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## Main Question or Discussion Point

I recently made several comments about the sole use of formulas when a logical approach would be as effective.

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=150999

I am a high school senior taking AP physics C. Last year I took a more basic course, and in both of these classes (more so in the more basic course) I couldnt help but feel that students abuse formulas and feel that the key to succeeding in physics is memorizing these formulas.

Earlier this year I watched a girl move through a huge pile of flash cards with every formula that she had learned all year. Formulas like the acceleration of an atwood machine and the acceleration of a box car with a pendulum inside making an angle with the verticle. I know that if she instead understood the concepts well enough to realize the reason that the formula is what it is, she would not only feel like there is much less to memorize, but she would also be able to manipulate the formula in order to solve different types of problems.

Physics is not about memorization--it's not a language, history, or geography class. A physics course should be about thought and the pure mathematics should always follow that thought.

I'd like any feed back. What do the other members of PF think on this issue?

Do you all think that formulas prevent students from understanding and enjoying physics?

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=150999

I am a high school senior taking AP physics C. Last year I took a more basic course, and in both of these classes (more so in the more basic course) I couldnt help but feel that students abuse formulas and feel that the key to succeeding in physics is memorizing these formulas.

Earlier this year I watched a girl move through a huge pile of flash cards with every formula that she had learned all year. Formulas like the acceleration of an atwood machine and the acceleration of a box car with a pendulum inside making an angle with the verticle. I know that if she instead understood the concepts well enough to realize the reason that the formula is what it is, she would not only feel like there is much less to memorize, but she would also be able to manipulate the formula in order to solve different types of problems.

Physics is not about memorization--it's not a language, history, or geography class. A physics course should be about thought and the pure mathematics should always follow that thought.

I'd like any feed back. What do the other members of PF think on this issue?

Do you all think that formulas prevent students from understanding and enjoying physics?