The author is the winner of the 2007 Melba Newell Phillips Award given by the American Association of Physics Teachers. Earlier he was awarded their Oersted Medal
Physicists use "back-of-the-envelope" estimates to check whether or not an idea could possibly be right. In many cases, the approximate solution is all that is needed. This compilation of 101 examples of back-of-the-envelope calculations celebrates a quantitative approach to solving physics problems. Drawing on a lifetime of physics research and nearly three decades as the editor of , Clifford Swartz provides simple, approximate solutions to physics problems that span a broad range of topics. What note do you get when you blow across the top of a Coke bottle? Could you lose weight on a diet of ice cubes? How can a fakir lie on a bed of nails without getting hurt? Does draining water in the northern hemisphere really swirl in a different direction than its counterpart below the equator?
Like most engineers, I have always been curious about the functioning mechanisms behind the many objects we use in our daily lives. At school, Physics and Maths have always been the subjects that I find most intriguing and in which I excel. This has strongly pushed me towards pursuing a career in engineering. Moreover, the inspiration and originality of engineering surfaced manifestly in me at an early age. This field is one that influences almost all man-made creations and operations, from the enormity of a Yamato Class battleship back in World War II to the minute circuit that powers an artificially intelligent robot to tying a loose bolt on my sister’s bicycle. Friends and teachers describe me as a logical thinker yet I often find unique solutions to physics problems. In addition, Mechanics components in A-level Maths have introduced problems that require an innovative mind, whilst featuring real and useful applications; these undoubtedly widened my scope, improved my application of Mathematics and increased my passion for Mechanics in particular.
Homer Reid's Solutions to Physics Problems, by Homer Reid
Physics problems can be difficult to solve for some students. This can be worse when it comes to doing your physics homework alone. It can even be more difficult if you don’t have some examples of checked solutions to some physics problems. However, you need not experience a challenge if you know where to look for checked physics homework solutions.