Physics 204A Problem Set #3-1 COMMENT ON PROBLEM SOLVING: When you write up your solutions, you should have a document that is very helpful to you come exam time. A problem solution that is just some equations, a few lines of algebra, and a couple of numbers not help you study at all. When you study for an exam you want to fully understand the reasoning behind the solution and the best way to describe the reasoning is with words and pictures. You will always see me draw sketches and writing the words that explain what I am doing. I expect you to do the same thing. In summary, a proper problem solution includes: • A sketch of the important features of the problem. • A clearly identified coordinate system, if needed. • A list of known quantities. • A list of the quantities you intend to find. • The names of the relevant definitions, laws, and useful relationships you use. • A written explanation of the reasoning required for the key steps. • The algebra done first, then the numbers plugged in.
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