200 Puzzling Physics Problems: With Hints and Solutions

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This text will strengthen a student's ability to apply the laws of physics to practical situations and problems that yield more easily to intuitive insight than to complex mathematics. These problems, chosen almost exclusively from classical (non-quantum) physics, are posed in accessible nontechnical language and require the student to select the right framework in which to analyze the situation. The book will be invaluable to undergraduates preparing for "general physics" papers. Some physics professors will even find the more difficult questions challenging. The mathematical prerequisites are minimal and do not go beyond elementary calculus. This intriguing book of physics problems will prove instructive, challenging and fun.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… the authors have done a grand job in collecting together some truly challenging puzzles … The solutions are explained in great detail, and that is a real strength … it is a book containing a number of gems and surprises …'. David L. Andrews, European Journal of Physics

'… a book like this … has long been needed and will be indispensable for teachers and lecturers.' Waldemar Gorzkowski, Physics World

' … a delightful book, which is both instructive and entertaining … intriguing,' Brian L. Burrows, Zentralblatt für Mathematik und ihre Grenzgebiete Mathematics Abstracts

'… a source of inspiration not only to exceptional school students and good undergraduates, but also to academics … buy this book even if you are not under the shadow of a 'general paper' - it is a lot of fun.' Trevor Bacon, The Times Higher Education Supplement

From The Critics
To help undergraduates preparing for exams better grasp the laws they're studying, the authors (physicists in the UK and Budapest) present problems from classical (nonquantum) physics, posed in nontechnical language. They include: Why are Fosbury floppers more successful than Western rollers? How far below ground must the water cavity that feeds Old Faithful be? And: How quickly does a fire hose unroll? The problems (arranged more or less in order of difficulty) are followed by a section that provides a hint for each problem, and then by solutions; the authors' aim is to show as many useful tricks as possible to enlarge students' problem-solving arsenals. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521774802
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Gnädig graduated as a physicist from Roland Eötvös University (ELTE) in Budapest in 1971 and received his PhD degree in theoretical particle physics there in 1980. Currently he is a researcher (in high energy physics) and a lecturer in the Department of Atomic Physics at ELTE. Since 1985 he has been one of the leaders of the Hungarian Olympic team taking part in the International Physics Olympiad.

Gyula Honyek graduated as a physicist from Eötvös University (ELTE) in Budapest in 1975 and finished his Ph.D. studies there in 1977, after which he stayed on as a researcher and lecturer in the Department of General Physics. In 1984, following a two-year postgraduate course, he was awarded a teacher's degree in physics, and in 1985 transferred to the teacher training school at ELTE. His current post is as mentor and teacher at Radnóti Grammar School, Budapest. Since 1986 he has been one of the leaders and selectors of the Hungarian team taking part in the International Physics Olympiad.

Ken Riley read Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and proceeded to a Ph.D. there in theoretical and experimental nuclear physics. He became a Research Associate in elementary particle physics at Brookhaven, and then, having taken up a lectureship at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, continued this research at the Rutherford Laboratory and Stanford; in particular he was involved in the discovery of a number of the early baryonic resonances.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Problems; 3. Hints; 4. Solutions.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2001

    200 definitely fantastic physics problems

    Have you ever encountered the great experience of solving a good physics problem that makes you realize you have not fully understood some of the physics involved which you thought you did? Well, this collection of thoughts provoking physics problems at an elementary level will provide you with 200 opportunities to test your physical insight, understanding, and problem solving techniques. If you are stumped, there are hints which are a couple to a few lines long to guide you in the right direction. If you desire to just learn from the full solution provided, more than two thirds of the pages are devoted to complete solutions of all 200 problems. There is also a page listing the thematic order of the problems for easy reference. So get yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy the challenges offered by this great compilation, which cosists of problems from Komal and the Cambridge Colleges' entrance examination and others. But don't expect to solve any problem in five minutes though. Enjoy!

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