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What’s after Physics C?

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What courses in a physics major’s curriculum usually come after introductory calculus based mechanics and E&M?
 

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  • #2
symbolipoint
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What courses in a physics major’s curriculum usually come after introductory calculus based mechanics and E&M?
Something maybe called, "Modern Physics", but this can vary. Try looking in catalogs of colleges and universities.
 
  • #3
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What courses in a physics major’s curriculum usually come after introductory calculus based mechanics and E&M?
I have mainly seen that Electromagnetism is followed by quantum mechanics. For example, here, Prof. Ramamurti Shankar takes up QM after Electromagnetism. Many colleges here do the same. Some, however, take up nuclear physics as well, but I feel it's better to take up QM before nuclear physics, because the latter requires the former.
 
  • #4
gleem
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Another possibility is introductory thermodynamics/statistical mechanics.
 
  • #5
symbolipoint
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After fundamental mechanics, and after Electricity & Magnetism (the two in the series of Physics for scientists & engineers), might come the "Modern Physics", the last of the series, which survey the topics of Optics, Radiation, Photoelectric Effect, and Nuclear/Atomic Physics.
 
  • #6
Joshy
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The college I went to had another module before Modern Physics, which covered some optics, acoustics and waves, and (elementary) thermodynamics.
 
  • #7
symbolipoint
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Readers will or could notice the title and the original posted question are not really the same.

What comes after Physics C?
If PhysicsA is fundamental mechanics, and PhysicsB is E & M, and PhysicsC is "Modern Physics"; then AFTER Physics C, in many colleges and universities could be Thermodynamics.

One of the university sites is indicating after "Modern Physics", that Mathematical Methods and Computational Physics come next. This seems strange to me, but I'll flow with the idea.

Another institution's page is showing that the two which come after "Modern" are to be
  • Physics with Symbolic Algebra Software
and
  • Electronics
 
Last edited:
  • #8
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Readers will or could notice the title and the original posted question are not really the same.

What comes after Physics C?
If PhysicsA is fundamental mechanics, and PhysicsB is E & M, and PhysicsC is "Modern Physics";
It is difficult for people not residing in the US to gauge what is meant by physics A, B or C. For example, if I say, "I went through Physics 3521 course", no one will be able to understand what it means. That's why I always request the OP in such threads to name the topics rather than just use A, B or C or numbers after the subject.

Anyway, thanks for pointing that out.
 
  • #9
symbolipoint
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It is difficult for people not residing in the US to gauge what is meant by physics A, B or C. For example, if I say, "I went through Physics 3521 course", no one will be able to understand what it means. That's why I always request the OP in such threads to name the topics rather than just use A, B or C or numbers after the subject.

Anyway, thanks for pointing that out.
Yes; that's why I said what my assumptions are.

The Physics series for the Science & Engineering students are fundamental Mechanics; E&M; Modern Physics. Usually three separate courses that they all do. After that? Who knows - check with your department's information.
 
  • #10
jtbell
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What courses in a physics major’s curriculum usually come after introductory calculus based mechanics and E&M?
Look at a few college and university websites and see for yourself.

At the college where I used to teach, the next thing after freshman physics (mechanics, thermos and E&M) is an intro modern physics course. Then come the core upper level courses: classical mechanics, E&M, thermo & statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics. These can be taken in any order, and the first three can be taken alongside intro modern. Finally there are more specialized upper level courses like nuclear physics. For some of these you need only the intro courses, others require one of the upper level courses.

This is a small school where upper level courses are offered only every two years, so we avoided making upper level courses depend on each other unless it was absolutely necessary.

Bottom line: in your situation I think the logical next step is an intro modern course. This will give you some relativity, QM, and a taste of some applications like atomic, nuclear and solid-state physics.
 

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