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Should I become a Classical Physicist?

  1. Jul 19, 2006 #1
    I will start undergrad next year (majoring in Physics). I am very interested in classical physics especially electrodynamics, thermodynamics, and Relativity. I want to explore them and possible come up with new ideas. I also have an interest in Quantum theory and Astrophysics; however, I am more interested in electrodynamics thermodynamics, and Relativity. I know they are classical but I am very interested in them. Should I focus on them or focus on the new theories. Would I be a classical physicist?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2006 #2
    one of the importances of undergraduate study is to get a taste of many aspects of physics. you need not worry now about a focus. instead, maybe it will benefit you most to just enjoy the classes that you need and let that experience guide you to the next level. good luck, as it will be an exciting time for you!
     
  4. Jul 19, 2006 #3
    Thank you for the advise. I am starting late (I am 29). I was suppose to be a physics major went I first went to college, but I chickened out and got a BA in Japanese studies. I want to a least try. I dont want to go through life wondering if I could do it. Now I am studying math to prepare for school next year. I understand the math, but I am still a little worried.
     
  5. Jul 19, 2006 #4
    I recently started a Physics Degree and dropped out because the maths was too hard for me, even in my mid 20's. It was simply a matter of time, the information comes so thick and fast that you barley have time to think about what it means and how valid it is or formulate any real understanding. I found it was just constant jumping through hoops, so i quit.

    I underestimated how dificult the maths would be to be honest, i should have spent more time working up to it. Perhaps an intermediate maths course would have been wiser.

    So my advice is to make sure your maths is at the level, or youll find it hard to get going.

    I also started it because i didnt want to go through life wondering if i could, now i know, i couldnt :P
     
  6. Jul 20, 2006 #5
    same with me. i took a beginners physics at uni level and even without calculus it proved to be too much for me. i guess i'd stick with chemistry and biology next sem

    i suck at physics :redface:
     
  7. Oct 4, 2006 #6
    Second year is the worst....they try and "weed out the weak" so as to make sure the most competent students make it to grad school....lol

    and you should learn how to program it helps.
     
  8. Oct 4, 2006 #7
    "It was simply a matter of time, the information comes so thick and fast that you barley have time to think about what it means and how valid it is or formulate any real understanding. I found it was just constant jumping through hoops, so i quit."

    this is often the problem, but it's really got to be: get that extra cup of coffee and remember you love the stuff, and really spend a lot of time with it.

    i think after a bit sitting the classical world you'd want to branch out - i mean, that's how all the rest happened anyway. science is progressive
     
  9. Oct 4, 2006 #8
    If you can, take the intro to physics course at a community college, or a branch campus,they go alot slower and its a ton easier so you don't get slapped in the face with it all and give up.

    To weigh how much different the physics is at Penn STate Main campus compared to one of penn state's branch campuses was the following:

    Class average of Physics 212: E&M was around 50%, i had a 40% after the first midterm, and the class at a 50%.

    I then got into an accident so had to go to my community college for a year and drop all my classes I had taken.

    The same course, the class average was an 80% and I had a 99% when the semester was over. So smaller is somtimes better. The professor glady went over things a second time to make sure we all understood what was going on. He really taught the subject great. But at penn state main campus, we didn't even foucs on Physics, we were doing trippple integrals on exams, so everyone was getting lost in the math and yet very little physics was being focused on in the lectures.

    WHen you in a lecture hall with 300+ and the professor could careless about you, he isn't going to slow down even if the class average is that low. The point of the course is to weed out the non-engineers.
     
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