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How to make physics problem simpler

  1. Sep 15, 2011 #1


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    Just knowing the concept and being able to get the diagram properly doesn't give any clue to solve difficult problems. Question paper having full of conceptual question rather than more likely to solve it are quite difficult. Any one kindly suggest some idea to tackle it.

    I appreciate for those sparing time in this. [TH]
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2011 #2


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    Sometimes the trick is being able to identify which concepts you need to apply in order to figure the problem out.

    One thing that I find helps is to try to reduced a difficult problem into something simpler. Or look at extreme scenarios where the outcome may be a little more intuitive to predict. This can at least help you to isolate the particular part of the problem that you're having difficulty with.
  4. Sep 17, 2011 #3
    First thing to do is to carefully read the problems and draw whatever you can. Its often that first step of doodling in your paper that can make you start the problem instead of staring blankly at it for minutes.

    What you should do next is start writing down every single equation (these should be equations of logic not memorization) that you can think of along with your drawn diagram. For example if your calculating something as simple as the vector sum of two vectors than you should start writing down some mathematical truths as you go along the way or if you like at the very beginning:

    f1= square root (f1x^2+f1y^2)
    f2= square root (f2x^2+f2y^2)

    Of course this is a relatively simple problem, but I mean to show the concept of what you should be doing. You should do your best to logically deduce certain mathematical truths along your problem. And its these mathematical truths that will help you solve the problem. Remember, the language of physics is written in mathematics, therefore what you need to do is transform your logical thoughts to a mathematical language. Mathematics is very powerful, if you can transform life around you to mathematics then you are powerful indeed. ^.^:cool:
  5. Sep 17, 2011 #4
    In my experience the best way to make hard problems more simple is to solve a few simpler problems before . This is easy to do in early course where text books have lots of simple problems and the hard problems are at the end.In more advanced courses it becomes harder because of crap textbooks, with 10 really hard problems at the end of a 40 page chapter with no examples. I don't understand how they expect to handle those problems without first letting you get a basic understanding of the tools used to solve them or even giving you a clue of what those tools may be.Fortunately you can find a lot of material that can help you online and in other books..
  6. Sep 19, 2011 #5


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    Thank you for your helpful words
    I try to go on with it.
    Thank you once again.
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