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Physics Surpassed Calc

  1. Oct 29, 2008 #1
    So i was given the option of taking calc III freshmen year because of a placement test, but decided to take calc one, albeit a more advanced and theoretical calc one, but nonetheless calc one. Something i didnt forsee was my physics course advancing beyond calculus that i had learned previously. The class i am in requires you to take calc II next in order to fully complete the course. I was wondering if anyone thinks it would be possible for me to pick up a text covering calc III topics and teach myself enough to be able to do the physics and if so are there any recommended texts? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2008 #2


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    I think it's possible to teach yourself enough Calc III to get by in physics classes. In fact, learning math on your own is something your should learn as quickly as possible if your a physics or engineering major.

    Ideally you shouldn't have to learn math on your own. You should have the math course before you take the physics course needing the math. As you just found out though, it doesn't always work out that way!

    I think Stewart's "Calculus" is easy enough to self study and is a very well-rounded book (not too hard, not too easy). It's one problem is that it is not a very rigorous text. This shouldn't be a problem though if your plan is to learn this to use in a physics class. If you were self studying to prepare for a proof-based analysis course on the other hand, I would not recommend Stewart.
  4. Oct 30, 2008 #3
    pick up div grad curl and all that. but i don't understand- if the class requires calc 2 why are you worrying about calc 3?
  5. Oct 30, 2008 #4
    G01 thanks very much for the response...i'll definitely check out stewart's. And Ice, im sorry if i wasn't clear, but what i meant is that there are calc III topics in my phyiscs class and i have only taken the equivalent of calc II.

    Thanks again!
  6. Oct 30, 2008 #5

    George Jones

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    ice109 also may not have been clear. Div, Grad, Curl, and All That:An Informal Text on Vector Calculus,


    is a book by H.M. Schey. If your library has a copy, take a look to see if this infamous book can help.
  7. Oct 31, 2008 #6
    George Jones,

    Good call! I did not realize that what ice109 referred to was a title of a book and it turns out that my library has it and it seems to fit the bill for what I was looking for. Thanks for the help!
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