What's the best calculator for a college Physics course?  Printable Version + HP Forums (https://archived.hpcalc.org/museumforum) + Forum: HP Museum Forums (https://archived.hpcalc.org/museumforum/forum1.html) + Forum: Old HP Forum Archives (https://archived.hpcalc.org/museumforum/forum2.html) + Thread: What's the best calculator for a college Physics course? (/thread130560.html) 
What's the best calculator for a college Physics course?  Ron G.  01072008 It's been a while for me. My son is now asking the question. Many thanks. Edited: 7 Jan 2008, 2:00 p.m.
Re: What's the best calculator for a college Physics course?  Dave Shaffer (Arizona)  01072008 What physics course(s)? And, will he be taking higher math courses, too (like calculus)? For the first two or three semesters of intro physics courses (mechanics, E&M, modern physics), anything with scientific notation, trig, and exponential/log functions should be adequate. Square root and square are mighty convenient, too! I used to teach both algebra and calculusbased intro courses and I never used, nor expected my students to have, anything more complicated. In the HP line, the new 35S should do nicely.
I took calculus back in the days loooong before calculators and managed quite handily. The fancier HP and TIs are apparantly thought to be almost necessary for such classes now, though. Others here can comment on that.
Re: What's the best calculator for a college Physics course?  Eric Smith  01072008 Unless the college/professor/syllabus state otherwise, I agree with Dave that a basic scientific calculator is sufficient, and that the 35s would be a good choice.
Some math classes have a recommendation for a specific graphing calculator. Two years ago I took a Linear Algebra class for which the TI85 or TI86 were listed as a requirement. I used an HP 49g+ due to my preference for RPN, and it worked out fine. Because I wasn't using one of the recommended calculators, the professor was not able to help me with the calculator, but I didn't need any help. Actually the professor had a hard time helping students with the TI86 due to his own unfamiliarity with that model.
Re: What's the best calculator for a college Physics course?  Paul Guertin  01072008 Quote:
That depends on the instructor. Some insist on graphing Re: What's the best calculator for a college Physics course?  Eric Smith  01072008 I had a General Chemistry class in which graphing and programmable calculators were not allowed on tests. I used an HP32E. I considered using a DIYRPN with all support for models other than the 32E removed, but I wasn't sure that I'd be able to convince the professor that it met her requirements.
Re: What's the best calculator for a college Physics course?  Arnaud Amiel  01082008 It has been 10 years for me now that I finished my degree in physics but at the time I found the units calculation ability of the 48 (now 50) series invaluable.
Arnaud
