Physics Trick ¨Unveiled¨: Easiest Way to Solve Physics Problem

Arthur Allen By Arthur Allen, 8th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Science>Numbers And Maths

Many of us considered the subject Physics as one of the subjects that tires our neurons. I always hear my students saying “OMG, Physics again..” which really shows their hatred about this subject.

Problem Solving Techniques

Well, even if they do not want it to take because of classical principles they should put in their minds, knowing some renowned scientists who made inventions before, manipulating apparatuses in our laboratory and hardest of all is solving practical word problems which really trickery. They do not have any choice other than to study it. Before when I was a student like them, the first time I encounter this subject, I had a perception that it is really difficult for me. However, as I unveiled the secret of it to myself, it was great making fun of it.

In solving word problems, one common issue with this is that we are not certain about the formula to use. We do not get the point on where and when to use the formulas that our instructors deriving for us. That one is the real deal in here. So, to make things easier in solving word problems in Physics, here are some of the techniques I am using and I assure you it is effective

1. First, we must know all the formulas of all the topics that require it. It is better to memorize them. This is the basic thing. If you do not know every formula, it’s time for you to know it. In our profession, teaching, remembering is the first level of learning. If you can’t finish that level, well you better quit.

2. Second requirement is that you must have the knowledge in derivation. It is a method of manipulating an established formula to get other formulas for another missing variable. The key to this is you must know every law in math like transposition, dividing both terms and other important laws.

3. When the problem is presented, the next thing to do is find what is asked in the problem.

Consider the example below:

When a car is running with a velocity of 50m/s. Then , it is given a constant acceleration of 5m/s2. Find the displacement of the car 2 seconds later.

*So you are asked to find for the displacement of the car after 2 seconds.

4. After knowing what is asked in the problem, for you to make the situation narrower, you must identify the givens in the problem. Givens will be the key in knowing the appropriate/correct formula to use. So if you are already mistaken in identifying givens in the problem, it will take your whole time to solve the simple problem in no. 3.

*The givens in the example in no.3 are:
Initial velocity (vi)= 50m/s
Acceleration (a)= 5m/s
Time (t)= 2 seconds

5. The next procedure, choosing the correct formula, is a bit confusing especially if there are many formulas involved or related to the missing variable. But the things that limit the usage of other formulas related to the missing variable are the givens. There are many related formulas but we only use the correct one by knowing if all the givens are used or if you use one of the formulas but there are two missing variable if you it. If the second case occurs it means that is not the correct formula to use. If the first case happens, you only have to substitute the givens to their corresponding variables.

In finding the distance in example no. 3, there are three formulas related.
First is the d=vt, d=(vi/2+vf/2)(t), d=vf2/2a-vi2/2a d=vit+at2/2

The first equation does not use all the given, so it is not the formula. The second one, acceleration will not be used. The third one the variable for time is missing and the fourth one, all the givens are used so the last one is the correct formula to apply in the problem.

6. After knowing the formula to use, you only have to substitute all the givens. If you are allowed to use calculator, it’s good. But if you can compute it without using calculator, that’s the best because it helps your mind to exercise for a while.

7. To make things for you much easier, if you are familiar with the procedure above, all you have to do is practice and practice until you master.

Have fun in solving!!!


Physics, Techniques, Tips, Tricks

Meet the author

author avatar Arthur Allen
I am an aspiring to be published author. I had written two short love stories already. I love writing, reading and blogging.:) I love the internet world!

I also write in ExpertsColumn.::))

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