problem-solving guide(1)

Actually and maybe im giving a little too much away

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Unformatted text preview: d do the same thing over again. Once I’m confident enough that I have at least a marginal understanding of what’s going on, I try some problems. The smartPhysics book doesn’t contain many problems, but fortunately you have lots of homework problems, section assignments, and old exams to look at. (If you have the Fundamentals of Physics book, it contains hundreds of problems, although many of them are a little too simple.) I would actually suggest going over the section assignments first; I wrote them keeping in mind the most common confusions that arise in this course. So if you’re confused about something, it’s likely I wrote a section problem specifically to address that confusion. (Of course, since I wrote the section assignments, I might value them a little more highly than I ought…) Next (or first, if you’re skeptical of the value of my section assignments), I’d go through problems in Petar’s old exams. There are many of them to go through, since this is the third year he’s taught the course, and most have detailed solutions (usually written by Petar or myself). And Petar has a specific style of problem- writing: each problem has a few parts that build upon each other; there’s usually a part at the end that asks you to switch something up and comment on what would happen; sometimes there’s a trick that simplifies the problem drastically; and sometimes he adds an extra credit part that asks you to solve the problem in a more general situation. Actually – and maybe I’m giving a little too much away here – often it’s easy to get a few of the extra credit points if you just start the problem, because coming up with the right equations is half the battle. To review material, I always go back to the homework. If you really understand how to do all the smartPhysics problems, then you’re in good shape for the final. If you understand how to do all the written homework problems, you’re in great shape. Redoing the smartPhysics problems is a good way to remind yourself of the material and what’s important to remember; I think they’re well suited to this. If my grade prospects didn’t look too great (say I got below average on all the midterms and did average on the...
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This document was uploaded on 03/03/2014 for the course PHYSICS 171.102 at Johns Hopkins.

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