Would taking a chemistry class help with physics?

In summary, if you want to take Chemistry for Basic Physics, you would need to take 1-2 semesters of Physical Chemistry before taking the Chemistry course.
  • #1
Ah ha! So I was looking through the physics classes I will have to take and noticed a lot of topics dealing with atoms and the like. Would it benefit me to take the first installment of basic Chemistry? I don't want to take the lab portion just the lecture section if it would be a tremendous help for what's to come.
 
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  • #2
What topics/classes?
 
  • #3
The three in concerned about are Modern Physics, Statistical and Thermal Physics and Quantum Mechanics. I see lots of "particle" and "atomic" in the descriptions
 
  • #4
Well, if you do, good luck w/ that. I loved just about ever course I ever took but I really hated chem 101. Personally, I'd avoid it like the plague :smile:
 
  • #5
Charles Stark said:
The three in concerned about are Modern Physics, Statistical and Thermal Physics and Quantum Mechanics. I see lots of "particle" and "atomic" in the descriptions
I'm not sure that chem would add as much as you might think since it's mostly about the interactions of the atoms/molecules rather than stuff like QM, but my dislike of the subject may be clouding my memory/judgement.
 
  • #6
Charles Stark said:
The three in concerned about are Modern Physics, Statistical and Thermal Physics and Quantum Mechanics. I see lots of "particle" and "atomic" in the descriptions
Well, chemistry doesn't deal with too many particles, except electrons and protons and how they interact in forming chemical compounds. And 'atomic', well, pretty much everything chemical boils down to atoms in combination.

It's pretty much why chemistry and physics, especially atomic physics and particle physics, are all different subjects. There's some different degrees of overlap amongst them, but there's nothing special in a chemistry class which will not be covered in the physics classes you'll take.
 
  • #7
My experience is much the same as those above. Though some topics will be covered in both (e.g., nuclear physics, a small amount of thermodynamics, and atomic structure), taking a chemistry class to prepare for quantum mechanics is like taking a high school class in world history to prepare for a 300-level college class in eastern European 20th century politics.
 
  • #8
I took a two semester General Chemistry sequence and I've found it to be beneficial. We've since covered topics in physics that were also covered in chemistry such as thermodynamics. I'm taking Physics III (Modern Physics) this semester, and some of the topics are the kinetic theory of gasses and more thermodynamics, which were both covered in chemistry. We're covering light and optics this semester, and the light spectrum was covered in chemistry. It's not necessarily that having covered some topics in chemistry made it 'easier' to learn them in physics, but it has been helpful to see the topics approached from different perspectives. I enjoyed chemistry for its own merits as well, which could contribute to my take on it. I don't think it's strictly necessary for a physics major to take general chemistry, but I'm definitely glad that I did.

You may not be able to take the lecture without a lab. At my school, a lab component is required for the both semesters of the sequence. I always enjoyed my chem labs though, and I think more lab experience is always helpful.
 
  • #9
In my experience knowing physics has helped me more in chemistry than knowing chemistry would help me in physics. If you want to do a chemistry that might help with physics take physical chemistry1-2. Although you will have to take gen chem1-2 and possible organic 1.
 
  • #10
IMO not taking chemistry as a physics major would be ridiculous. You need to have knowledge of basic terms and some insight into how stuff works.
 
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  • #11
It would help, just not with physics.
 
  • #12
Charles Stark said:
Ah ha! So I was looking through the physics classes I will have to take and noticed a lot of topics dealing with atoms and the like. Would it benefit me to take the first installment of basic Chemistry? I don't want to take the lab portion just the lecture section if it would be a tremendous help for what's to come.

NO.
Learn Mathematics and some Physics, first, if still possible. You could learn some Chemistry before Physics, but much of Chemistry knowledge relies on Physics.
 

1. Can knowledge of chemistry be applied to understanding physics?

Yes, many concepts in chemistry, such as atomic structure, chemical reactions, and the properties of matter, are also fundamental to understanding physics. Having a strong foundation in chemistry can make it easier to grasp certain concepts in physics.

2. How does taking a chemistry class benefit understanding of physics?

Chemistry and physics are closely related disciplines, and studying chemistry can help develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities that are essential for success in physics. Additionally, chemistry provides a strong foundation in mathematical concepts, which are also important in physics.

3. Do chemistry and physics use similar principles and equations?

Yes, both chemistry and physics use mathematical equations and principles of nature to explain and predict the behavior of matter and energy. Many of the principles and equations in chemistry, such as the law of conservation of mass and the ideal gas law, are also used in physics.

4. Are there any specific topics in chemistry that are particularly helpful for understanding physics?

Yes, topics such as atomic structure, thermodynamics, and chemical bonding are especially relevant to understanding fundamental principles in physics. These topics involve concepts such as energy, forces, and matter, which are also important in physics.

5. Is it necessary to take a chemistry class before studying physics?

No, it is not necessary to take a chemistry class before studying physics. However, having a background in chemistry can make it easier to understand certain concepts in physics. It is also important to note that many universities require students to take both chemistry and physics courses as part of their science curriculum.

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