How to Solve a Physics Problem [Also works for other subjects] [Also see page 4 of your textbook.] Explicitly go through each of these steps. Write down something on paper after doing each step. Note that we do not write any equations until step 5 or 6, and we do not touch a calculator until step 8. Note that the problem solving method does not end with the solution. 1. Read the problem. Read the whole problem. Read it again. 2. Make a list of everything you know. Make sure you know what each of these things mean. For example, if you need an angle, what angle is it? 3. Make a list of everything you want to find. Again, make sure you know what each quantity is. 4. Draw a diagram. Label the things you know and those you do not know on the diagram. 5. Find a logical connection between the things you know and the things you want to know. Sometimes it is direct [for example you know an equation which connects them], sometimes there is a longer chain. Write out logically how things are connected – this may be in the form of
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