# intro to physics?

Hey all. I’m finishing up algebra in preparation for trig. & gen. chemistry next semester, and I’m just wondering if anyone recommends an intro course for physics prior to taking general physics. (I never took it in high school, and if I had, I probably wouldn’t remember a whole lot other than gravity.)

Thanks in advance for the input.

You may be okay just jumping into Physics I. The algebra and trig should prepare you for all the math you’ll need (in a non calc-based class).

With my physics I class, at least, we spent the first week describing the metric system and answering “what is a vector?” Now, I can’t guarantee that the pace of yours will be the same, but (in theory, at least) an intro level class shouldn’t assume a prior understanding of the material. I suspect you may be fine to just get into it, once you finish trig.

Be sure your algebra and trig are “lined out”, else physics is just plain HELL

Richard

Copy and Pasted from the other physics thread. These are the algebra/pre-calc concepts that I encountered in Physics I this semester:

-Trig Identities (cos, sin, tan)

-Exponents and correct notation

-Working with logs, ln, and their anti

If you’re handy with the above topics, you’ll be able to at least handle the math portion of the course.

code blue,

I would go ahead and take physics I and would suggest that you purchase Schaum’s Outline: College Physics. Any bookstore in the study aid area will carry them and for \$18, it is worth its’ weight in GOLD. I lived & died by my Schaum’s all through physics I. It will show you the nuts & bolts behind the equations you’re going to be using incessantly for topics such as velocity, acceleration, angular momentum, simple harmonic motion, spring constants, power, work, sound, etc. You will be expected to have a fundamental grasp and a quick application on how to isolate certain variables in the kinematic equations for both linear & angular problems. I’d say go back to some of you college algebra books and thumb through to some of the basic equations that they give in the book & challenge yourself to isolate a certain variable, meaning, set up the equation to solve for that particular variable.

Other than that, drill drill drill the problems over & over. I’ve found that a lot of these intro courses at the University level are nothing more than cake courses to get easy A’s for the students, but really are of very little benefit when it comes to the knowledge & grasp of the subject.

Just my two cents…Good Luck

-Justin

• Justso Said:
code blue,

I would go ahead and take physics I and would suggest that you purchase Schaum's Outline: College Physics. Any bookstore in the study aid area will carry them and for \$18, it is worth its' weight in GOLD. I lived & died by my Schaum's all through physics I. It will show you the nuts & bolts behind the equations you're going to be using incessantly for topics such as velocity, acceleration, angular momentum, simple harmonic motion, spring constants, power, work, sound, etc. You will be expected to have a fundamental grasp and a quick application on how to isolate certain variables in the kinematic equations for both linear & angular problems. I'd say go back to some of you college algebra books and thumb through to some of the basic equations that they give in the book & challenge yourself to isolate a certain variable, meaning, set up the equation to solve for that particular variable.

Other than that, drill drill drill the problems over & over. I've found that a lot of these intro courses at the University level are nothing more than cake courses to get easy A's for the students, but really are of very little benefit when it comes to the knowledge & grasp of the subject.

Just my two cents..Good Luck

-Justin

Honestly, I agree with the statement about intro courses, come to think of it. I took intro chem because I never took chem in high school, and honestly, it was a complete waste of time.
• Tim Said:
• Justso Said:
code blue,

I would go ahead and take physics I and would suggest that you purchase Schaum's Outline: College Physics. Any bookstore in the study aid area will carry them and for \$18, it is worth its' weight in GOLD. I lived & died by my Schaum's all through physics I. It will show you the nuts & bolts behind the equations you're going to be using incessantly for topics such as velocity, acceleration, angular momentum, simple harmonic motion, spring constants, power, work, sound, etc. You will be expected to have a fundamental grasp and a quick application on how to isolate certain variables in the kinematic equations for both linear & angular problems. I'd say go back to some of you college algebra books and thumb through to some of the basic equations that they give in the book & challenge yourself to isolate a certain variable, meaning, set up the equation to solve for that particular variable.

Other than that, drill drill drill the problems over & over. I've found that a lot of these intro courses at the University level are nothing more than cake courses to get easy A's for the students, but really are of very little benefit when it comes to the knowledge & grasp of the subject.

Just my two cents..Good Luck

-Justin

Honestly, I agree with the statement about intro courses, come to think of it. I took intro chem because I never took chem in high school, and honestly, it was a complete waste of time.

Actually, I have to differ on the intro to chem (can't comment on physics). Taking the intro to chem helped me a lot since I, too, had never taken chem in high school. I have since gotten A's in both Gen Chem I & II, and I don't think I would have done as well if I didn't get that intro. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Kris

Yeah it may depend on your personal learning style and abilities. I jumped into general chemistry (concentrated summer school version) after many years out of school and it was extremely tough. However, I cushioned my reentry to school by studying the first four chapters of the text for a couple of months beforehand, including working every problem provided. This preparation yielded me a 90 on my first exam.

I recommend this approach in general for any class in which you lack a background, because you will hit the ground running and achieve a certain self-confidence and momentum that will carry you forward. In general I would recommend preparatory courses such as pre-calc or pre-chemistry as a way to test the waters if you have been out of school for a while and lack a science background. Plus, the more science you can get under your belt now, the easier it will be later on in medical school, though “easy” and medical school are generally not spoken of in the same sentence.