Ross434

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Is engineering physics an ok physics class to take or is it not rigorous enough?
 

SamDC

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Ross434 said:
Is engineering physics an ok physics class to take or is it not rigorous enough?
It's not just okay, it's probably gonna be over-kill, unless you're an engineering/physics major than you're going to have to take it anyways. I say this because engineering physics is calculus based whereas your "general" physics is algebrae based.
 

evajaclynn

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I don't know if you're really being serious - engineering physics is waay harder than the regular physics course.
 

tinkerbelle

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Ross434 said:
Is engineering physics an ok physics class to take or is it not rigorous enough?
You have got to be kidding. Our physics class is harder than the regular pre-med physics class.
 

StinkinSanchez

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Ross434 said:
Is engineering physics an ok physics class to take or is it not rigorous enough?
Well, it depends on the school. If it's calculus based physics, it's pretty sweet. :thumbup:
 
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Ross434

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At my school, there's the 'general' physics, the physics for engineers, and then theres the physics for physics and math majors. So engineering physics isnt the hardest.
 

tinkerbelle

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Ross434 said:
At my school, there's the 'general' physics, the physics for engineers, and then theres the physics for physics and math majors. So engineering physics isnt the hardest.
Oh ok. That makes more sense :D You're talking about how prepared you will be for the MCAT right? General Physics should do. Althought engineering physics wil be harder and more detailed, it's not going to help you that much on the MCAT. The physics for math/physics majors will be too detailed and math oriented for the MCAT. You honestly don't need to take such a hard physics class.
 

scrappysurfer

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tinkerbelle said:
Oh ok. That makes more sense :D You're talking about how prepared you will be for the MCAT right? General Physics should do. Althought engineering physics wil be harder and more detailed, it's not going to help you that much on the MCAT. The physics for math/physics majors will be too detailed and math oriented for the MCAT. You honestly don't need to take such a hard physics class.
"Not rigorous enough" is definitely not an issue.

With engineering physics, you will come out with a better understanding of physics. I was able to help out a lot of premeds that were confused in their physics classes. For the MCAT, which uses algebra based physics, I found that I had to unlearn a ton of physics to solve problems the easy/fast less rigorous way. "Unlearning" engineering physics earned me another 3 pts on the MCAT physics section.
 

tinkerbelle

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scrappysurfer said:
With engineering physics, you will come out with a better understanding of physics. I was able to help out a lot of premeds that were confused in their physics classes.
Hmmm. You can't say that for sure though. Perhaps your pre-med friends just had a crappy professor who couldn't teach to save his life. And perhaps the engineering physics profesor was awesome...hence why you had a better understanding of the subject. Or maybe *you* learned physics well b/c you're and engineer and probably a heck of a lot better at math and problem solving than your bio friends. Anyways. Sorry. I was just in the mood to argue :D
 

bbtbay

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I went to UC Berkeley, and at least there, the engineering physics was a lot more difficult and more detailed than the physics normal pre-meds took. It was a huge GPA killer.
 

scrappysurfer

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tinkerbelle said:
Hmmm. You can't say that for sure though. Perhaps your pre-med friends just had a crappy professor who couldn't teach to save his life. And perhaps the engineering physics profesor was awesome...hence why you had a better understanding of the subject. Or maybe *you* learned physics well b/c you're and engineer and probably a heck of a lot better at math and problem solving than your bio friends. Anyways. Sorry. I was just in the mood to argue :D
Argue away. I was alseep in physics. Literally. My notes are hillarious because you can see the pencil trail drift off the page everytime I conked out. :laugh:

I can't argue too much about the engineer vs bio major point although I suspect it has a lot to do with being forced to solve problems. We had a bioengineering major and a premed bioengineering major. The pre-meds were bio-heavy and seriously struggled with the math, but once given a touch of exposure the curve leveled out.
 

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evajaclynn said:
I don't know if you're really being serious - engineering physics is waay harder than the regular physics course.
Why does everyone think engineering is harder? It is my impression (and my bias: physics major) that a physics oriented course will be more abstract and more fundamental than an engineering class that employs physical solutions and applies them to engineering problems.

For instance, I've talked to someone who took physics statistical mechanics, chemical thermo, and engineering thermo. The physics class was the most abstract and fundamental, the chemical class was applied but fundamental, and the engineering class was all about Carnot cycles and engine efficiencies and nothing about more abstract concepts such as the derivation of entropy or fermions vs. bosons.
 

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mercaptovizadeh said:
Why does everyone think engineering is harder? It is my impression (and my bias: physics major) that a physics oriented course will be more abstract and more fundamental than an engineering class that employs physical solutions and applies them to engineering problems.

For instance, I've talked to someone who took physics statistical mechanics, chemical thermo, and engineering thermo. The physics class was the most abstract and fundamental, the chemical class was applied but fundamental, and the engineering class was all about Carnot cycles and engine efficiencies and nothing about more abstract concepts such as the derivation of entropy or fermions vs. bosons.
Engineering Physics requires the fluent use of everything. Derivations, calculations, use of symmetry and geometry and calculus. Vector notation and matrix algebra too. Physics for math/phys majors is too qualitative; Pre-med physics is so 12th grade in comparison. Engineering combines the theories with the ability to QUICKLY and QUANTITATIVELY apply what was learnt to relevant problems, instead of sit in class determining how to experimentally prove the existance of God or whatever other topics are left unsolved :p
 

James Bond 007

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Engineering Physics is more comprehensive and should be good enough for the MCAT. Physics for biology majors is trivial. Comparing Engineering physics to bio physics is like comparing algebra 1 to algebra 2. If you are trying to solve algebra 1 problems when you have already taken algebra 2, you may know a few more tricks than an individual who has only taken algebra 1. Therefore, a person who has taken engineering physics should be able to solve every problem in bio physics, but the latter may not hold true for biology majors trying to solve engineering physics problems.
 

mercaptovizadeh

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FirestarterSG said:
Engineering Physics requires the fluent use of everything. Derivations, calculations, use of symmetry and geometry and calculus. Vector notation and matrix algebra too. Physics for math/phys majors is too qualitative; Pre-med physics is so 12th grade in comparison. Engineering combines the theories with the ability to QUICKLY and QUANTITATIVELY apply what was learnt to relevant problems, instead of sit in class determining how to experimentally prove the existance of God or whatever other topics are left unsolved :p
Sorry, that's math. Physics is the most fundamental science. Engineering is based entirely on physical theories or sciences derived ultimately from physics (chemistry, biology, etc.) :p ;)
 

faradayampere

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mercaptovizadeh said:
Sorry, that's math. Physics is the most fundamental science. Engineering is based entirely on physical theories or sciences derived ultimately from physics (chemistry, biology, etc.) :p ;)
but math is the language ... without math, there will be no physics or engineering

yeah, I agree that physics (offers in physics dept) is way more abstract ...

UC Berkeley offers a honors series in physics ... I took them, and I think they are way too difficult .. they are similar to upper division physics classes (I mean they cover the same stuffs) .. and they don't prepare you for the MCAT ... they prepare you to enter grad courses in physics/engineering
 

mercaptovizadeh

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faradayampere said:
but math is the language ... without math, there will be no physics or engineering

yeah, I agree that physics (offers in physics dept) is way more abstract ...

UC Berkeley offers a honors series in physics ... I took them, and I think they are way too difficult .. they are similar to upper division physics classes (I mean they cover the same stuffs) .. and they don't prepare you for the MCAT ... they prepare you to enter grad courses in physics/engineering
I entirely agee with you. We have been blessed to inherit math, which is rooted in logic, which is rooted in language, which comes from God. Math, so to speak, is the philosophy of the universe. It provides a suitable representation of physics. However, there are MANY things in math that have no correspondence in physics - YET. Physics is roughly 200 or 300 years behind math.

That's partly why I would like to do a PhD in physics, to consider the interface of mathematics and physics. It is entirely possible that many mathematical concepts as of yet unknown in physics are really waiting to be uncovered.