# What A level physics/further maths will be useful in studying chemistry at uni?

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I will be studying chemistry at either Warwick or Imperial this September and have only done physics up to AS level and I have not done further maths. What topics from physics and further maths a level will be be useful for chemistry? I have access to OCR materials for physics and further maths. Any advice would be awesome, cheers.

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#2

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I will be studying chemistry at either Warwick or Imperial this September and have only done physics up to AS level and I have not done further maths. What topics from physics and further maths a level will be be useful for chemistry? I have access to OCR materials for physics and further maths. Any advice would be awesome, cheers.

**longsightdon**)I will be studying chemistry at either Warwick or Imperial this September and have only done physics up to AS level and I have not done further maths. What topics from physics and further maths a level will be be useful for chemistry? I have access to OCR materials for physics and further maths. Any advice would be awesome, cheers.

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#4

I agree that A level physics is not useful, aside perhaps from a bit of the mechanics (which you might already have covered in maths) for looking at motion of particles. There are various concepts that come up in further maths that will crop up in university-level chemistry: matrices, complex numbers, differential equations, and probably a couple of other things that I've forgotten. At this stage, though, I wouldn't worry too much about trying to get ahead with things. The lecturers will not expect you to have a full A level in further maths and the material will be taught with that in mind. So just enjoy the summer and if you're desparately bored, try some AS level further maths. Or just go outside or something.

Good luck on results day!

Good luck on results day!

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#5

**longsightdon**)

I will be studying chemistry at either Warwick or Imperial this September and have only done physics up to AS level and I have not done further maths. What topics from physics and further maths a level will be be useful for chemistry? I have access to OCR materials for physics and further maths. Any advice would be awesome, cheers.

Edit: didn't see you wanted to know what topics.

Basically, all topics that involve algebra and calculus will be helpful. Don't worry about the trigonometry and geometry stuff, it's rather irrelevant, except for bond angles, but that's quite easy.

Double Edit: Better not leave out the trig and geometry after all

Posted from TSR Mobile

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#6

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Further maths. Yes, others have mentioned it's overkill, but keep in mind that there are optional maths modules on offer that contribute to your final degree classification. Having Further Maths A Level would give you an advantage in those modules and make it much simpler to get high marks in them. It'll likely make getting a first/2:1 more easy.

Edit: didn't see you wanted to know what topics.

Basically, all topics that involve algebra and calculus will be helpful.

Posted from TSR Mobile

**GradeA*UnderA**)Further maths. Yes, others have mentioned it's overkill, but keep in mind that there are optional maths modules on offer that contribute to your final degree classification. Having Further Maths A Level would give you an advantage in those modules and make it much simpler to get high marks in them. It'll likely make getting a first/2:1 more easy.

Edit: didn't see you wanted to know what topics.

Basically, all topics that involve algebra and calculus will be helpful.

**Don't worry about the trigonometry and geometry stuff**, it's rather irrelevant, except for bond angles, but that's quite easy.Posted from TSR Mobile

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#7

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Have you never heard of how group theory and representation theory are applied to chemistry?

**alow**)Have you never heard of how group theory and representation theory are applied to chemistry?

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#8

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I actually just went and read up on this and touché. Though it seems like the most boring **** ever.

**GradeA*UnderA**)I actually just went and read up on this and touché. Though it seems like the most boring **** ever.

*incredibly*useful when you understand it. It can turn things like finding Huckel MOs from a 12x12 matrix to a 4x4.

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(Original post by

I agree that A level physics is not useful, aside perhaps from a bit of the mechanics (which you might already have covered in maths) for looking at motion of particles. There are various concepts that come up in further maths that will crop up in university-level chemistry: matrices, complex numbers, differential equations, and probably a couple of other things that I've forgotten. At this stage, though, I wouldn't worry too much about trying to get ahead with things. The lecturers will not expect you to have a full A level in further maths and the material will be taught with that in mind. So just enjoy the summer and if you're desparately bored, try some AS level further maths. Or just go outside or something.

Good luck on results day!

**BJack**)I agree that A level physics is not useful, aside perhaps from a bit of the mechanics (which you might already have covered in maths) for looking at motion of particles. There are various concepts that come up in further maths that will crop up in university-level chemistry: matrices, complex numbers, differential equations, and probably a couple of other things that I've forgotten. At this stage, though, I wouldn't worry too much about trying to get ahead with things. The lecturers will not expect you to have a full A level in further maths and the material will be taught with that in mind. So just enjoy the summer and if you're desparately bored, try some AS level further maths. Or just go outside or something.

Good luck on results day!

(Original post by

Further maths. Yes, others have mentioned it's overkill, but keep in mind that there are optional maths modules on offer that contribute to your final degree classification. Having Further Maths A Level would give you an advantage in those modules and make it much simpler to get high marks in them. It'll likely make getting a first/2:1 more easy.

Edit: didn't see you wanted to know what topics.

Basically, all topics that involve algebra and calculus will be helpful. Don't worry about the trigonometry and geometry stuff, it's rather irrelevant, except for bond angles, but that's quite easy.

Double Edit: Better not leave out the trig and geometry after all

Posted from TSR Mobile

**GradeA*UnderA**)Further maths. Yes, others have mentioned it's overkill, but keep in mind that there are optional maths modules on offer that contribute to your final degree classification. Having Further Maths A Level would give you an advantage in those modules and make it much simpler to get high marks in them. It'll likely make getting a first/2:1 more easy.

Edit: didn't see you wanted to know what topics.

Basically, all topics that involve algebra and calculus will be helpful. Don't worry about the trigonometry and geometry stuff, it's rather irrelevant, except for bond angles, but that's quite easy.

Double Edit: Better not leave out the trig and geometry after all

Posted from TSR Mobile

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#10

Focus entirely on maths specifically pure and statistics. Mechanics and decision will not be useful.

Physics will probably not be useful at all, except the part on radiation. Chemists love spectroscopy.

Physics will probably not be useful at all, except the part on radiation. Chemists love spectroscopy.

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#11

(Original post by

Focus entirely on maths specifically pure and statistics.

Physics will probably not be useful at all, except the part on radiation. Chemists love spectroscopy.

**mik1a**)Focus entirely on maths specifically pure and statistics.

**Mechanics**and decision will not be useful.Physics will probably not be useful at all, except the part on radiation. Chemists love spectroscopy.

You have no idea what you're on about.

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#13

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What on earth does A-level mechanics have to do with undergrad chemistry?

**mik1a**)What on earth does A-level mechanics have to do with undergrad chemistry?

Classical systems such as the harmonic oscillator and rigid rotor are used to model systems of atoms and electrostatic interactions. How exactly am I supposed to find the normal modes of a molecule without using classical mechanics? How am I supposed to model the orbitals of an atom without understanding a rigid rotor? You can't do any proper spectroscopy until you understand quite a bit of classical mechanics, the foundations of which are laid at A Level, especially in the maths mechanics modules.

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#14

(Original post by

You may have heard of this little topic... Quantum mechanics.

Classical systems such as the harmonic oscillator and rigid rotor are used to model systems of atoms and electrostatic interactions. How exactly am I supposed to find the normal modes of a molecule without using classical mechanics? How am I supposed to model the orbitals of an atom without understanding a rigid rotor? You can't do any proper spectroscopy until you understand quite a bit of classical mechanics, the foundations of which are laid at A Level, especially in the maths mechanics modules.

**alow**)You may have heard of this little topic... Quantum mechanics.

Classical systems such as the harmonic oscillator and rigid rotor are used to model systems of atoms and electrostatic interactions. How exactly am I supposed to find the normal modes of a molecule without using classical mechanics? How am I supposed to model the orbitals of an atom without understanding a rigid rotor? You can't do any proper spectroscopy until you understand quite a bit of classical mechanics, the foundations of which are laid at A Level, especially in the maths mechanics modules.

I don't think studying simple harmonic motion / angular dynamics represents good value for time at this stage, especially for such a niche application. Classical analogues like this play a fleeting role in quantitative spectroscopy, you've either got to solve a quantum mechanics equation or measure the damn thing empirically to get anything meaningful.

If OP is really interested, I would say, learn what moment of inertia is, and then focus on pure and statistics.

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#15

(Original post by

The objective is not to join every possible dot. The objective is to provide useful advice on areas of study that would most efficiently prepare the poster for an undergraduate chemistry degree.

I don't think studying simple harmonic motion / angular dynamics represents good value for time at this stage, especially for such a niche application. Classical analogues like this play a fleeting role in quantitative spectroscopy, you've either got to solve a quantum mechanics equation or measure the damn thing empirically to get anything meaningful.

If OP is really interested, I would say, learn what moment of inertia is, and then focus on pure and statistics.

**mik1a**)The objective is not to join every possible dot. The objective is to provide useful advice on areas of study that would most efficiently prepare the poster for an undergraduate chemistry degree.

I don't think studying simple harmonic motion / angular dynamics represents good value for time at this stage, especially for such a niche application. Classical analogues like this play a fleeting role in quantitative spectroscopy, you've either got to solve a quantum mechanics equation or measure the damn thing empirically to get anything meaningful.

If OP is really interested, I would say, learn what moment of inertia is, and then focus on pure and statistics.

You clearly haven't done a chemistry degree so just quit spreading this crap.

OP: Don't listen to this guy, he clearly has no idea of the content in an undergraduate chemistry degree.

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#16

(Original post by

Oh my... you really don't have a clue. QM is one of many uses of classical mechanics in Chemistry, there are too many to list here.

You clearly haven't done a chemistry degree so just quit spreading this crap.

OP: Don't listen to this guy, he clearly has no idea of the content in an undergraduate chemistry degree.

**alow**)Oh my... you really don't have a clue. QM is one of many uses of classical mechanics in Chemistry, there are too many to list here.

You clearly haven't done a chemistry degree so just quit spreading this crap.

OP: Don't listen to this guy, he clearly has no idea of the content in an undergraduate chemistry degree.

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#17

(Original post by

I don't feel I have to add any more points on this matter, since you haven't responded to any points of substance. But as you attacked my credentials, I'll just add that I have a PhD in quantitative spectroscopy.

**mik1a**)I don't feel I have to add any more points on this matter, since you haven't responded to any points of substance. But as you attacked my credentials, I'll just add that I have a PhD in quantitative spectroscopy.

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#18

(Original post by

I don't care what you have a PhD in, it's completely irrelevant to the content of an undergraduate chemistry course. Do you have a degree in chemistry? If not then you are totally unqualified to comment on what is required for one.

**alow**)I don't care what you have a PhD in, it's completely irrelevant to the content of an undergraduate chemistry course. Do you have a degree in chemistry? If not then you are totally unqualified to comment on what is required for one.

"QM is one of many uses of classical mechanics"

?

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#19

(Original post by

The diversion on qualifications continues. If you believe you are more qualified than me, why do you not have any more convincing arguments than:

"QM is one of many uses of classical mechanics"

?

**mik1a**)The diversion on qualifications continues. If you believe you are more qualified than me, why do you not have any more convincing arguments than:

"QM is one of many uses of classical mechanics"

?

Things I've used anything I learned in statistics for: 1 weeks worth of maths lectures in first year, a bit of combinatorics for stat mech.

Stats modules are next to useless for a chemistry degree. Having a fundamental grasp of mechanics is

*far*more important.

You have no experience of what a chemistry degree is like, stop pretending like you do.

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#20

Erm....

I agree with alow that stats is not at all useful for undergrad chemistry, unless you end up doing a heavily stats-focused research project at the end of it. As I said before, I don't think the mechanics you learn at A level is all that useful either, not least because you'll probably be taught it all from scratch when it comes up in your course any way.

Chemistry: just about essential, I suppose, although the Oxford chemistry course starts with a bizarre introductory lecture that pretends that somebody could be on the course without ever having studied chemistry before.

Pure maths: very useful. You're probably not going to do well in a chemistry degree if your maths is lacking.

Everything else: nice to have. Might have some particularly useful aspects in some areas but it's very unlikely that you won't be taught it from scratch.

I agree with alow that stats is not at all useful for undergrad chemistry, unless you end up doing a heavily stats-focused research project at the end of it. As I said before, I don't think the mechanics you learn at A level is all that useful either, not least because you'll probably be taught it all from scratch when it comes up in your course any way.

Chemistry: just about essential, I suppose, although the Oxford chemistry course starts with a bizarre introductory lecture that pretends that somebody could be on the course without ever having studied chemistry before.

Pure maths: very useful. You're probably not going to do well in a chemistry degree if your maths is lacking.

Everything else: nice to have. Might have some particularly useful aspects in some areas but it's very unlikely that you won't be taught it from scratch.

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