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Not seeing things in physics and mathematics.

  1. Feb 14, 2015 #1
    I was doing this problem in calculus, and I came up with the answer dy/dx=n(n+1)(n+2)..(n+(n-1)) and so on. To me this looked like a factorial backwards, and I wanted to find notation that expresses such a series. I googled it and I found the "Rising Factorial" notation. However, as I continued reading the page, I saw this, "The rising factorial can be expressed as Factorial of (n+(n-1))." At this moment I felt stupid for not realising this. It was obvious yet I didn't see it.
    Now why I am posting this topic is that I get really frustrated when such things occur, when I just don't see it. It doesn't happen frequently, but when it does it just kills me and makes me think I am stupid or something.
    I even considered choosing another major due to this happening to me before. I know I may be overreacting, and I know I am not stupid, I am well capable of mathematics and physics beyond my age, but I don't know how to deal with such moments.
    Does it ever happen to you? how do you deal with it then?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2015 #2
    Worse stuff happens mate. You're not the first and won't be the last for feeling terrible about missing obvious things, but don't let that discourage you. Maybe it's just a bad day and you'll get over it in a while.

    If however, you repeatedly find yourself struggling at grasping concepts (NOT the occasional silly mistake), then I think you should reconsider your subject choice.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  4. Feb 14, 2015 #3
    no no not at all, my physics teacher said in my university recommendation letter that I have an exceptional ability to graps new physical concepts and in solving problems. I don't miss obvious things unless I know I have not been carefull, it's those hidden things that I expect that I must see otherwise I wouldn't be a good physicist that really piss me off.
  5. Feb 14, 2015 #4


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    Then welcome to the club. If you are hoping that such a thing won't happen, then you are in the wrong profession. This happens to almost everyone, even when you become established in your profession.


    The best thing you can do is to learn from it and figure out what made you missed such a thing.

  6. Feb 14, 2015 #5
    It's in the nature of the phenomenon of attention that you can be looking directly at a thing you're familiar with and not instantly grasp what you're looking at. The most common scenario I can suggest for that is when you happen to arrive at the thing from a direction you've never taken before. If you only ever go through a certain traffic intersection going East or West, approaching it from the South or North by accident one day, and not expecting it to be coming up, it can fail to register at first that you've ever been through that intersection.
  7. Mar 1, 2015 #6
    So it was (2n-1)!/(n-1)! in the end right. Am I missing something.
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