Question on taking College Physics

<p>Do most people, when taking Physics in college, already have taken Calculus or do they take it concurrently?</p>

<p>Is it going to be significantly harder if you are taking calculus the same time?</p>

<p>(Not algebra based physics, i am talking about your normal introductory 2 course sequence in mechanics and EM for science majors)</p>

<p>I would guess most people have already taken calculus if it is calc-based physics. I don't think it would be significantly harder to take them concurrently, as long as you are able to understand the parts of the material that relate to calculus, which would probably be taught during the course. Calculus itself is not that difficult; I think most people just have trouble with the mastery of algebra/trig that it requires.</p>

<p>DD took physics in the fall without taking calc at the same time (she had completed AP calc AB in high school). In the spring, she took her second semester of physics and calc II at the same time. She thought that it was better to take them together because she had the constant math review that she was then applying in physicis. I hope that makes sense.</p>

<p>the homeworks and problems that you'll do in an introductory physics class won't require calculus. it would be best if you were familiar with it so that some of the derivations in lecture make sense, but you could get through the class and even do well in it without knowing calculus</p>

<p>yes, i took calc in high school also, the BC version, but i went to a boarding school that never gave a grade of a B- or bellow even if you failed everything, and i am pretty sure i didn't learn anything in the class so i am coming into college with the presumption that i did not take calculus at all.</p>

<p>Assuming i have never before taken calculus but have a solid foundation in trig/algebra (and calculus from continuity/limits and derivatives, i blanked out when it came to integrals onward)<br>
then would i have a hard time with physics? Do they start right away with calculus concepts off the bat?</p>

<p>^oh thank you thats all i needed to know</p>

<p>The calculus in physics is mostly very simple integration and differentiation. Very specific topics have a little more to them, like damped oscillations, but the more complex formulas you typically don't have to derive. </p>

<p>If you have at least exposure to calc, you are fine. I would not recommend taking physics and calc I in the same semester to someone who has never seen calculus in their life, though. There was a girl in my class who did this; she fell behind.</p>

<p>It does typically start off with calc right away, but it's just going between graphs/functions/solutions to jerk<-->acceleration<-->velocity<-->position. you probably remember doing similar problems in calc.</p>

<p>People vastly exaggerate the difficult of intro physics. If you have a brain, you don't need much math knowledge at all. It's a conceptual class, not a math class. Sort of like econ. Now, I've only taken 2 semesters--I'm sure later classes are much more difficult.</p>

<p>I took Calculus a year before I took physics. They only required Calc 2 concurrently with Mechanics and Calc 3 (Multi) concurrently with Electricity and Magnetism.</p>

<p>Taking math a year and a half before needing it in Physics, requires some significant review, though.</p>

<p>Very minimal calculus in in physics. Maxwell Equations in E&M technically involve line integrals, surface integrals, flux, divergence, but they way they are used in intro phys is such that you really don't need to know them at all.</p>