves sequences and series will be very much needed I guess...CONCLUSION:
I think that this semester will be a semester of self-studying once again...
Plan:
MATH:
- Study Sequences and series
PHYSICS:
- do some exercises on kinetic energy + work + power
- study potential energy ch 7
- studying momentum (not sure yet?)
- studying rotational motion (not sure yet?)

In the mean time I am abandoning vibrations and waves. and for electrostatics, I will be stuyding it as I saw that I'll need potential energy but a bit further down the line which I will have finished till then.
 
  • #22
Its interesting how courses can vary from university to university. When I took vibrations and waves, it was considered a very low upper division course, where one needed to know intro ODE, and be familiar with complex numbers. Fourier transforms was something learned while taking a class. Calculus was used extensively in the problem sets. Contrast this to my friends course at another college, a more prestigious one (I went to very low state school), it required only algebraic manipulation.

As to intro EM, I think you can proceed with having understood conservative and noncervative force, an d conservation of energy. As a member mentioned, the intro book does not use that much vector calculus, if at all. You do need Calculus 2 (integration) techniques like partial fraction decomposition, by-parts, and trig substitution, for some of the exercises. If I recall correctly, one place were it is needed is the Biot-Sarvart Law. Flux is explained well enough in the text, although superficially, where Cal 3 is not needed. But it makes more sense.

My suggestion, start learning Calculus 2 immediately.

A good supplementary for intro EM is Kipp: Fundamentals Of Electricity and Magnetism. It makes more use of the Calculus, but it well written, straight to the point, insightful, and clear. Very cheap too.

However, to start understanding the ideas of intro EM, one does need Calculus 3. It uses mathematical concepts, even if you don't directly use them for calculations. Ie., some of the labs, in order to understand conceptially what's going it.

But this is through for most physics classes, you learned the math as you go, at least in the US. Some of the more experienced members may be able to help on to tackle this.

I took my first physics class while taking Linear Algebra and ODE, so my math preparation was always above that which my physics classes required. So when it was time to take upper division EM, I had already taken a complex analysis course from the math department. A bit over-kill. I heard math methods books can help, but I never bothered to open up. Except for Arfken for two sections.

I heard good things about Div, Grad, and Curl or all that. A book along those lines. I may have fudged the title, but maybe something to research, to see if you can benefit from it.
 
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  • #23
MidgetDwarf said:
Its interesting how courses can vary from university to university. When I took vibrations and waves, it was considered a very low upper division course, where one needed to know intro ODE, and be familiar with complex numbers. Fourier transforms was something learned while taking a class. Calculus was used extensively in the problem sets. Contrast this to my friends course at another college, a more prestigious one (I went to very low state school), it required only algebraic manipulation.

As to intro EM, I think you can proceed with having understood conservative and noncervative force, an d conservation of energy. As a member mentioned, the intro book does not use that much vector calculus, if at all. You do need Calculus 2 (integration) techniques like partial fraction decomposition, by-parts, and trig substitution, for some of the exercises. If I recall correctly, one place were it is needed is the Biot-Sarvart Law. Flux is explained well enough in the text, although superficially, where Cal 3 is not needed. But it makes more sense.

My suggestion, start learning Calculus 2 immediately.

A good supplementary for intro EM is Kipp: Fundamentals Of Electricity and Magnetism. It makes more use of the Calculus, but it well written, straight to the point, insightful, and clear. Very cheap too.

However, to start understanding the ideas of intro EM, one does need Calculus 3. It uses mathematical concepts, even if you don't directly use them for calculations. Ie., some of the labs, in order to understand conceptially what's going it.

But this is through for most physics classes, you learned the math as you go, at least in the US. Some of the more experienced members may be able to help on to tackle this.

I took my first physics class while taking Linear Algebra and ODE, so my math preparation was always above that which my physics classes required. So when it was time to take upper division EM, I had already taken a complex analysis course from the math department. A bit over-kill. I heard math methods books can help, but I never bothered to open up. Except for Arfken for two sections.

I heard good things about Div, Grad, and Curl or all that. A book along those lines. I may have fudged the title, but maybe something to research, to see if you can benefit from it.
Thank you for the advice!
What you say is definitely true. I mean they still use the concepts of Ode,.. but say that it isn't really necessary necessary. (quote: 'oh, you just need a little bit of First orde DE and algebraic manipulation' for electrostatics)
And we use the physics for S and E from giancoli for both vibrations and electricity but I bought me the young freedman one before that to study it on my own and it is more explainable on the concepts whilst losing the big picture sometimes though...

So, for vibrations and waves, we saw complex numbers + sequences and series(which I unfortunately didn't learn) no ODEs yet they are about to come.
question: So I will do sequences and series as said. But should I go over rotational kinematics + momentum or would energy be sufficient here as well?For intro to electromagnetism, I will definitely check that book out, does it start from the beginning like those big intro books like the giancoli one? If so, I willl just study the one you suggested as main book.

so for the requirements on electro. I will study energy and immediately start with the material of electrostatics.(/or intro to electromagnetism.)For math, I think i misinterpreted calc1/2 so I know techniques of integration i.e. partial frac decomp integral method, (U-) substitution and that's it really, the other methods weren't covered.
So could you readvice me on this one please? I kinda thought that this was included in the intro to integrals.
I had thomas calculus but I bought calculuss from peter lax, less colorful.
And... we are now studying multivariable calc(which I thought was calc2) and then also vector calc I guess then as I see that it includes stokes theorem, line integrals etc.

And one more question:
Would it perhaps even be more beneficial to quit uni and self study (geometry etc. as well)? Of course I will know a lot of the covered stuff, but this way I will have a more thorough preparation and will have a better understanding of it, I am not here for them degrees, I am here for understanding+learning the things.
but.. then reapply next year. I will have approx. 8 months and with knowing what to study that cannot pose a problem to be quite honest.
 
  • #24
For me the rescue concerning vector calculus when starting electromagnetism at the university was (the German translation) of

D. E. Bourne, P.C. Kendall, Vector Analysis and Cartesian Tensors
 
  • #25
simphys said:
2nd semester just began and I haven't had previous physics encounters besides university.
simphys said:
I am not here for them degrees, I am here for understanding+learning the things.
Then why are you starting with Physics II?
 
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  • #26
Vector calculus is the top of my list. I don't doubt that someone could teach E&M without it, but I don't think you'll really understand it if you don't really understand gradients, curls, and such.

There are typically 2 presentations of Maxwell's equations; integral and derivative. I think you need the math background to understand both versions to really get it.
 
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1. What is electromagnetism?

Electromagnetism is a branch of physics that deals with the study of the relationship between electric and magnetic fields. It explains how these fields interact with each other and with charged particles to produce electromagnetic radiation.

2. What are the physical prerequisites for electromagnetism?

The physical prerequisites for electromagnetism include the presence of electric charges and the ability of these charges to move, as well as the presence of magnetic materials such as iron or nickel. Additionally, a changing electric field is required to generate a magnetic field and vice versa.

3. How do electric and magnetic fields interact?

Electric and magnetic fields interact through a phenomenon known as electromagnetic induction. This occurs when a changing magnetic field induces an electric current in a conductor, or when a changing electric field induces a magnetic field. This interaction is the basis for many technological applications, such as generators and transformers.

4. What is the role of Maxwell's equations in electromagnetism?

Maxwell's equations are a set of four fundamental equations that describe the behavior of electric and magnetic fields. They were developed by James Clerk Maxwell in the 19th century and are considered one of the most important contributions to the field of electromagnetism. These equations provide a mathematical framework for understanding the relationship between electric and magnetic fields.

5. How does electromagnetism impact our daily lives?

Electromagnetism plays a crucial role in our daily lives. It is the basis for many technologies, including electricity, electronics, and communication systems. It also plays a role in natural phenomena such as lightning and the Earth's magnetic field. Without electromagnetism, many modern conveniences and technologies would not be possible.

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