Ten Tips and Tricks for Acing Physics Problems
4.2 (3 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
647 students enrolled

Ten Tips and Tricks for Acing Physics Problems

Tips and tricks accumulated over the years to make solving physics problems far easier
4.2 (3 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
647 students enrolled
Created by Raphael Hoult
Last updated 12/2018
English
English [Auto-generated]
Price: Free
This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What you'll learn
  • Be able to more easily solve physics problems, no matter the content.
Requirements
  • Desire to improve at solving physics problems
  • Know some basic physics
Description

"The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics" - Paul Halmos

While this course focuses on physics, the core concept is the same - in order to learn how to solve physics problems, you must do physics problems. However, like with most things in life, the hardest part is to start.

This course isn't designed to be a comprehensive course on physics. It won't turn you into a genius problem whiz overnight.

What it will do, however, is give you the tools to be able to approach any physics problem without fear - whether that's trying to find the net force on a block in your first year, or calculating the various components of the Ricci tensor for the FRW metric in General Relativity.

Examples are given at various levels of physics, so both newcomers and old hands will be faced with engaging examples.

Using the approaches outlined in this lecture series, you will, with enough practice, be able to come to an answer quickly, effectively, and accurately.

Also, not being stuck is a heck of a lot more fun.


Who this course is for:
  • First Time Physics Students
  • Struggling Physics Students
  • Anyone looking to improve their physics problem solving skills!
Course content
Expand all 12 lectures 01:35:24
+ Introduction
1 lecture 03:33

The introduction to the course. I tell you about what the course will entail, as well as a little bit about myself.

Introduction: What You'll Get from This Course
03:33
+ The Ten Tips
10 lectures 01:28:39

In this lecture, we discuss using pictures and diagrams to set up problems, and do an example involving laminar flow in a pipe.

Tip 1: Visual Setup
06:29

In this lecture we discuss identifying variables in a problem, and use this to derive the period of a simple pendulum.

Tip 2: Variable Identification
11:31

In this lecture we discuss setting aside a clear goal to work towards, and we apply this to deriving the "BAC-CAB" rule.

Tip 3: Clear Goal
07:11

In this lecture, we discuss the powerful tool of dimensional analysis, and use that tool to find the correct formula for the power emitted by a black body.

Tip 4: Dimensional Analysis
10:52

In this lecture we discuss breaking problems down into their component parts, and use this technique to devolve a complicated problem down into simpler steps.

Tip 5: Atomize
07:11

In this lecture we discuss using the end result you hope to derive as a tool to get the derivation itself, and we apply this to expanding a commutator.

Tip 6: Working Backwards
04:10

In this lecture, we talk about ways to move work off of paper, and onto a whiteboard, blackboard, or computer word processor such as LaTeX.

Tip 7: Off The Paper
05:26

In this lecture we discuss the importance of knowing why you're solving a problem, and how this can be useful to knowing which approach to use. We then apply this to setting up the derivation of the perihelion shift of Mercury.

Tip 8: Reading Intentions
17:14

In this lecture we discuss collaboration, and its value for solving problems in physics.

Tip 9: Collaboration
03:29

In this lecture we discuss the technique of deriving the solution to a problem using solely the fundamentals of a theory, and not any higher-level concepts. This is applied to the derivation of the electric field of an infinite line charge from Coulomb's law.

Tip 10: Basics Up
15:06
+ Conclusion: What's Next?
1 lecture 03:12

In this lecture, we summarize what we've learned, and conclude the course.

Conclusion: What's Next?
03:12