# What Level of Math is Best Before Taking Physics?

• dasf806
dasf806
How did you find PF?
Good day to all. I'm a new member who is fascinated by and interested in physics, quantum mechanics, astronomy, and cosmology, though I never took classes during my schooling. Admittedly, I have basic math skills and worked hard to attain mediocrity in math classes (a living example of the law of diminishing return, lol). I'm also a parent of a high school sophomore who shares my fascination and interest in the aforementioned fields and is taking physics next year. I know I will be in receive mode in this forum and hope to follow a variety of topics of interest while finding resources to help with my son's physics coursework next school year.

Thank you for taking the time to read my intro' and for creating this website.

Kind regards.

berkeman and DeBangis21
Welcome to PF.

dasf806
Thank you for the welcome as it's much appreciated.

DeBangis21
Welcome. I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in physics, and like you, I was always mediocre in math, but interested enough to maintain a mathematics blog that focuses on empirical math.

I'm retired now, and during my career I'd say that beyond algebra, trigonometry turned out to be the most useful math I ever learned, using it constantly in personal projects. My physics education, unfortunately, was arranged so that I'd wind up taking a physics class before I took the math class that was needed to understand the physics, so I didn't get as much out of physics as I could have. Something to keep in mind for your son when he goes to college. No regrets though! I had a great career in research and engineering fields.

This website has been useful because there are plenty of helpful people, which have been a help to me when I'm deep into some personal project. Like when I was trying to model the thrust properties of a water rocket, taking into account the effects of moisture on adiabatic cooling as the gas in the rocket expands to force the water out.

dasf806, berkeman and DeBangis21
DeBangis21 said:
Welcome to PF.
Thank you so much for the welcome!

DeBangis21
dasf806 said:
Thank you so much for the welcome!
You are welcome.

Anachronist said:
Welcome. I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in physics, and like you, I was always mediocre in math, but interested enough to maintain a mathematics blog that focuses on empirical math.

I'm retired now, and during my career I'd say that beyond algebra, trigonometry turned out to be the most useful math I ever learned, using it constantly in personal projects. My physics education, unfortunately, was arranged so that I'd wind up taking a physics class before I took the math class that was needed to understand the physics, so I didn't get as much out of physics as I could have. Something to keep in mind for your son when he goes to college. No regrets though! I had a great career in research and engineering fields.

This website has been useful because there are plenty of helpful people, which have been a help to me when I'm deep into some personal project. Like when I was trying to model the thrust properties of a water rocket, taking into account the effects of moisture on adiabatic cooling as the gas in the rocket expands to force the water out.
Thank you so much for your welcome and for sharing your journey with physics and math. Many congrats on your retirement as well!

I very much appreciate the details that you provided regarding math and physics and I'll make sure to share that with my son. He's going into his Junior year and has algebra and geometry behind him, along with chemistry, and will be taking physics, as I mentioned before. Your comment about taking physics before the math class to understand physics piqued my interest, and I would like to ask what level of math you believe would be most helpful before taking physics? My son has always been interested in engineering and all things mechanical and is interested in pursuing a job in the field of aviation one day (engineering, design, mechanics, and development). It's also amazing that your career was in research and engineering! Both of those fields always interested me, and I grew up being fascinated by aviation and space-related topics (like astronomy), but my math skills were nowhere near what was needed to pursue a career in them. But, my interest and fascination with them is a lifelong one and I can never get enough of videos, documentaries, and books in those fields.

Anyways, thank you so much for sharing your experience with this group and I'm excited about joining and having my son join as well.

PS I also have to share that your personal project sounds so cool (horrible pun)! How far along have you come with it?

Thanks so much again for your warm and kind reply and have a great weekend!

Kind regards.

DeBangis21

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