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Studying physics

  1. Sep 8, 2014 #1
    This is my first year taking a physics course and i am taking calculus based physics. My study plan so far has been writing detailed notes from the book and each section would take me a good hour. I have not done the practice problems just yet as i have two more sections to finish. Is this wasting time ? if so what method should i use?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2014 #2
    1. Make notes for a section.
    2. do the problems for that section.
    3. Move to next section.
    4. Watch MIT's open courseware videos. They are good. Walter Lewin is a champ.
    5. Ask questions on the forums for additional help.

    Don't forget to ask your professor for help too. And ask around about study groups.

    IMO, for efficiency, I would focus on topics which are your weakest. If you know how to do vector addition, don't worry about notes and problems for that section. Focus on what you have trouble with.
  4. Sep 9, 2014 #3
    me to

    i am doing my undergraduate in physics in a reputed university in india
    i dont no what my possibilities are ?
    help me to get a internship so that i have more of a professional knowledge
  5. Sep 9, 2014 #4


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    Gold Member

    I don't really take notes from the textbook. I usually read the chapter before the lecture and take notes of whatever the professor says that wasn't in the textbook. That makes my work much more efficient.
  6. Sep 20, 2014 #5
    IMHO, taking notes for physics is a waste of time. I think taking notes is more appropriate for a biology course where you have to absorb a lot of information. Here, the amount of information is sparse, what's important is your interpretation of that information.

    By the way, taking notes can mean lots of things. The type of note-taking I do is copying the mathematical derivations and thinking them through along with the author. That type of note taking I would say is quite nice.

    What I would do is try to masticate these ideas in every way possible. Whenever you have a wrong approach to a problem, prove why this approach was incorrect. In my experience, I can't stress enough how important right-interpretation is. Also, do lots of problems.

    Good luck.
  7. Sep 20, 2014 #6
    If you have a competent instructor there is no need to take detailed notes from a book. In fact, I would say that would detract from your learning experience. Your notes should consist mostly of what was discussed in lecture. Reading the book comes next but only to reinforce what was taught in lecture (you mostly skim it or read it if it doesn't take too long).

    In physics, problems are emphasized more (at least where I attend school) primarily because that is how you will learn the actual physics. Do easy problems, and once you build up your competence (i.e. confidence in understanding) of the easier problems you should tackle the harder problems.
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