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Math level to solve Irodov Problems in General Physics

  1. Mar 16, 2014 #1
    Greetings, PF. With many recommendations and just enough confidence in my ability to solve problems, I've recently purchased the renowned Problems in General Physics by I. E. Irodov. With excitement, I opened the book and read the first problem. It took a lot of thinking to solve the first few questions, and they all were challenging on their very own ways (which, I think, is what makes this book so infamous). However, I was able to encounter problems in which I just couldn't model the situation mathematically within my abilities. Of what mathematical background are you expected to have in order to solve these problems? And are the problems to become gradually harder? If so, that isn't good news, because I am struggling hard right now.

    As always, thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    I don't believe the author states what mathematical background is needed - not in so many words.
    I think the intro talks about this - purpose of the book etc. But I don't have a copy nearby to check.

    IIRC a senior high school level of maths (emphasis on calculus) should be good enough for most of the problems - 1st year college say - what you mostly need is an understanding of physics. Working on the problems is supposed to get you to that understanding.

    Perhaps you can give us an example of a problem you have trouble finding a maths description for?
    Maybe an example you believe is very advanced?
  4. Mar 16, 2014 #3
    Irodov is a pretty hardcore oldschool book. I recall there being problems in the book that entailed 1st order inhomogenous ODE's, which I would not consider a 'basic' physics problem. I don't think I've ever looked at the qm/atomic problems in it, but I presume they go up in level pretty quickly. Outside of a few problems like those, a good grounding in calculus and analytic geometry is a must.
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