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To take Intro physics class or not to take intro physics class

  1. Jun 17, 2013 #1
    Hi, fellas, I am back again with more questions.:smile: Those who've seen my posts here might recall that I have never been exposed to physics ever before, and now majoring in Chem E, I'll be taking loads of it. I've delayed taking the physics 1 until spring next year because it's calc based and I am taking calc this fall. I have an spot open in my schedule for fall, I was thinking of taking an intro to physics class. Part of me says you don't need it while the other part of me says, it can only do good and expose you to what's to be expected in higher level physics classes.

    Question: Do you guys think this would help? Thanks.

    and yes intro to physics is algebra based.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2013 #2


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    the exposure is good, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't, unless there are scheduling concerns?
  4. Jun 18, 2013 #3
    I was going to take a programming class but it seems that class will have to be replaced as it is not as important.
  5. Jun 18, 2013 #4
    If you aren't planning to do upper-level theoretical work in physics, then you have more options in terms of when to take either an algebra or calculus based intro-to-physics course.

    I don't know the requirement for your curriculum but it would be unreasonable to take two lower-level physics course because they differ in mathematical rigor. All introductory physics courses covers the basics of classical mechanics, electrodynamics, and some thermodynamics.

    If you want a challenge and a more intimate understanding of physics concepts (which might supplement your understanding of chemistry), wait to take the calc-based physics course.

    If you're uninterested in the applications of calc and you're taking physics to meet a requirement, take the algebra-based physics course. You'll always have a safety net (plug-and-chug) to rely on, even if you don't understand the concepts.
  6. Jun 20, 2013 #5


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    Programming knowledge is incredibly useful. If you're already required to take calculus-based physics for your degree, I would highly advise taking a programming course over algebra-based physics.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  7. Jun 21, 2013 #6
    If you can't take physics with calculus I would take the intro course for the time being. I really wished I would have done so, but then again I didn't have the best high school physics course. Physics isn't a course you take once and close the book, you can always gain a deeper understanding with each encounter with the material.
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