Do terms such as Thermodynamics, Relativity and Electrostatic ring a bell to you? Of course, they do! These fancy-sounding terms form an important part of a typical physics curriculum. It’s a given that this subject is full of terms, concepts and theories that have changed (and still continue to change) the way we perceive everything around us. Turns out, it is also not the easiest subject to master.
It is believed if your concepts are clear, you will certainly do great in physics. Adding to this thought, here are four hacks to uncomplicated physics for you.
Learn all concepts properly
Gravitation law, Newton’s law, Bernoulli’s Equation and Ampere’s law to name a few have laid the foundation of physics. This means that most formulae are derived from these basic laws. How and where will they be applied, what’s the exception, etc. should be taken into account while learning the formulae.
For instance, Law of Energy Conservation can be used when earth rotates around the sun, in pendulum, during friction-less projectile motion, in springs, etc. You must also learn where you can’t apply these concepts—when friction is existent, you can’t use energy conservation in a substantial way.
Knowledge of basic mathematics is necessary
Math and physics go hand-in-hand. There are a few concepts in math that come extremely handy in physics, such as:
a) Number system: Want to avoid making silly mistakes? Multiplication table, surds & exponentiation will help you.
b) Vectors: Anything related to vectors—components, modulus, multiplication, addition & subtraction, etc.
c) Coordinate geometry: How can we forget those simple concepts of lines, angles and slope?
d) Trigonometry: Sin-Cos relationship, relation between parallel lines and angles, etc.
e) Integration and differentiation
Create a mind map
This subject is based on a number of basic theories from where everything else is derived. Look at the chart given below. It consists of central theories and several variations of these. Physics is not as complicated as you think it is. Hence, it is advisable to integrate the basic concepts and theories to understand the underlying principles and the subsequent connection between different concepts. This is what we call a ‘mind map’.
By creating a mind map, you will be able to think fast while solving questions or understanding theories. This is essentially handy when you’re sitting for tests or giving small quizzes (such as on Oust) to practice. A mind map will help you in strengthening all your concepts.
Think systematically and identify problems
Physics is an amalgamation of different concepts. The key is to think smart while solving problems. Here’s how you can solve a question easily and quickly, without losing your confidence:
Example: A particle is projected with a speed u at an angle ѳ with the horizontal. Consider a small part of its path at height h and take it approximately to be a circular arc. What is the radius of curvature at this point?
Answer: Here, we are supposed to find the ‘radius of curvature’. Therefore, try remembering everything related to the question—circular motion, gravitation, Newton’s law, projectile motion, etc.
v = wr,
r = ѳ * arc length,
A centrifugal force is necessary to maintain circular motion and this force is perpendicular to direction of velocity. Therefore, we can’t use v = wr or r = ѳ * arc length, as w & ѳ are not known to us.
Only force acting on particle is mg (gravitation force), so centrifugal force is provided by gravity. Circular motion will provide us a radial acceleration (v*v/r) and its direction perpendicular to velocity. Gravity will give us a force mg acting downwards. Newton’s law will help us balance force & acceleration equation (F = ma) along the line perpendicular to velocity. Concept of projectile will give us velocity at height h and angle between horizontal and velocity.
Viola! You have a system to answer your problem.
Oustme.com helps you practice these concepts and prepare for competitive exams like Karnataka CET and more. The more your practice, the better you will become.