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Which should I learn first

  1. May 14, 2007 #1
    im still in middle school and i just got three old college books from my parents i want to read two (michael sullivans algebra and trigonometry sixth edition and Paul G Hewitts conceptual physics ninth edition) they said the math one might be too tough for me to understand so im wondering which to read first
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2007 #2

    chroot

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    You should try to read whichever you think interests you more. You will find that they complement each other well, and you might enjoy going back and forth between them. If you get stuck on anything, feel free to ask questions here, and we can help you get going again. No matter what you choose to read, just have a good time with it!

    - Warren
     
  4. May 14, 2007 #3

    symbolipoint

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    Reading by itself is not enough; but certainly read and study the Algebra book first. Trigonometry relies on Intermediate Algebra and coordinate/cartesian Geometry, so you will need to gain understanding and skills with Intermediate Algebra before you can make good progress in Trigonometry (actually, Trigonometry relies mostly on Introductory Algebra and coordinate Geometry. Understanding of quadratic equations is one of the first and easiest extensions leading into the intermediate level of Algebra).

    First study Algebra.
     
  5. May 14, 2007 #4
    Since mathematics is necessary for understanding physics, I would say start with the math first. You will be able to take an Algebra based or Calculus based Physics course later and you will definately appreciate a good foundation in math in order to be successful. Hope that helps, Good luck.
     
  6. May 14, 2007 #5

    chroot

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    I agree with the other two posters, except that it can sometimes be difficult to motivate yourself for self-study. If the math books are not terribly engaging, it can be hard to keep yourself interested. If you find the physics book more interesting, read it as far as you can, then go back to the math book. Definitely try to solve as many problems as you can from each chapter as you go along -- attempting to solve the problems is much more valuable than simply reading and understanding the prose.

    - Warren
     
  7. May 14, 2007 #6
    yeah ive already read brian greenes book the fabric of the cosmos
     
  8. May 14, 2007 #7

    symbolipoint

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    I seriously misread what you asked. Certainly, read the Algebra & Trigonometry book with study (not just reading without study) BEFORE reading & studying the Physics book.

    In case you find the Trigonometry too confusing or difficult, concentrate on the Algebra for several weeks (few months?) first, before moving into Trigonometry.
     
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