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Physics 1 projectile motion and Electrical Engineering

  1. Feb 19, 2012 #1
    I'm going to head towards an electrical engineering path. At this stage, i'm just taking physics 1 w/ calculus.

    Just wondering, how does chapter 2 and 3, constant acceleration and projectile motion problems, relate to later electrical engineering concepts?

    I find these acceleration problems pretty interesting, especially since understanding these projectile motion problems help to add context to some math topics I am only recently learning about, such as calculus (derivatives) and algebra (parabolas) topics.

    So, just wondering, how relevent are constant acceleration topics to later electrical engineering concepts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2012 #2
    Well.. a "classic" type of problem that you'll see in physics II (Electromagnetism) is motion of a charged particle in an electric field. Not all electric fields are uniform.. but in a uniform field you have uniform acceleration (and projectile motion). Now in EM devices, the easiest way to make these fields is in between parallel plates that have an electric potential across them (i.e. a parallel plate capacitor).

    Fortunately, however... you get to even cooler stuff (in my humble opinion).
  4. Feb 19, 2012 #3
    Physics 2 is obviously very relevant.

    Constant acceleration is pretty irrelevant to Electrical Engineering topics, with a few exceptions. But constant linear force/acceleration isn't very common anywhere, really. You will more likely be dealing with dynamic accelerations or vibrations (motors, actuators, etc), if you deal with forces at all once you finish statics/dynamics. I haven't got to controls yet, but I assume there are some statics/dynamics principles in there.

    You will use simple harmonic motion concepts a lot, though. The math is basically the same as for analyzing sinusoidal sources in circuits, except it's infinite series of trig functions instead of just one or two (not as bad as it sounds).

    Advice - If you take any extra math, I highly recommend taking a complex variables course before you take your second circuits class (or whichever one it is for you -ask around). You will be a much happier person learning it from the math department :)
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