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Physics and Calculus together.

  1. Sep 26, 2008 #1
    I am starting Calculus soon (self-study) and would like to know if I can also start Physics. I plan on using Halliday and Resnick to study Physics. For calculus I will be using Spivak's book.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2008 #2
    If you already did differentiation and integration in highschool, this will work. If this is your first exposure to calculus ever... postpone physics. Also, Spivak may be difficult to learn calculus from intially unless you've seen calc in highschool.
  4. Sep 27, 2008 #3
    I have never did differentiation/integration before. I think I will study calculus for about a month before starting physics. I'll give Spivak a try since I heard a lot of good things about it. If it becomes hard to understand I plan on getting Calculus made easy by Silvanus.
  5. Sep 27, 2008 #4
    Spivak and "Calculus made easy" sit on opposite side of spectrum from each other. Spivak's Calculus is a proof-oriented and mathematically rigorous textbook that is targeted for students who are interested in pure math. Therefore, this is a very challenging textbook for someone who's learning calculus for the first time. I've heard this is a good textbook as well (I've never read it, btw), but you need to put a lot of work to learn from this book.

    On the other hand, "Calculus made easy" looks more like a study guide rather than a textbook. It might be a good introduction of calculus, but it is nowhere as deep as a standard calculus sequence. It seems like it's targeted for someone who's taking calculus right now and having a great difficulty, or someone who wants to understand a little bit about calculus (some basic nuts and bolts, and nothing more).

    I don't know how much calculus you want to self-study, but you need to understand that those two books are for completely different types of audiences. If you're going to study physics, however, you need a lot more through book than "Calculus made easy" such as any standard first-year calculus textbooks like Stewart, Larson, and etc.

    Just out of curiosity: Why are you self-studying calculus instead of taking a calculus class?
  6. Sep 27, 2008 #5
    At the moment i'm not enrolled in any college. I am going to apply soon, classes start January i believe. So I have a few months and I want to study as much as I can.
  7. Sep 28, 2008 #6
    Halliday and Resnick is horrible Physics book. If it was written by Jearl Walker, which he teaches at my school. Get Gianacoli its alot better at explanations and gives good examples. Calculus self study is gonna be hard. Unless your a genious in math
  8. Sep 28, 2008 #7
    For what its worth, "Calculus for Dummies" and "How to Ace Calculus" both helped to clarify ideas a lot for me while I was taking both Calc I and II. Of course, these should only be used as a supplement to a proper text.
  9. Sep 28, 2008 #8
    Yeah, if I were you, I'd learn some calculus first. Especially when you learn to differentiate, you'll learn how some of the most fundamental kinematic (displacement, velocity, acceleration) equations are derived.
  10. Oct 3, 2008 #9
    I was in the exact same situation as you are. But i am self studying calculus because we don't learn calculus in school until later. I'm just 14 and the calculus we learn in high school is not deep. I would advise you to use stewart's or thomas' calculus as they're neither too rigorous nor too elementary. They also go into calc 3 so it's a good investment. I am doing calc 3 from stewart now and it's quite good. For physics i like serway's books but i started to get more interested in calculus than physics so i'm postponing physics until later.
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