Physics with calculus. Prior to Calculus

  • #1
5
0
This is my first year in college, and I am currently taking calculus 1, and physics w/ calculus.
My academic adviser told me that I would be okay taking the two together since I'd be learning the calculus as i went. This doesn't seem to be the case because for a lot of my problems we are already using derivatives and integrals. Is there a way I'll be able to use all of the Kinematic formulas (1D and 2D) without knowing much calculus? Should I continue trying to do work on physics with my little calculus knowledge or should I really invest my time in figuring out calculus first.
TL;DR: Can I get by in physics w/ calculus without knowing most calculus, or should I learn the basics of calc first and drop the physics class for now?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
FactChecker
Science Advisor
Gold Member
6,356
2,505
You certainly need to understand the basics of calculus. You can understand a lot of physics while skipping the details of the specific calculus calculations. Eventually you will have to understand how to calculate derivatives and integrals to be able to derive several physics equations. But you can understand most of them without necessarily deriving them.
 
  • #3
5
0
You certainly need to understand the basics of calculus. You can understand a lot of physics while skipping the details of the specific calculus calculations. Eventually you will have to understand how to calculate derivatives and integrals to be able to derive several physics equations. But you can understand most of them without necessarily deriving them.
so would it be smart to drop physics? or is it possible for me to still get at least a B in there?
 
  • #4
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
21,235
5,051
so would it be smart to drop physics? or is it possible for me to still get at least a B in there?

If you are already supposed to be using integration and differentiation to solve problems, then it would probably be in your best interest to drop the class. However, if the calculus is just in the lecture and you can use algebra to solve the problems, you might be okay.
 
  • Like
Likes CalcNerd, FactChecker and Student100
  • #5
gmax137
Science Advisor
1,948
1,241
How many of the other students in your physics class are in the same situation as you?
 
  • Like
Likes symbolipoint
  • #6
5
0
How many of the other students in your physics class are in the same situation as you?
maybe 2-3
 
  • #7
gmax137
Science Advisor
1,948
1,241
Hmm that's not so good. I learned a lot (a lot!) of math in my physics classes, but we were all in the same boat so the profs had to take the time to teach us the math as we went along. If that isn't happening in your class you may be at a real disadvantage. On the other hand, if it's simple stuff you might be able to pick up what you need with a little extra effort and help.
 
  • Like
Likes FactChecker
  • #8
jtbell
Mentor
15,803
4,033
Have you talked to the professor / instructor about this?
 

Related Threads on Physics with calculus. Prior to Calculus

  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
22K
Replies
16
Views
39K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
11K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
3K
Top