Upper Division E&M: Can I Handle It?

  • Thread starter hitmeoff
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In summary: Thanks for the heads up!In summary, the person is trying to do a math and physics double major, but has no time to take easy quarters. They are taking upper division classes this upcoming quarter, but have not taken any lower division classes. They are comfortable with vector calculus and say that E&M is doable with their background.
  • #1
hitmeoff
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So I kinda got painted into a corner this upcoming quarter. I am trying to do a Math/Physics double major and with all the req's for both majors, I pretty much got no time to be taking easy quarters (unless I want to waste time going to school an extra year. I am 31 y/o, I still want to do grad school, so no...there is no more 'taking my time').

With a few scheduling conflicts, I couldn't find/fit an extra math class for winter, so I decided to enroll in the first quarter of upper division E and M.

Heres the thing: I took lower division E and M over the summer, I have not taken the first quarter of upper division classical mechanics, nor have I taken the first quarter of lower division modern physics (quantum and special relativity). Is upper div E and M doable for me? The pre-reqs only require Multi-Var calc, Math Methods for Physics and lower div E and M of which I've done all three.

My schedule would look like this:
Upper Div Linear Algebra II
Abstract Algebra I
Lower Div Modern Physics I
Lower Div Experimental Physics Lab II (basically a experimental techniques lab)
and of course Upper Div Electromagnetic Theory I

Does this sound like a doable scenerio? I should mention that I am retaking Abstract Algebra (had to drop it due to severe illness this past quarter).
 
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  • #2
As long as you're comfortable with vector calculus you'll be fine. It's all reasonably straightforward as long as you are buddy-buddy with div, grad, and curl.
 
  • #3
Monocles said:
As long as you're comfortable with vector calculus you'll be fine. It's all reasonably straightforward as long as you are buddy-buddy with div, grad, and curl.

Yeah, I am solid with it now. I took Multi-Var calc last fall, then took Math Methods (with Boas' text) over the summer which was pretty much a crash course on the first two years of Uni math, which included vector calc, so I'm pretty much up to date on that stuff.
 
  • #4
E&M is totally doable with your background. I took it as an EE major and I also only had the first semester of modern physics and no classical mechanics or any other upper-division physics classes. I got an A in the class and actually did better than some of the physics majors! I will warn you though, that while the problems don't require any math higher than vector calc and linear algebra/diff eq, they are often extremely long, complex, and time-consuming. Expect to take at least 10 hours to finish a homework assignment with 4-5 problems (if you're very good at vector calc and generally mathematically competent) or as many as 30-40 hours per assignment (if you struggle).
 
  • #5
ies0716 said:
E&M is totally doable with your background. I took it as an EE major and I also only had the first semester of modern physics and no classical mechanics or any other upper-division physics classes. I got an A in the class and actually did better than some of the physics majors! I will warn you though, that while the problems don't require any math higher than vector calc and linear algebra/diff eq, they are often extremely long, complex, and time-consuming. Expect to take at least 10 hours to finish a homework assignment with 4-5 problems (if you're very good at vector calc and generally mathematically competent) or as many as 30-40 hours per assignment (if you struggle).

Hahaha...after having plowed through some of these abstract algebra problems, I am no longer fazed by marathon problems.
 

Related to Upper Division E&M: Can I Handle It?

1. What is Upper Division E&M?

Upper Division E&M stands for upper division Electromagnetism, which is a college-level physics course that focuses on the study of electricity and magnetism at a more advanced level.

2. Is Upper Division E&M a difficult course?

Upper Division E&M can be a challenging course for some students, as it requires a strong foundation in calculus and physics principles. However, with dedication and hard work, it is certainly manageable for most students.

3. What topics are covered in Upper Division E&M?

Upper Division E&M typically covers topics such as electrostatics, electric fields, electric potential, magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and more. The exact topics may vary slightly depending on the course and instructor.

4. What are some tips for success in Upper Division E&M?

Some tips for success in Upper Division E&M include attending all lectures and taking thorough notes, practicing problem-solving regularly, seeking help from the instructor or a tutor when needed, and studying consistently throughout the course.

5. Can I handle Upper Division E&M without a strong background in physics?

It is recommended to have a solid foundation in physics and calculus before taking Upper Division E&M. However, with dedication and hard work, it is possible to succeed in the course even without a strong background in physics. It may be helpful to review basic physics concepts and seek the assistance of a tutor or instructor if needed.

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