## How I Learned Physics

- For A-Level Study (16-18 in the Uk) EXAM TECHNIQUE: Questions are usually written long form and you need to
**pick out**the relavent information.- I don’t always read accurately.
- So I copy the question out
**exactly**– word for word. This forces me to read accurately as I copy the question. I’d often find that I’d skim read something and get it wrong when I was copying. IIRC this was for questions that had answers as words and sentences, aswell as those requiring calculation. - This would often take
**1/4 of a page of a4**and a few minutes of time.

- So I copy the question out

- I don’t always read accurately.

## FOR QUESTIONS REQUIRING CALCULATIONS

- I extract
**anything**that could fit in a formula/equation, and write a list of everything I find. So there are another few lines of things that potentially could fit in a equation. - There might be another few lines, generally I might put two things per line, usually quite neatly.
- like s=145m u=20m/s

- t=4s m=25kg
- g=9.8ms I also include
**standard things**like gravity – even if it isn’t mentioned. - Units are interesting to get a
**picture in my head**of what’s happening. Things that change over time have a time part in the unit. - I’d also convert stuff to SI units if necessary.

- Next I write down any equation I can remember that contains a
**s many of the variables as possible**.- This includes any equations given
- Writing equations would usually triggers me into
**remembering the next equation**until I had all the ones related to any of the variables. - I
**don’t**try to remember the**right equations**needed here. I’d usually surprise myself by how much I remembered.

- Writing equations would usually triggers me into
- Every equation I remember gets written down.

- This includes any equations given
- So I now have more than
**half a page**of stuff, and**none of it**is worth any marks in an exam 🙂

- So I now have
- A
**copy of the question**, so it’s been**through my brain at least once**, and I can read it again, both in the printed version, and in my own handwriting. This is kind of like changing fonts.

- A copy of all the variables mentioned in the question, plus stuff like gravity.

- A
**brain dump of all the equations**that I’ve been memorizing, usually remembering one equation would trigger the next one. - I wouldn’t think if the equtions were
**relavent**at this point – as that would stop my flow. I’d just**get everything out of my head**onto paper in front of me.

- I had a way of visualising the situations – I’d visualise how the equations worked in real life, this was how I memorised them – I’d visualise myself in the situations, and how the the e
**quations would describe stuff**around me.- This worked better for some problems more than others. And fails entirely if the explanation why something works is ‘Just Because’.
**I think I needed to visualise forwards and backwards in time how things happen.**

- This worked better for some problems more than others. And fails entirely if the explanation why something works is ‘Just Because’.
- As a
**brute force**method for solving problems I’d put the values into the equations, and see which had one or two ‘unknowns’. I could work out anything with one unknown, and then use the value in the other equations.- Having a list of equations that was visually in front of me, with a list of all the variables meant
**I didn’t need much working memory to do this.**

- Having a list of equations that was visually in front of me, with a list of all the variables meant
- GENERAL STUFF
- Most answers are ‘nice’ numbers. So an answer of -0.234124 is less likely than an answer of 15, or 0.
- Questions don’t usually contain tricks. You’re solving a closed problem at this stage.
- You’re not going to be told anything that doesn’t matter
- Answers won’t depend on something you’re not told

- A

**At University Level**

I seemed to spend a lot of time working through examples trying to visualise what was happening over time with what I was being shown, and if I could explain something ‘in simple terms, using **metaphors and analogioes**‘ to people who were struggling it meant I knew it.

If I couldn’t explain or make sense of what was happening I struggled.

I remember not being able to do the Quantum Physics stuff, as it was taught something like ‘these are the equations, this is the data, it just works, don’t ask how.’

I couldn’t just ‘remember the right equations and put the numbers in’ as I couldn’t remember things like that. If I could visualise the problem I could work out the equation I needed.

I also remeber some counter intutative things (maybe with wave interfernece) that I couldn’t get my head around.

Although particle/wave duality never bothered me or cause issues.

## For Maths

- I mainly studied the maths required for physics, so there was not a lot of theory that was separated from a practice
- I need to find out what the theory was if we were not told
- Or kinda i
**nvent some kinda thing**in my head- When that chap does this, the other dude does that….

- Or kinda i
- I could visualise what was happening with matrices in 3d space (I struggle with more than 3d 🙂
- At the time I didn’t make the connection that I was learning the maths behind a lot of the first person shooters (like to origional Doom). But we were working to calculate where matrices collided.

- I need to find out what the theory was if we were not told