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ward0

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- TL;DR Summary
- Most of physics is expressed through mathematical notation. When there's lots of division, multiplication, exponentiation of various terms, I struggle to find meaning in equations

I just finished my freshman year in computer engineering at my college, and after some physics and materials science classes I noticed a pattern. Everybody—at least in my class, I don't about the rest of the world—is just memorizing formulas, myself included. I'm really trying to not just memorize then and instead understand them, and I'm struggling a lot.

Formulas are just a way to express ideas through mathematical notation, I (think) know this much. When they're simple (e.g., the average velocity formula), I can grasp the meaning of an addition, a subtraction, but I even struggle finding meaning when there's division and multiplication sometimes, let alone exponentiation.

For example sake, here's the diffusion coefficient formula for solids (Callister, 2010):

I don't a have a clue on what it means. I can explain each term independently, I know its application, but I don't know their relation, and this happens in almost every formula presented to me. No one actually bothered explaining this to me, and I just realized now that I pass through formulas and never actually understand them.

Btw I (think, at least) am ok on pure maths, I understood integrals and differentiation without problem, I also know what they mean graphically.

I came here for help, suggestions on reading, articles, even videos, anything. I really want to understand how to visualize these equations and know why it has the terms it has and what they're doing there. If anyone could help me I'd be very grateful.

Formulas are just a way to express ideas through mathematical notation, I (think) know this much. When they're simple (e.g., the average velocity formula), I can grasp the meaning of an addition, a subtraction, but I even struggle finding meaning when there's division and multiplication sometimes, let alone exponentiation.

For example sake, here's the diffusion coefficient formula for solids (Callister, 2010):

I don't a have a clue on what it means. I can explain each term independently, I know its application, but I don't know their relation, and this happens in almost every formula presented to me. No one actually bothered explaining this to me, and I just realized now that I pass through formulas and never actually understand them.

Btw I (think, at least) am ok on pure maths, I understood integrals and differentiation without problem, I also know what they mean graphically.

I came here for help, suggestions on reading, articles, even videos, anything. I really want to understand how to visualize these equations and know why it has the terms it has and what they're doing there. If anyone could help me I'd be very grateful.