Prospective Physics major; taking AP Physics B

In summary, the individual is a senior in high school who is taking AP Physics B, which is purely algebra and trigonometry based. They are planning on majoring in physics and are wondering if they should supplement their studies with a calculus-based physics book. They have taken calculus AB and BC and plan on reviewing single variable calculus at the end of the year. They wish they could have taken physics C, but it is not offered at their school. They are considering self-studying the physics C material and taking the test along with the B test. They are also considering starting multivariable calculus as a freshman in college.
  • #1
DrStrangelove
7
0
Hey PF, I'm in my senior year of high school and I'm taking AP Physics B this year as my school does not offer AP Physics C, and I'm wondering if I should supplement with extra studying as I plan on majoring in physics. I took calculus AB (equivalent of first semester calculus) last year and I'm taking BC this year (it covers first year differential and integral calculus of a single variable along with taylor/maclaurin series). AP Physics B is purely algebra and trigonometry based, and the book we are using is Serway/Faughn College Physics which is of course the algebra and trig version of the book. I wish I could have taken physics C as it uses calculus, but sadly that's not offered at my school. I will review the single variable calculus material at the end of the year (with something like Calculus by Spivak) and then I plan on starting multivariable calculus as a freshman in college if the college allows this. So, what should I supplement my physics B material with in order to learn more physics and get an upper hand in my first year of college? Work with a calculus based physics book like Halliday or Giancoli along with the Serway/Faughn? Thanks in advance!
 
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  • #2
If you understand calculus and understand kinematics when you do it physics B just self study the physics C material and take the C test along with the B. Most likely Physics B won't count towards your physics degree because it is not calculus based.
 
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Related to Prospective Physics major; taking AP Physics B

1. What is the difference between AP Physics B and other physics courses?

AP Physics B is an introductory level physics course designed to prepare students for the AP Physics 1 and 2 exams. It covers a wide range of topics in mechanics and electricity and magnetism. Other physics courses may be more specialized and in-depth, depending on the level and focus of the course.

2. Will taking AP Physics B give me college credit?

This depends on the college or university you plan on attending. Some schools may grant credit for a high enough score on the AP exam, while others may require you to take a placement test or enroll in a higher level physics course.

3. Is it necessary to take calculus before taking AP Physics B?

No, AP Physics B does not require knowledge of calculus. However, a strong foundation in algebra and trigonometry is recommended for success in the course.

4. What are some potential career paths with a degree in physics?

A degree in physics can lead to a variety of career paths, including research in academia or industry, engineering, data analysis, teaching, and more. It can also serve as a strong foundation for graduate studies in fields such as astrophysics, biophysics, or engineering.

5. What skills will I develop by majoring in physics?

Physics majors develop strong analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as a deep understanding of the fundamental laws and principles that govern the natural world. They also gain experience in data analysis, critical thinking, and mathematical modeling, all valuable skills in a variety of industries and fields.

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