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Taking a semester off of physics

  1. Jan 31, 2009 #1
    Hi, I just would like to hear some insights from you guys about my situation. Last semester I took Physics - Mechanics (1st sem physics for engineers). I passed it with a high B. I felt comfortable but not superior at the subject after taking the final. Now this semester I was supposed to take Physics - Electricity & Magnetism (2nd sem physics for engineers) but unfortunately the sections that were offered could not fit into my schedule. I just decided to skip it this semester and take it during the fall. Will I be able to handle E&M after a break? I know that I'm going to forget a lot from the mechanics class, should I worry about it? What do you think? Any insight appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2009 #2
    I think you should be fine. Make sure to review how to do cross products, dot products and vector additions.
  4. Jan 31, 2009 #3
    They are not all that similar. EM relies on Maxwell's 4 equations, Lorentz Force Law, Waves, and sometimes optics.

    All I remember needing to know was those equations (how to derive others, which you will learn) and things like super position. I might be forgetting something though.

    It shouldn't be too bad.

    edit: It's not an easy class if they require you to learn the theory. If they just let you plug and chug, it'll be easy.
  5. Feb 1, 2009 #4
    It might actually work to your benefit... as long as you've been continuing in your math sequence (often I think students are unprepared for the more-extensive use of calculus in E&M).

    Just be sure to review some of the topics others suggested above... and while you take the course, you may want to also review other topics (like "projectile" motion... which is often revisited when a charge particle is launched in an electric field; or circular motion... which can occur when moving charges enter a magnetic field).
  6. Feb 1, 2009 #5
    By the time I take E&M in the fall I would be finished with all of my math. Right now I'm taking Calc3 and DE. In the summer I will be taking Linear Algebra. Thank you for the insight.
  7. Feb 9, 2009 #6
    You took mechanics without taking calc III? It's pretty impressive that you did so well.
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