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What to do when stuck?

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  • Thread starter Mulz
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm currently in my second year of physics undergrad. My problem right now is that in one course named Mathematical Physics, I keep getting stuck. When I get stuck I re-read the entire chapter several times carefully and try to solve the problems but I'm unable.

I resort to looking at the examples which there are very few of. I try to solve the first few problems which arguably should be easier but they are not. There are no solutions so I can't get an idea of what to do. When I search the internet for e.g. singular fields I find no information and thus this book is all I can go on.

What should I do? I try to use different strategies but unable to solve the problems. I don't even properly grasp the theory. It feels like in this particular book, there are very few examples and non explanatory examples, almost as if it was made for someone that already had done the course. The problems difficulty curve starts at the top is what it feels like.

What strategies can I use? I never go on office hours because I'm not flexible. So far it's only one/two chapters I'm having issues with. I don't want is to happen to every future chapter.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I would make advantage of what I have here on PF. In our homework section - and yes, it is meant for textbook questions as well, just ignore the name - you will get excellent and quite inexpensive tutorials. All it costs is some good preparation of the question and a bit of an effort to solve it.

I would see how this will work and whether I could improve by this method. Tips and tricks are often very individual, i.e. what might work for me doesn't necessarily work for you. However, after a while in the homework section, helpers and mentors can very likely give you a better recommendation than from scratch.
 
  • #3
On top of fresh_42 's answer:
Ask questions in the lecture, ask questions when the exercises are presented. Find out wether the lecturer has office hours where students can come and ask questions outside of the lecture. Find other books you can use. Talk to your colleagues. You sound like you are ambitious. If you are ambitious you should make friends with guys who are ambitious like you (or even more). You could work together and talk about the material.
 

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