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- Thread starter Silviu
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- #2

berkeman

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This is for fairly basic math tricks and shortcuts, but is a good place to start, IMO.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0471575631/?tag=pfamazon01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0471575631/?tag=pfamazon01-20

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I especially found that learning a few general powerful methods that can be applied to a wide variety of physics problems is worth a lot more than a collection of tricks.

I found that understanding the theory of quadratic forms can be applied to quantum mechanics, classical mechanics (both small oscillations, and rigid body problems), linear system theory, optimal control, electric and magnetic circuits.

The theory of special functions can be applied and is important to all these fields as well.

I once had a professor that solved many problems with "tricks". It was difficult to transfer his techniques to real-life problems which were unlike the assigned problems in textbooks which were contrived so that everything works out just right. I tried to present physics to my students to illustrate the method for solving problems, even if I could cleverly solve the problems with a tricky turn. Occasionally, I would show them the easy way, but I would discourage looking for easy ways for every problem. Sometimes physics problems are just hard

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