How to Learn Physics | Tips to Understand & Study
Physics is a subject with knowledge about the physical stuff around us.
This is one of the hardest to study as it needs good brain work to learn and understand.
Some people like this subject a lot as they can understand it.
But those who do not understand it will find it boring. Even it might be a night mare if they are forced to study. They may even try to take different subjects to escape from studying it.
One can learn physics starting from school. It is the best time to tune your mind to basic concepts of science.
Many brilliant minds who devoted their entire lives for physics. Some of them include great scientists Isaac Newton, Einstein, Galileo, Stephen hawking etc.
So it is really worth taking up physics for study. But how to study physics in easy way is mentioned below.
How to learn physics:
First of all it is important to have a good Physics Text book. Without a good book, it will be confusing to study from class notes and other internet resources. Also having a book will help you remember the topics with the page images. Memory is better if one follows the same physics book to read again and again.
1. Keep it natural: First and foremost requirement to read physics is to compare the theory in the subject with external methods around.
Like for example if there is a concept of centripetal force and centrifugal force. These are the types of forces which occur on the body of moving object around the curvature.
It is a way to explain how force acts on an object moving in a circular path. Centrifugal is force which pushes objects out of the circular path. While the centripetal force is one which acts opposite i.e. it keep object in circular path.
The examples given to understand will be a road curvature as seen above. The road sloped towards inner curvature. While it is elevated towards greater or outer curvature.
This is because when a vehicle moves on it with high speed, there is centrifugal force from center towards outer curvature. The vehicle can be easily displaced off the road leading to accidents.
So to minimize this centrifugal force, the road is elevated to produce equivalent centripetal force on the moving vehicle. Thus accident can be minimized. This can also be seen more clearly in racing of bikes as below.
Similarly we have examples like butter getting isolated when milk or curd is churned.
Even if you are revolving a long key-chain with loads of keys at a tip, then you can feel the hand is being pulled off and you need to control your hand by force during revolving the chain. The force exerted to keep the chain from being thrown away during turn is centripetal force and the force which is trying to throw off the chain is centrifugal force.
As such physics can be understood better by imagination of events, comparison with external objects, by mathematical derivations etc.
2. Know fundamentals: Physics mostly relies on fundamental thing to explain non fundamental things.
For example, distance and time are fundamental and directly measurable properties. But velocity can be explained only taking distance and time into consideration.
Next energy or work is a fundamental property. And power is explained as energy or work done per unit time.
3. Know the derivations: Physics gets some concepts by some derivations using predefined formula or concepts for example. The geo targeting which tries to say at what height from the earth a body can stay still and keep rotating with earth pace at point of fixation in the space.
4. Strength of basic concepts: For understanding these derivations one need to go back to primary physical concepts like gravitational acceleration, radius of curvature, velocity, time etc.
5. Application based study. In physics one may encounter some phenomenon where the concepts of physics are applied for human benefit and technology like rocker science, signaling systems, power supply etc. These applications mostly involve physical laws with some chemistry knowledge besides. So having a sound knowledge of chemistry helps in easy understanding of these applications. Ex: Atomic energy, protons, neutrons, electrons etc..
Reading physics involves use of mathematics here and there. So if one has aversion for maths, he cannot move ahead in physics in those areas. So trying to overcome the weakness is needed there.
How to study physics for exams:
Physics cannot be studied just before the exam if classroom or prior understanding of the concept is not present. So to study physics it is better to attend the classes for easy understanding of the subject and assimilation of principles. Once you have understood then you can think of preparing for exam as
- Have your notes and any text book: Study relies mostly on the memory besides understanding in physics. So using your books or texts helps recall the said page or diagram when a question is posed in the exam.
- Try to cover most topics using a diagrammatic representation to study like simple harmonic motion, levers, thermocouple, law of optics etc. Having a diagram for the concept during study help you memorize the diagram easily and during the exam once the diagram strikes, remaining theory automatically pours out of the brain to describe the entire concept of the diagram. So just before going to the exam also it is advisable to see the diagrams keenly once.
- Practice derivation twice or thrice to see if you can derive it without referring notes or text. The trick here is, when you are in process of remembering derivations; keep those points or steps which take complete twist to bring to the solution. These twist in the derivation if not remembered will make it tough to complete derivation in the exam.
- Solving problems. Try to solve few problems for each topic, preferably unknown to you before. When a problem is asked, try to understand well by scribbling a picture if required on the rough paper. Once you understand the question you can think of what formulas to apply to get the solution. Understanding the question is very important. For instance if there is a mention of a term “unit” any where, it means it is single or one. If there is mention of “vector” means, there is a direction.
- Use visual videos or representation: If you feel it tough to understand a concept try to go through videos on YouTube or elsewhere as video representation might help for better understanding.
- Always give a try: Most of us especially in physics and chemistry we give if the topic seems complicated. But if we try once or twice many times it gets easier. So always give a try to the concept of problems in physics.