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So i find out I hate physics

  1. Feb 23, 2009 #1

    black holes was cool, quantum sounded cool.....but now that I'm actually studying it (not quite that, but basic physics), I really really hate it.

    so my question,

    I'm first year second semester computer Engineer student, did I make a bad choice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2009 #2


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    Do you actually really HATE studying Physics, or do you really just hate the effort to effectively study it for credit according to a regimented time schedule with a start date and finish date?
  4. Feb 23, 2009 #3
    Calc/l-algebra/CS/ENG are on a time schedule, but I really like those courses.

    so my answer is no, that isn't the reason I dislike physics.

    Maybe it's because I don't understand it, and I'm doing really bad in it right now (borderline fail). You know that saying, you tend to like what your good at.

    so i guess the question is:

    If I forever suck at physics, will it play a big part as a CE degree/career?
  5. Feb 23, 2009 #4
    yes it will.
  6. Feb 23, 2009 #5


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    I think it's worth mentioning that the introductory physics you're learning right now is by no means black holes or quantum, but it is necessary for understanding these subjects. Few people are awed, mystified, or drawn into physics by such thought-provoking problems such as tethered blocks on an inclined plane. It depends on what you don't like about the class: the method or the content. The method is uniquely physics (scientific really) and is what you will use to solve problems in any field of physics. The simplicity and mundaneness of the problems is another thing entirely...
  7. Feb 24, 2009 #6
    Exactly. The physics you learn in engineering undergraduate classes is classical physics. Quantum Mechanics & General Relativity are modern physics. As a part of the CE program, he will not see any modern physics. It is true that in order to understand modern physics you have to master classical mechanics, but hey, if he is struggling with classical mechanics, he probably wouldn't make it through modern.

    I highly believe that books from Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene, Carl Sagan (I know "Cosmos" deals with Astronomy, but there is also some Modern Physics concepts) Lisa Randall and etc give a wrong impression of what really is modern physics. You read some of those books and fall in love with theoretical physics. But once you enter college and see thousands of differential equations and millions of theories you say to yourself "what the hell... where are the black holes?".
    Don't go into college thinking that the black holes classes will be just like the professor was reading one of the Hawking's books. For example, to explain the four possible types of black holes he will derive four mathematical models (solutions) to the Einstein-field-equations and each solution will represent a different type of black hole.
  8. Feb 24, 2009 #7

    D H

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    I disagree. A lot (the vast majority) of software engineering at least has very little to do with physics. The software that underlies this website has hardly anything to do with physics, for example. Learning how to properly develop and maintain a large software package typically has little to do with physics (physical modeling software packages excluded, of course).

    That said, the OP did mention computer engineering rather than software engineering or computer science. Computer engineering as a discipline tends to involve a good deal of electrical engineering, and that in turn means learning something about quantum mechanics.

    viet_jon: You might want to rethink your focus and major in (or specialize in) computer science or software engineering rather than computer engineering.
  9. Feb 24, 2009 #8
    Computer Engineering has a lot to do with physics. Computer science almost nothing.
  10. Feb 24, 2009 #9


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    that said I found a huge difference between my introductory (1st yr) physics and the next few years

    I found that 1st year was a raft of formulae over heaps of different phenomenon, maybe necessary for a good basis, but more akin to rote learning

    where as in the following years, particularly with better mathematical tools, you can get a lot deeper into things... at least i found it more interesting then
  11. Feb 24, 2009 #10
    I'm in first year physics now and it seems sort of the same way, just stuffing all the info down your throat and not really deeply exploring what is going on. I'm hopeful things will improve next semester!
  12. Feb 24, 2009 #11


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    if you like your calc & LA etc. then physics will probably improve as you use many of these results to tease out physical meaning

    part of the problem is the probably to do with the limits of what you can do basic calc & algebra... alot of the stuff seems like repetition (and probably is mathematically) though there is big insight here as to how many seemingly different physical phenomenon can be explained by similar mathematical models

    that and the type of lecturer you end up with... though there's no guarantee that will improve...

    my 2nd yr QM teacher was one of the best lecturers I've had & that makes a big difference
  13. Feb 24, 2009 #12


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    I would argue that first year physics only seems to be stuffing yourself with formula if you let it be. I hardly remember any of the stuff, I just derive it when necessary. 1st year physics is a lot about derivation, but of course, you can get by almost as well just knowing the results of the derivations.
  14. Jul 6, 2010 #13
    One of my favourite things about physics is the math involved. I've become kinda sick of of hearing how amazing black holes are, but i keep learning physics because i like to study princples such as Newtons laws and creating little situations through them where I have to find a certain factor (time, energy, velocity...).

    Im sure that (if i was smart-*** enough) i'd like studying the more advanced physics behind blackholes and the quantum world, but until then im fine with the simple stuff :)
  15. Jul 6, 2010 #14
    what comp eng are you doing?

    I have to disagree with DH as well, perhaps its just my school and i'm only looking at the undergrad curicuulum but most of the ee's here don't know any quantum (even after taking a material science/solid state sequence)
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  16. Jul 6, 2010 #15
    Doesn't that come with experience though? Or does one make it a point to learn derivations "first"?
  17. Jul 6, 2010 #16
    I'm a fourth year PhD student in physics. I just found out I hate physics a few months ago. Oops. :uhh:

    Comparatively speaking your choice isn't so bad. Physics is required for a lot of stuff, so it's not that easy to get away from it. I wouldn't say you made a bad choice.
  18. Jul 7, 2010 #17
    Are you for real? How can you spend that amount of time and then hate it.
  19. Jul 7, 2010 #18
    How can you spend that much time and not hate it? Everything gets boring when you are forced into doing it too much.
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