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(Physics Textbooks) or (Physics Lectures)

  1. Dec 30, 2007 #1
    It my first year in university as a physics major. I was wondering if I can stop attending lectures, since the textbook informations covers all the lectures notes and a lot more.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2007 #2
    If you ask a textbook to explain something one more time, it's going to say them same thing over and over again.

    Welcome to PF. :)

    P.S.: This question would be better suited to the Academic&Career Guidance Forum.
  4. Dec 30, 2007 #3
    You should decide that on a class-by-class basis. My E+M teacher lectured straight out of Griffith's, almost word for word and derivation by derivation. My attendance dropped to about 50% but I still did well. My Math Physics teacher used Boas, but covered all the material his own way and sometimes added stuff in. Missing even one of those lectures was a major setback and my attendance had to be almost perfect.

    Oh, and the short answer is that you should always go to class. You're paying more money (or someone is, at least) for the lecture than you are for the textbook. If a professor isn't a very good lecturer, his lectures might not help you all that much, but they're not going to hurt, and you'll probably (at the very least, I would expect) pick up some valuable information on how to ace his tests.
  5. Dec 30, 2007 #4


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    Go to the lectures, and study much on your own.
  6. Jan 1, 2008 #5
    What I like to do when I have a boring or waste of time lecture is just take my laptop with me and play games for most of the class. Then just listen up for important stuff.
  7. Jan 1, 2008 #6
    In both of my Mechanics and E & M classes, the class size was around 600. Thogh after a week of classes, around 15 people would show for the rest of the semester. Once i thought Id show up and their were only 4 people including me their.

    Professors teach Physics wrong at Universities and Nobody really learns from them. They are all fools that are to lazy to care. So nobody goes.
  8. Jan 1, 2008 #7
    That's kind of unfair. Of the hundreds of people in my introductory classes, three quarters of them wouldn't have shown up if Feynman was teaching the course. These professors have other things to do, and it's frustrating to have to take time away from that to lecture to a bunch of snots who just don't give a damn. If you, the student, put effort into the class the teacher will respond.

    In those classes, the lecturing was bad, but I never had good lectures in any introductory class in any field; this falls largely upon the students in those classes. When I went and talked to the professors in their office hours, they were all eager to teach, even beyond the curriculum, so long as you weren't asking dumb questions.
  9. Jan 1, 2008 #8
    Lectures help. My E&M class covers stuff with heat baths and ion baths, stuff that isn't in the book.

    My Quantum Mechanics class is straight out of the book, but the prof can lecture so that it's easier to understand.
  10. Jan 1, 2008 #9


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    From personal experience the answer is a resounding NO! Attend your lectures! It is much easier to learn from a professor's lecture, than from a textbook, even if the lectures come straight for the textbook. Last year, I was taking a course that I thought was trivial, so I stopped going to lectures, and tried to just learn from the textbook at the end of the course. Even though, it should have been my easiest course, it was my worst mark that semester. Not to say that textbooks aren't useful, because they are very important, but in general they should supplement the lectures.
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