Sep 9, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi all,

I am contemplating which class should be taken first. This question is more of a philosophical question what do you guys think?
 

487806

Life of the Party!
Aug 9, 2012
15,231
980
Inside a black hole
Hi all,

I am contemplating which class should be taken first. This question is more of a philosophical question what do you guys think?
It really doesn't matter. Either one is okay or do both. Just make sure you're dedicated to it and not get weeded out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: shahcoco

The_Bird

SDN Bronze Donor
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2011
7,753
9,290
Status
Medical Student
I agree with the above.
 

gettheleadout

MS-4
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2010
11,814
2,783
Status
Medical Student
It makes more sense to learn physics first and then apply the concepts in learning chemistry, but if you're like most students at most schools (including me) you won't actually learn the material in enough depth to make those connections and it won't matter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chem4ever

Aerus

Elemental Alchemist
7+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2012
3,222
2,368
Status
Medical Student
I took Chemistry and Physics at the same time. Meh. Made no difference, but it cleared room for more classes my second year.
 

Gauss44

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2012
3,191
397
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm trying to think of specific situations where learning one first would benefit you. Three things came to mind immediately that would suggest physics first for a slight advantage. Make sure you check course prerequisites in case your school goes into more depth than expected.

-Batteries, Galvanic Cells, Electrolytic Cells, ions in solution = Physics first to understand currents, anodes, cathodes, electrons versus positive charges
-Thermodynamics and bomb calorimeters - Physics first for energy equations, potential, kinetic, heat
-Chemistry experiments involving release of light - physics first to understand wavelengths of light
 

jeghaber

5+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2013
1,338
629
Status
Medical Student
My guess is, all else equal for someone (more like assuming tabular rasa), that if you do physics->chemistry, you'll tend to approach chemistry the teensy more mathematically and if you do chemistry->physics, you'll tend to approach physics more bit more conceptually.

But in real life -- at the university level after we've all had 12 years of education to develop our own styles -- it probably depends more on what kind of problem solver you are to start with. I was always more math-oriented so approached all chemistry problems as a set of equations to be solved, while I had friends who liked to think about the forces at play theoretically first to parse a question, even when doing mechanics.
 

sunflower18

Master of Naps
7+ Year Member
Oct 23, 2011
3,391
3,822
Status
Medical Student
I was talking about this with my high school science teacher the other day! I think, hypothetically, it makes more sense for physics to be first -- it's generally easier to understand micro examples if you are taught it on a macro scale first.

However, physics requires a lot more math than general chemistry or any intro science classes. Thus if you are not interested in math, you might get turned off of science by having your first science class be quite math oriented. This is an example primarily relevant to high school curriculum, but still.
 

bambam92

Membership Revoked
Removed
Nov 26, 2012
454
190
Library Basement
Status
Pre-Medical
I took chemistry first, and I think thats a good idea. Physics is more difficult, so warming up to gen chem I and II before physics helps.
 

Fedxup

5+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2013
712
174
Status
Medical Student
Either. Took them simultaneously.
 

turayza

5+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2012
923
864
Status
Medical Student
Conceptually physics should come first, like most other posters mentioned.

Realistically you to have to take chem (one year) and ochem (one year) so it makes sense to take chem your first year. You could take physics at the same time but it won't make a significant impact...
 

compstomper

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2007
217
191
Status
Medical Student
Would it be correct to say you've finished the bio prereqs already? Practically speaking, I think taking chemistry (I assume it's general chemistry you're referring to) first would be best. This is because general chemistry is usually a requirement for organic chemistry, so if you take general chemistry this year, you have the option of taking physics along with organic next year if you so choose, allowing you to finish your prereqs in 4 semesters. Whereas if you take physics this year, and general chemistry next year, you can only take orgo the year after that, meaning you'll need 6 semesters to finish your prereqs.
 

487806

Life of the Party!
Aug 9, 2012
15,231
980
Inside a black hole
Would it be correct to say you've finished the bio prereqs already? Practically speaking, I think taking chemistry (I assume it's general chemistry you're referring to) first would be best. This is because general chemistry is usually a requirement for organic chemistry, so if you take general chemistry this year, you have the option of taking physics along with organic next year if you so choose, allowing you to finish your prereqs in 4 semesters. Whereas if you take physics this year, and general chemistry next year, you can only take orgo the year after that, meaning you'll need 6 semesters to finish your prereqs.
Or you can take both gen chem and physics at the same time...
 

compstomper

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2007
217
191
Status
Medical Student
Or you can take both gen chem and physics at the same time...
Certainly, but since acamus was asking whether or not he/she should take physics or chemistry, not physics and chemistry, I assumed the latter wasn't an option for him/her.
 

Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
Staff member
Administrator
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
8,142
17,546
City of the Future
Status
Medical Student
I'm trying to think of specific situations where learning one first would benefit you. Three things came to mind immediately that would suggest physics first for a slight advantage. Make sure you check course prerequisites in case your school goes into more depth than expected.

-Batteries, Galvanic Cells, Electrolytic Cells, ions in solution = Physics first to understand currents, anodes, cathodes, electrons versus positive charges
-Thermodynamics and bomb calorimeters - Physics first for energy equations, potential, kinetic, heat
-Chemistry experiments involving release of light - physics first to understand wavelengths of light
It seems from your statement that E&M is more important than mechanics, this is interesting information I'll make sure to take note.
 
Dec 23, 2013
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Chemistry first. If the physics is calculus based, make sure you have a good grasp on the calculus.