Electromagnetism too hard

Electromagnetism too hard

Ugh, this was suppposed to be such a good week, but this freaking class Ph106. I should give a bit of background on the classes I’m taking:

  • Ph12c - Intro to statistical mechanics/thermodynamics. It’s a class typically for second-year physics majors, but since I have a lecture time conflict I can’t attend any lectures and so this class is more difficult than it needs to be, though thankfully it’s still not terrifying.

  • ACM95c - Partial Differential Equations. Sophomore/junior-level math class. We spent the first three weeks covering indicial notation, but that was because we covered many of the PDE techniques in the ODE class (albeit hastily), so only now are we hitting PDEs proper.

  • Ph125c - Quantum Mechanics. Third-year physics class. We’ve finished most of canonical quantum mechanics in the first two terms, so now we’re on some of the more advanced quantum mechanical topics. The professor is GREAT for this class though, and since it’s mostly a survey of many topics in little breadth it hasn’t proven to be as terrifying as reputation.Ph106c

  • Classical Mechanics/Electromagnetism. Third-year physics class. The bane of everybody I know in the class, harder even than many of the graduate level classes. We’re hitting the electromagnetic waves part of the curriculum now, which is literally the bashiest part of the entire curriculum. I’ll elaborate on this later, but this is the class I probably spend 15+hrs per week on.

  • L174/L175 - French/Chinese classes. Not terrible classes. I want to practice chinese literacy, so I’m taking a chinese literature class. I also need to get into French mode for Ecole Polytechnique, so I’m taking a French Conversation class.Okay, so this week was midterms week, and I finished my midterms at the very beginning of the week, so I had a single set to work on all week, my E&M set. And it LITERALLY TOOK ALL WEEK. Just to give a taste of the bashiness, one matrix we had to compute for one part of one question is given below: I type all my sets, which actually is not as time-consuming as it sounds; I’m fast enough at LaTeX that I type all my class notes. But still, WHY IS IT THIS UGLY. I actually spent 6PM-12AM last night just finishing half of the set, and that’s not including the about 3 hours/night I spent Tuesday/Wednesday night trying to figure out the other parts.I’ve “only” gotten 7 hrs/night this week, which is actually absurdly much by Caltech standards and generally college standards.But yeah, other than sophomore lab classes, I’ve smushed together all the hard classes of second and third year physics majors all at once. It’s not been as bad as I expected, I’ve never had to get less than 4.5 hours (3 sleep cycles!) in a single night, and that’s happened but once, but the stress still gets to me. I hope the E&M sets don’t get any worse, because if this happens during a week where all my other sets also exist at all then I’m in for quite a fun time.I would like to brag that I solved a problem yesterday while working with some of the brightest kids in my House and they didn’t get it before me ^.^ That made my day!