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Physics Definitions

  1. May 15, 2008 #1
    This probably covers all fields of study in science, but I specifically wanted to know what some of you do to remember or memorize definitions in Physics class? I got some advice to use cue cards and just use them to review every week. Doesn't sound like a bad idea, what do you all think or what do you do specifically?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2008 #2
    To study, I do problems out of the book outside of those assigned. These require you to use definitions, equations, and conceptual knowledge. Eventually, with use, these things are committed to memory, and you've practiced doing things you'll need to do on your test.
  4. May 15, 2008 #3
    I see. But when you just begin, as in answering questions such as the ones you described above you will have to memorize them, or do you use a general meaning in the answers?
  5. May 15, 2008 #4
    I'm not quite sure I understand your question...

    I look up anything that I don't know, and write it down, even if I have it written down. I write out my thinking, step by step, until I feel "comfortable" (a horribly subjective term abused by the lazy :D). Is this what you're asking?
  6. May 15, 2008 #5
    Yes that pretty much answered my question. Thanks.
  7. May 15, 2008 #6
    By definitions do you mean formulas and relations? If so, I think just doing many many problems works. I don't think I've ever actively tried to memorize anything in physics, but if you use things enough, you end up memorizing them anyhow. It can help greatly to think of things physically as well. For instance with Doppler shift you may forget whether the plus is on the top or bottom, but it is easy to remember that something coming towards you will have a higher frequency than something receding. A simple example, but I think you get what I mean. Knowing derivations is also quite helpful since many cases may have somewhat complicated results but the derivations are simple.
  8. May 15, 2008 #7
    Looks like I'm late to the party!
  9. May 15, 2008 #8
    No that was also a good answer Bravernix. Although I was intending definitions in the sense of words, but you were right to say;

    This is very true in terms of formulas, and methods in both chemistry and physics.

    I have another question, that is also about studying, was not sure whether I should open a new thread or not (but I did not want to add more of my threads) so I'll ask here.

    I just finished first year university, and first year chemistry as well (it's a chem. question) I was planning on restudying most of the concepts and basically redoing the whole chemistry first year text book to just harden things. I did not do bad in first year; I actually ended up with a B as my final grade (although I could have done better had I not slacked off a bit this year). Now in my second year, as I intend to pursue a Biotechnology specialist program, I need to take Organic CHEM I and II, and Analytical Chemistry.

    Would it be wise to redo everything in first year chemistry (as in self-study), or should I just start to read up a bit on organic chem and analytical chemistry during the summer?

    Thanks for the tips.
  10. May 15, 2008 #9
    Hey, I just visited my universities library, specifically the qualitative analytical chemistry books. From what I saw it seems that it would be wise to just go ahead and use some of the second year books instead of repeating the whole first year textbook. Although I am still open to suggestion from anyone with advice.
  11. May 16, 2008 #10
    Yes I was going to suggest that if you did reasonably well in a general overview course like that, it would probably be better to just move on to more advanced material. I think some people do better with the later classes simply because the scope is not so large. You seem to be prepared so I would say to go for it.
  12. May 16, 2008 #11
    Yeah I pretty much understood everything, it was just that I was a bit lazy! I seriously got tired from high school so had to work less during first year - but now I feel recharged and ready to get back up to par as I was in high school. Anyways thanks for the help guys.
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