General Problem Solving Steps

# General Problem Solving Steps - General Problem Solving...

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General Problem Solving Steps: 1. Understand and restate the problem a. Read. Read the problem carefully. What are the key words? What information is given? What might you need to know in order to solve this? Explicitly state (in your own words) what is the problem asking including clarifying the problem statement . For example, if the problem states when will the two cars collide, you can state when will the two cars have the same coordinates for x and t. b. Visualize. Visualize the situation described with a mental picture. What are the important features of the situation? What physically might happen? Think about what physics might be involved? (Repeat steps 1.a and 1.b as needed until you’re ready for step 1.c ) c. Simplify. Think of what assumptions you can make: can you ignore the size of the objects and consider them particles? Can you ignore friction? (Usually if the information about some properties of objects or interactions is missing from a problem statement, this means it is not important and you can ignore it.)

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