Topic 1 1 extended problem solving strategies
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Topic 1.1 Extended Problem solving strategies. Topic 1.1 Extended A - Problem solving strategies.  One of the main “headaches” of physics has traditionally been the problem solving aspect of it.  Generally, a problem will be posed by someone else, and YOU will have to find the solution.

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Topic 1.1 Extended Problem solving strategies

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Topic 1 1 extended problem solving strategies

Topic 1.1 ExtendedProblem solving strategies


Topic 1 1 extended a problem solving strategies

Topic 1.1 ExtendedA - Problem solving strategies

One of the main “headaches” of physics has traditionally been the problem solving aspect of it.

Generally, a problem will be posed by someone else, and YOU will have to find the solution.

Oftentimes at first glance, it will seem that there is not enough information. Or the problem may just seem impossible.

A possible problem-solving strategy will be illustrated on the next slide. But the more practice you get, the easier problem solving will become. Don’t lose faith!


Topic 1 1 extended a problem solving strategies1

5 km/h

5 km/h

FYI: A little thought may convince you that he reverses direction an infinite number of times. Thus he has traveled an infinite sum of progressively shrinking distances.

FYI: A little thought may convince you that he reverses direction an infinite number of times. Thus he has traveled an infinite sum of progressively shrinking distances.

Topic 1.1 Extended A - Problem solving strategies

FYI: Our first “attack” might be a frontal assault, wherein we find a pattern for these distances, and sum them up. It can be done!

Consider two trains approaching each other on the same track. When they are 10 km apart a fly, who can travel at 2 m/s leaves one train and flies to the other, continuing to go back and forth without resting until the trains collide. How far, in total, does the fly travel?

FYI: But an easier way is to use our d = rt formula:

10 km


Topic 1 1 extended a problem solving strategies2

5 km/h

5 km/h

Topic 1.1 Extended A - Problem solving strategies

10 km

Consider two trains approaching each other on the same track. When they are 10 km apart a fly, who can travel at 2 m/s leaves one train and flies to the other, continuing to go back and forth without resting until the trains collide. How far, in total, does the fly travel?

Since the trains are each moving at 5 km/h, they approach each other at 10 km/h.

Since they are 10 km apart when the fly begins, he has exactly 1 hour to fly.

That is to say, he has 60 minutes, or 3600 seconds to fly.

Since he is flying at 2 m/s, we can use the formula d = rt to get the total distance of 7200 m, or 7.2 km.


Topic 1 1 extended a problem solving strategies3

Do the TRANSLATION

5 km/h

Do the PHYSICS

Do the MATH

Do the CHECK

FYI: Sometimes a check can’t be done – after all, what is reasonable here? But usually, an estimate can convince you that your answer is in the ball park.

FYI: We used unit conversions after our translation, demonstrating that the particular order shown is NOT the only order. BE FLEXIBLE, and develop your own strategy.

Topic 1.1 Extended A - Problem solving strategies

Here is a possible problem solving strategy:

Draw a picture

List and label

The trains, the arrows and the labels all fit in this category.

Do unit conversions

Determine attack angle

Determine relevant equations

Use d = rt.

Don’t try infinite sum.

Manipulate equations

Substitute and solve.

No manipulation of equation is needed, since we are looking for d.

Do calculations

Check reasonableness

Does the answer seem reasonable?


Topic 1 1 extended a problem solving strategies4

Topic 1.1 Extended A - Problem solving strategies

What is the area of a circle in m2 if it has a diameter of 1.25 cm?

Do calculations

Determine attack angle

Draw a picture

R = D ÷ 2

Find R then use the area formula.

R = 0.0125÷ 2

R = 0.00625 m

Determine relevant equations

A = πR2

D = 1.25 cm

A = π·0.006252

List and label

D = 2R

A = 0.000122718

A = πR2

A = 0.000123 m2

Do unit conversions

Check reasonableness

Manipulate equations

1 m

100 cm

D = 1.25 cm

·

R = D ÷ 2

Actual size

D = 0.0125 m


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