# What is General Physics 1 like?

1. Jan 3, 2016

### Ricster55

I am about to take General Physics 1 (Calculus version) in the spring and I am nervous. What is it like? Can you post an example of the kind of questions I will be given in Physics 1.

2. Jan 3, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

Buy the textbook and take a peek.

3. Jan 3, 2016

### symbolipoint

This course is tough - very tough. Do not be nervous! Pay attention, follow instructions, study REGULARLY, and THINK. You must learn to follow instructions, read and reread parts of the chapter sections as many times and whenever those times needed to get enough understanding, even while doing homework exercises. Remind yourself and decide which of the basic equations you are presented are needed, and trust your algebra.

4. Jan 3, 2016

### Thewindyfan

Two kids throw a ball at the same initial vertical velocity V0y. Kid 1 throws the ball upwards while Kid 2 throws the ball horizontal at a velocity V0(x).
Which ball experiences the greater acceleration the moment the balls leave the hands of each Kid? Assume they throw the balls at the same T1 = 0 seconds.

Honestly if you're comfortable with math and love solving interestingly worded problems that has more to it than what meets the eye, then you'll have fun learning the material :)

5. Jan 3, 2016

### Ricster55

What calculus method do I need to apply this question?

6. Jan 3, 2016

### Ricster55

I wasn't assigned a textbook yet

7. Jan 3, 2016

### Thewindyfan

The only, if necessary, calculus application for this problem is derivatives. But you can't answer this problem if you don't know the basics of projectile motion, or at least free fall motion to be honest.

8. Jan 3, 2016

### symbolipoint

Basic derivatives, and only conceptual aspects of the use of Integrals for Physics 1 - Mechanics. Most of what you will use in problem solving will be intermediate algebra and basic trigonometry. Yes, the course is Calculus-based, but this part of the series of courses will rely mostly on algebra and basic Trigonometry for most problem-solving. You will be learning to use vectors. Physics 2 - E&M will be much more calculus-rich in what you need for problem-solving and for concepts.

9. Jan 3, 2016

### Ricster55

Does the Physics sequence go something like this: For Physics 1, you will need Calculus 1 and for Physics 2, you will need Calculus 2.

10. Jan 3, 2016

### Thewindyfan

To my knowledge, no.
In all honesty, calculus 1 serves more as a supplement to understand why the mathematical relationships you work with in physics 1 works. It helps you better understand the material overall.
Physics 2 I believe does become slightly calculus intensive, but I'm not sure how much of calculus 2 is required for Physics 2. You may just be right for that second one.

11. Jan 3, 2016

### Student100

No. Technically, you should know some basic linear algebra and series for mechanics (calculus 2), further, you should probably also know some differential equations and partial derivatives. Most of what you haven't learn will be introduced, like vector topics.

For the second sequence, you should at least be concurrently enrolled in vector calculus.

Mileage may vary, depending on the instructor and class.

12. Jan 3, 2016

### symbolipoint

The practical and official requirements for the calculus-based Physics series courses for science & engineering major students are less than that. MORE mathematical knowledge is better than LESS mathematical knowledge. One may find a large change in difficulty from Physics 1 Mechanics to Physics 2 Electricity & Magnetism. Suddenly more difficult trigonometry, greater use of vectors, analytical geometry in 3D, and certainly some greater use of Calculus than in Physics 1.

If you chose Physics as your major field, then take Student100's advice.

13. Jan 3, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

It depends on the school. It's common for Calculus 1 to be a co-requisite for Physics 1, that is, you can take the two courses concurrently. Likewise for Calculus 2 and Physics 2. In this case the physics courses briefly cover calculus topics if they are encountered before the calculus course covers them. The calculus is used mainly for conceptual purposes (simplifying derivations etc.), and problem-solving uses mainly algebra and trig, as symbolipoint stated.

Does the online course description for your Physics 1 course state that Calculus 1 is co-requisite or pre-requisite?