Weekly Physics Questions - Get Started with Physics Now

  • Thread starter _Mayday_
  • Start date
In summary, the conversation was about a suggestion to have a weekly physics-related question posted on the forum for members to attempt to solve. The questions could be at different levels of difficulty and could be accompanied by a brief background information or a link to a relevant website. The conversation also discussed potential problems with this idea, such as finding someone to write the questions and low participation. However, it was suggested that this could be a useful addition to the existing tutorials on the forum. The idea of concealing answers to prevent copying was also mentioned.
  • #1
_Mayday_
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Hey PF!

NOTE: If this idea has been put forward or a moderator thinks its a waste of pixels please let me know and then I can scrap the idea :blushing:

I personally think that it would be great if there was a weekly Physics related question that was put forward, and then people could attempt to solve it throughout the week. Obviously the questions would be written at different levels of ability. Before the question there could be a little paragraph or two giving some background information on the subject or even a link to a site such as hyper physics. You could set a new topic every month and then just go over some of the ideas within the subject, keeping still quite simple.

I say all this because I feel some what restricted by my school work at times, but struggle to find interesting work at my ability on the internet. This idea I had thought would be nice for newcomers to physics and the topic would start from the beginning and give you a basic knowledge of the topic, then after that if you want to take further you can buy a book etc. This idea is really for people who want to try something new, but at a reasonably low level. The other option is in the physics forums there is just a normal, or even challenging question that people are given not much background information on and they have to use their research powers to solve it. Posters can just post in white, so that people who haven't solved it can pass it with ease.


The Problems with it

1. Firstly you would need someone to write them out, now this may take a while firstly to find a topic and then to find/make some questions related to it. Also I know the mods are busy enough and have lives outside PF :-p

2. Participation may be quite low and if so you may question whether it is worth putting all the effort in the first place.

3. It may be difficult to find a topic that will appeal to the mass.

4. Some may say there are already tutorials. I use the tutorials and they are great, infact they are partly responsible for me starting this thread, but I am talking about a few questions being added and almost like a week by week guide.


This idea is very raw, and some may say is cr*p, but I think that the basic idea is quite good! Now if you guys/gals don't think the idea is that great let me know, its an idea and even if nothing comes out of it, it is worth bringing up as other ideas may come of it or even if there is a small chance it working it is worth it. :smile:

_Mayday_ :smile:
 
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  • #2
So, you basically want someone to post practice problems? Did I understand that right, or are you looking for something more than that?

I would agree that point #1 is a problem for getting it going if you yourself aren't willing or able to be the one to get the ball rolling (otherwise, I'd say "Go for it!"). Point #2 isn't really a reason to not try it, but might be a reason to not continue it after trying it out. I wouldn't worry so much about Point #3...if you could rally up a group of people to post questions, then there would be something to appeal to various people over time.

Point 4 makes me think this might be a nice add-on to the tutorials. In other words, a few practice problems added onto those to help solidify one's understanding of the topic.

The problem I see in this, and am not sure what you have in mind, is how useful would it be to have a thread with practice problems if the first person to read it solves it?

Of course, you might be better served by picking up an extra textbook (i.e., at the library) at a suitable level for you and trying out the problem sets there. This is why I'm trying to figure out if you have something more than that in mind.
 
  • #3
Well firstly there isn't any point in copying, and secondly we could ask posters to post in a less revealing colour like white. My initial post is kind of 2 ideas.

1) This is simpel questions related to physics with a link or a bit of information on the subject to promote people or newcomers to expand their knowledge of the subject.

2) Just to have a general weekly question regarding physics, now this could vary in difficulty and the amount of information or the difficulty can be firther discussed. The problem here moonbear is that I am in no way qualified to set these questions as I am still a student.

It is an idea I guess, there are a few problems with it I guess, but if we treat this thread maybe as a brainstorm kinda thing we might come out with something different to the initial idea but atleast it is trying to continuously improve the site. :smile:
 
  • #4
With the same caveats that Moonbear brought up, I think that it's a decent idea. Camouflaging the answers would work, or they could be posted in a sister thread. White won't work to hide them. The code is color=#black to match that sort of 'grey' shade of the background.
 
  • #5
Danger, I don't think it will be a problem posting it in white, if people feel they need to copy others' posts then good for them, they're wasting their time!

If I am honest I prefer the idea of just a general question related to physics being posted and then the members having to figure it out.

As Moonbear has said, maybe the idea of questions being posted for lower levels of physics would go nicely hand in hand with the tutorials, and then answers could be in a concealing colour so that people can refer to the answers.
 

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