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Avoid these 3 common Physics mistakes

Wayne Wong

1 min read

Jan 30

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Welcome to our new cohort of Physics students! By now you’ll have completed Kinematics and made a start into the challenging world of Dynamics. Dynamics is the branch of Physics with the sheer greatest volume of misconceptions. We all face them – the students who do best by the end of the course aren’t those who have never had misconceptions, but rather those who recognised them and learnt the skills to deal with them. Misconceptions most commonly arise in one of three ways:


1.     False preconceptions.

When our everyday understanding of physics fails us and leads us down the wrong path in the abstract Physics world. For example, we often see lighter objects fall faster than heavier objects due to air resistance, but fail to recognise that they fall at the same rate in the absence of air resistance. When learning new ideas in Physics, try being as open-minded as you can! These can sometimes be fixed by a teacher with the right demonstrations, and in rare cases only by applying your rigorous understanding. Which leads us to:

2.     Lacking rigour!

3.     Lacking precision.


Originally published January 2024 for the Atlas newsletter.

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