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Should I take physical chemistry?

  • Thread starter Puchinita5
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi.

I did well in calc 1, but I got a C in calc 2. I also took both calc 1 and 2 about five years ago. I feel I didn't do well in Calc 2 because i didn't try, not because I was incapable of understanding, but I honestly have NO IDEA what calc 2 was about.

However, Physics 2 (with calculus) within the past year, and I got an A.

I am going to re-take calc 2 at some point so I can go on to calc 3 because I just don't feel comfortable moving on with math without retaking it. However, I won't be able to retake calc 2 before taking physical chemistry. My course catalog says I need calc 2 to take physical chemistry, which makes me nervous! I mean, I did well in physics 2 somehow without retaking it, but will I be okay in physical chemistry? I might be able to take calc 2 again the same semester as physical chem. Would that be okay? Or should I really just wait until after I retake it.

My issue with waiting is that at my school they only teach Physical chemistry in the fall...so I will need to wait a whole year if I don't take it this fall and I can't fit calc 2 in before then.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Physical chemistry is an advanced undergrad chemistry course. Take it.
 
  • #3
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Calc2 is essentially integration over one dimension, and its various applications. There is usually also a unit on Taylor series. I don't know how much of that you used in physics 2 w/ calculus, but if you do not feel comfortable with those topics, I would hold off on taking PChem. You don't want to risk having to retake PChem as well as calc2.

You might also want to ask around and see if your advisor, the professor teaching PChem, or any upperclassmen can tell you how important calc2 is to your school's PChem course. Where I am, calc3 is required for PChem, and DifEq is strongly recommended, so you'd be best off getting advice from someone familiar with your school's particular PChem sequence.

That said, are there any other options you can think of? What about retaking calc2 over the summer, or getting a book and relearning the material by yourself (or perhaps with a tutor)?
 
  • #4
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I definitely had to integrate in physics 2...but I have no idea what the Taylor series is? Or if I ever learned it?

And also, even though we did integration in physics 2, my professor often allowed us to use "integration tables" ...but i suppose I could easily memorize the integrations before taking Physical chem. Conceptually I feel like I understand it.

I am in sort of a complication situation, I'm a post-bacc student deciding between careers, and would take me forever to explain but I am most likely already taking other classes this summer.

For this semester, I am already taking Microbiology with lab (5 hours), Organic 2 with lab (5 hours), and am deciding if I should take Calculus 2 as well (4 hours), which I think may be too much for me to handle, or take an easier BS class. ( i need 12 hours to qualify for insurance). I know a lot of people take a lot of courses at once, and hard ones at that, but I'm definitely one of those people that has to work hard to get good grades (whereas some people can go out 7 nights a week and never go to class and still get straight A's) and i'm worried taking micro, orgo 2, and calc 2 would be too many of the difficult courses at once for me to handle. However, I don't want to be screwed in physical chemistry if I decide not to take calc 2 this semester and take it at the same time as physical chem.
 

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