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Calculus based Physics?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by profstudent, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. profstudent

    profstudent Junior Member
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    Hi all,

    Do med schools have a preference regarding calculus or non-calculus based Physics? My pre-med advisor says that it doesn't matter, however other premeds have told me that med schools (especially elite schools) want to see caluclus based Physics. Does anyone have any information on this?
     
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  3. dreamcrusher

    dreamcrusher Member
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    non calc based physics shouldn't even be offered in college.
     
  4. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    I took non calc based physics, I bet I have a better understanding of how the world works than you because of general physics, all you probably know is how to do problems and calc junk.
     
  5. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    If you wanna go to harvard take calc based, otherwise they both will prepare you well for the MCAT (i personally think non-calc based is better for the mcat) and schools won't care.
     
  6. nimotsu

    nimotsu 荷物
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    Calculus-based physics makes much more sense.
     
  7. Agent Splat

    Agent Splat Viruses? Don't Exist.
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    I would say that if you plan on applying to med schools that require a calculus course, then a calc-based physics might be a good idea. For schools that don't require any calc, non-calc based physics is just fine.

    I've never taken calculus, in high school or college, and so far medical school hasn't been any harder. So far physics hasn't really come in handy either, but whatever.

    Take a look at the requirements for different schools though.
     
  8. Agent Splat

    Agent Splat Viruses? Don't Exist.
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    I second this....the MCAT (at least my test form) didn't require any calc as far as physics go. It was mostly basic formulas and general concepts. So definitely don't take calc-based physics just for the MCAT.
     
  9. DropkickMurphy

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    :thumbup:

    All of the useful things in physics- pressure calculations, etc (might not be useful to anyone but me given my interest in high altitude physiology)- are in algebra based physics. I have yet to see anything in calculus based physics that even begin to approach useful for those outside of engineering or nuclear physics.
     
  10. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    I find this laughable. Calculus was invented to solve physics problems. Obviously algebra wasn't sufficient.

    Anyone who is a physicist has taken calc based. Anyone who is an engineer has taken calc based physics.
     
  11. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    That is because all of those calculation make TONS of assumptions that don't happen in the real world. You think flow rate is ever exactly 3.0 mm/s? You think a tube is ever uniformly 3 mm diameter?
     
  12. somewhere2010

    somewhere2010 SDN Donor
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    i agree! it's not that i extensively used calc in my calc-based physics; rather, everything made sooo much sense in the context of derivatives and integrals. if calc comes relatively easy to you, i recommend it...plus it can only look good to schools, though i doubt they really care too much.
     
  13. Though it depends on the university/physics department in question, the converse of your statement is probably true. Your response reeks of rationalization of your decision to take general physics.
     
  14. DropkickMurphy

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    Strangely enough non-calculus based physics is what is used in most peer reviewed physiology journal articles that I am aware of.

    But then again it's really a moot point because of the fact that my school does not offer an general physics course that is calculus based.
     
  15. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
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    If you work hard in the class and are genuinely interested in a lot of interesting things that physics will explain then take the calculus based version.

    Take the non-calc if you just want to get your A and get out.
     
  16. profstudent

    profstudent Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the replies everyone! This has been helpful.
     
  17. PittMedicine

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    shut the fu-k up you cocky son of a bit-h.

    I've taken up to linear algebra, past calc3 and diff. equation and special topics in astrophysics. I know, for a fact, non-calc based physics teaches more about principles, which is better. There's not enough time for concepts in calc physics, only integrating and derivitising.
     
  18. EvoDevo

    EvoDevo Forging a Different Path
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    Keep this attitude up and you'll earn yourself a nice little post hold.

    Now, now. The use of profanity just makes you look like a half-wit tool. Please play nice, okay? :)
     
  19. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    ha ha you got me. I actually only did AP AB calculus in high school, so when I looked at what physics to take my junior year I decided for non-calc based. You're good Telemachus, almost too good.
     
  20. dreamcrusher

    dreamcrusher Member
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    This, ladies and gentlemen, wins the award for THE stupidest post ever on these forums. You are a tool. The only thing you learned how to do in algebra based physics is plug in numbers into formulas and solve for "x." LOL, since you know how the world works, I would love to see you try to explain how quantum theory works using algebra. Hmm maybe it would be possible to talk about self-adjoint unbounded operators using only algebra..........NOT!



    :::Yawn::: am I supposed to be impressed? Get back to me when you have done a full semester of infinite dimensional linear algebra, functional analysis in Hilbert Spaces, and Lie Algebra.
     
  21. Wow, I am noticing a lot of tension/anger in this thread. It's funny how defensive some pre-med's get about classes they have taken. Sometimes, you guys crack me up... :laugh:

    To the OP: I would really look into both the calc-based and non-calc-based physics series at your University. See what material is covered, especially the differences between the 2 class series. Also, you might want to get a list of topics covered in the MCAT and compare those. And think about how well you did in Calculus and how much you enjoyed it. Obviously if you hated calc, stay away from a whole year of calc-based physics.

    I really liked calc. and felt I understood it pretty well, so I took the calc-based physics. I also learn better when I have all the reasons behind an equation or an idea, so I think the calc-based physics helped me learn the material better and on a deeper level.

    That said, at my school, the algebra-based physics correlates much better with material on the MCAT. I have often wondered if it would have been easier if I took the Alg-based physics instead. Thermodynamics, pressure and some other MCAT topics were not covered in my classes at all (however they were in the Alg. physics series) and I had to quickly memorize these formulas for the MCAT. Things that we spent a lot of time on, like Gauss' Law, etc. required much less understanding on the MCAT.

    Hope this helps.
     
  22. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    hey dingleberry dreamweaver, i wrote a stupid response to your stupid post.
     
  23. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    and you're a dork, haha.
     
  24. Doc.Holliday

    Doc.Holliday Senior Member
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    as others have mentioned, calc based physics classes are often dominated by the math, non calc based physics on the other hand is just manipulating formulas and plugging in, not much math, and therefore more time to study the concepts and basic trends of physics, which in my opinion is more important for the MCAT, and more important in general. Calc based physics gives you the tools to find the better answer, non calc may give you the tools to get an answer close the the absolutely correct one right off the top of your head.
     
  25. Doctormo24

    Doctormo24 Senior Member
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    I have heard by many that Calc-Based physics is actually easier than non calc based. Thats just what ive heard.
     
  26. ESzczesniak

    ESzczesniak Member
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    If you took non-calc based and believe that, you are very misdirected. We'll see how well you can move on and actually develop your own concepts. Calc-based physics is the only way you can find where these God-like equations come from. Perhaps you enjoyed the easier physics.
     
  27. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    ok everybody, just to set the record straight. I'm sure both calc and non-calc physics achieve the same goal, to teach students physics. Personally I don't really care, I don't like calc so I did non-calc based, and it worked for me. Dreamcrushers comment was silly in the beginning (about they shouldn't even teach non-calc based), so i wrote him back a silly response.

    :laugh:
     
  28. C8H10N4O2Addict

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    I don't think he/she was joking. I for one went to a school where calculus was simply assumed. Everyone, even literature majors, had to take multivariable calculus. Hence, for physics (mechanics and E&M, which the literature majors also had to take) it was all calculus based. In the end, physics is what drove the invention of calculus; hence, it's important.
     
  29. dreamcrusher

    dreamcrusher Member
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    Finally a school with common sense.



    Right.... and your the moron who actually believes physicists just pulled equations like PV=nRT and KE=1/2 mv^2 out of their a$$
     
  30. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    you're funny. Obviously the equations came from higher level math, I can appreciate that. But, for the MCAT, PV=nRT is as deep as you need to go. On that note check out this article about a beer bong drinking grandma:

    http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/12/01/438eb39ac3f51?in_archive=1
     
  31. Dave_D

    Dave_D Senior Member
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    I don't know, I thought our "calc" based physics was more about concepts. (Mostly because we were supposed to be good enough at the math that the prof could use math to explain things which is kind of what physics is about.) What was nice was that since I knew where the formulas came from I didn't have to memorize much. (Just my opinion but it does seem if you memorized things you'd be ok on the MCAT)
     
  32. Iwy Em Hotep

    Iwy Em Hotep The Welcomer
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    I think all physics classes should be calculus-based. Heck, I don't even think we should even have single variable calculus - it should be multivariable from the start. This applies to every other discipline too. Don't ever take the watered-down course.

    But most pre-meds are not physicists or engineers, and the most physics knowledge that they will ever need is for the MCAT. Non-calculus based physics parallels the physics content on the MCAT better, and so is a better choice for most pre-meds.
     

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