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Taking stat mech before quantum?

  1. Jun 28, 2008 #1
    i just finished my analytic mechanics and am halfway done with upperdiv E&M. Next fall, i plan on taking the 2nd half of E&M and the 1st quarter of Quantum and Abstract Algebra, for sure. Along with that, I'm thinking of taking either Statistical Mechanics or Solid State Physics.

    at my school, quantum is a prereq for stat mech, but there are no prereqs for solid state. solid state is an elective at my school. i really look forward to taking stat mech because my school offered a lowerdiv modern physics-like class, with multivariable calc involved, that only focused on quanum and stat mech, and it was one of the best classes i've taken.

    i dont know if i want to focus on math or physics yet, however. so far, analytic mechanics was only interesting in the 2nd half of the course. E&M so far was mostly a review of the lower div class.

    should i take stat mech and if i enjoy, stick with physics. or take solid state, since i heard its really important for physics. or be patient, and not take either yet. i'm leaning towards option 1 or 3
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2008 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Then you should take quantum before stat mech.
  4. Jun 28, 2008 #3
    In my experience, prerequisites are meaningless.
  5. Jun 28, 2008 #4


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    I took statmech before Quantum, but that's the way my school's program was, it wasn't a choice of mine. Statmech certainly requires many results from quantum mechanics, but often you can take them at face value without having too much about where they came from. You should maybe talk to the professor of the class, to see really how much quantum is needed.
  6. Jun 28, 2008 #5
    Yeah, so lets learn nuclear physics before we know E&M.

    You don't need QM for lower stat mech, it is only briefly alluded to. What you did in second year should suffice.
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