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Courses What do you consider the hardest undergrad physics courses?

  1. Oct 7, 2005 #1
    What do you consider the hardest undergrad physics courses?

    I'm interested to see what people view on easiest to hardest
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2005 #2


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    Hard at the time you were taking it, or still hard even though you know it now :P
    If its the latter, I guess it would only be fair to state only senior level courses.
  4. Oct 8, 2005 #3
    The course I had the most problems passing was electromagnetic field theory I. At the time I had major problems getting a feel for the physical picture, so it felt more as a course in pure mathematics.

    Easies was the course in Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, that one was also the one I enjoyed the most.
  5. Oct 8, 2005 #4


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    I think quantum mechanics would have to be regarded as the hardest, at least on a conceptual level, because you have to make major changes in the way you view the Universe and we have so few quantum referents in the "real world."
  6. Oct 8, 2005 #5
    i read some stuff about quantum mechanics it's quite weird, with particles borrwing energy and theres a very very very small probability that u could actually walk through walls...
    erm does anyone know what this thing is under my user name saying "warn 0%" with 5 pink boxes??
    i think im going to go into planetary and space physics i don't know many other fields, heard something about bose-einstien condensation like supercondutors and fluids, is that a field of research?
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2005
  7. Oct 8, 2005 #6
    That wasn't nearly as hard for me as that damned electrodynamics course I had to take. Even though ED is conceptually easy to grasp for the most part it also is really demanding on the mathematical side unlike intro level QM.
  8. Oct 8, 2005 #7

    Dr Transport

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    Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics was the grade point buster where I went to school.
  9. Oct 8, 2005 #8
    relativity/tensors(if the tensors aren't taught right.
  10. Oct 9, 2005 #9


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    And what if you have been reading popular books on quantum mechanics when you were a child, so you are cognizant of such concepts such as the Uncertainty Principle, collapse of the wave function, CPT symmetry, etc..?
  11. Oct 9, 2005 #10
    Doesn't matter. Popular science books lack all of the mathematical language and depth of theory found in a QM course. Explaining the consequences or properties of a wave equation to someone who has not even taken a calculus course is totally useless.
  12. Oct 9, 2005 #11


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    In addition to Maxwell's comments, I'll note that the answer obviously depends on the individual so specific instances such as yours aren't particularly illuminating in the context of a general discussion. I have yet to experience being in two places at once but I have doubt it would be interesting! :)
  13. Oct 10, 2005 #12
    Langrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics. Probably because it was taught by a crazy Russian professor who did appear to give us notes in something resembling Russian. Fortunately noone else had a clue either and some serious grade boundary moving went on.
  14. Oct 10, 2005 #13
    I'm glad to hear that someone else had problems with Analytical mechanics, i'm doing that now and i'm having a hell of a time understanding the derivations of most of the stuff, which sucks since i'll have an oral exam which means plenty of derivations.
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