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Strategy to solve Mechanics!

  1. Dec 7, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I don't have a specific problem. I have an exam coming up. Our class was all about Mechanics. So I want to have a strategy to solve problems, that I can follow. Can someone help me?

    Topics include:

    Kinematic Problems (Motion in 1-3 Dimensions)
    Forces
    Conservation of Energy/Work
    Center of Mass/Linear Momentum
    Rotation

    I am basically looking for a general strategy to approach problems, and solve them.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2009 #2
    IME lack of time management should be a concern. If the test is really tough, few students will finish, and of those who don't, a lot never get anything scrawled on the last question or two.

    Show me what you know, not what you don't. I am generous with even a reasonable restatement of the problem, a short list of equations, and some effort vs throwing stuff together in a haphazard fashion. If you are lost, state what you know and move on.

    Put together coherent equations and a logical approach. I would much rather see all the algebra done at once which points to a solution versus numerical answers every step of the way.

    Know Newton's laws.

    Know Newton's laws.

    Dance with the gal you brought: if youu have a methodology that has worked in the past, use it. This is not always the best time to realize that energy conservation is better than a purely kinematics approach unless the question asks you for a particular approach.

    Rotation: try not to get dizzy and remember that it is only a specialized case of linear principles and equations.

    Best of luck.

    PS: knowing calculus well, and being able to apply it on the fly is the very best defense!
     
  4. Dec 7, 2009 #3
    I dont think there is general strategy for solving physics problem. You must understand meaning of each eq. and know how to interpret info from each problem.

    p/s: maybe alvin halpern's 3k physics problem can help you improve your skill :)
     
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