3000 solved problems in physics

Filling the pail

I think it was during the first year of my university course that I was asked to buy ‘3000 solved problems in physics’ by Alvin Halpern.

At that time, we attended lectures where we took notes, before having ‘supervisions’ in pairs with an academic or doctoral student. We were given a series of problems in the first lecture and our supervisors set us these problems to complete. They would become the subject of our supervisions.

I distinctly remember feeling that the onus was on me to figure out how to solve these problems. I found them extremely hard and frustrating. Sometimes, I would spend an hour on a problem without success and this made learning pretty inefficient. Eventually, I began to do what other students in my college did and go and see ‘Dave’, one of our peers who seemed to work about three weeks ahead of everyone else. I…

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