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Physics/Physics: Study Tips.


Dear Sir

I am a second year physics major student at the University of Papua New Guinea and would very much appreciate if you could advice me by giving me study tips as to how to fully (effectively) grasp and understand and thus apply physics concepts to physics questions.

Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Thankyou in advance.

Yes, use the Olaf method.  I had a student named Olaf (last name omitted, but it started with an O).  He was a big oilfield lug who sat in the back of my class, always told me that he didn't understand anything I said at the end of my lectures.

Then he would ace my exams.

He basically went and didn't solve every problem in the back of the chapters...but he would set them up as a strategy.  Learning how to set up problems is FAR MORE important than actually turning the math crank and working out the numbers will ever be.  Olaf was a successful engineering student because he learned the how-to of setting up problems and didn't care so much during his study time about the details that he knew he could handle (again turning the math crank).

And good luck.  Keep in mind that PET scans have shown that test anxiety uses the same neurons as problem solving.  If you've ever handed in a math test and walked out of the room, only to get that feeling that you could fix the whole thing if you just had five more minutes, then this has happened to you.  Try to focus on some ultimate moment of triumph and success in your life for a minute when you get frustrated (it's one of many approaches, but I'm not a psychologist) and see if the answer doesn't just come to you.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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