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Physics classes with limited math background?

  1. Jan 11, 2013 #1
    I'm a chemistry major, but when I entered uni 3 years ago I was actually a performance arts major. Needless to say, at the time I was quite terrified of all math and science, and it took a bit of easing into; but I had copped out with easier math series and easier physics series.

    I'm excelling at my chemistry classes, including quantum mechanics, but that's as far as my linear algebra goes and I have never touched partial differential equations. I found that I really enjoy physics, but I don't have the math background--not to mention I was quite weak in it to begin with.

    I'm taking an upper division cosmology class now, and I'm worried I will get overwhelmed... Any tips? Should I even bother with physics classes with my background?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2013 #2


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    Of course it's hard to say, as we don't know how rigorous the physics classes are. Do you meet the math prerequisites for the classes you want to take?
  4. Jan 11, 2013 #3
    Not really, I'm about 2 classes short. I was hoping hard work and math on the side would help, and I'm using Math Methods by Mary L Boas as a reference guide...

    These classes typically require partial differentials and linear algebra as a prereq.
  5. Jan 11, 2013 #4
    why do you need physics class if you are a chemistry major?
  6. Jan 11, 2013 #5
    Personal betterment and pleasure...

    I find wonder in physics.
  7. Jan 11, 2013 #6


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    With Chemistry as you major choice, you will need (as part of curriculum requirements) a few Physics courses. Both Chemistry and Physics require three semesters of Calculus, and depending on program and institution, maybe more (like linear algebra and maybe differential equations). These courses (Physics, Math, also the Chemistry) will be hard, so you just need to put in the effort, and maybe be willing to review sometimes.
  8. Jan 11, 2013 #7
    I think the question is not about an intro physics, but upper division classes with linear algebra/differential equations as prerequisites. I assume the OP has already taken the intro calc based physics class
  9. Jan 11, 2013 #8
    I've taken them already, but they didn't prepare me for other physics courses other than quantum... My question relates more to advanced courses.
  10. Jan 11, 2013 #9
    Thanks for your answers
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