Saturday, October 24, 2015

Professor Povey's Perplexing Problems: Pre-university Physics and Maths Puzzles with Solutions

Here we have 14 chapters listed as topics that one would expect in any introductory physics textbook with problems/puzzles related to the physics topic. In total there are 104 problems, e.g. there are 17 under Geometry, 12 under Mathematics and Gravity, and anywhere from 3 to 9 under Statics, Dynamics and collisions, Circular motion, Simple harmonic motion, Kinematics, Electricity, Optics, Heat, and Buoyancy & hydrostatics. Then there are chapters on Mad inventions & perpetual motion and Estimation (This chapter is too short so I recommend that you add Guesstimation 2.0 by Lawrence Weinstein to fill in when you get stuck and need a break). Each problem is labelled with from one to four stars (*) indicating the level of difficulty (Not too difficult to exceptionally hard). I found the stars to be well-chosen. Jump to “The Deadly Game of Puzzle Points” at the end of the book to learn how to build up your score perhaps to reach the level of Expert Puzzlist.

My advice: because you are going to have to get through all of them eventually, start with the single stars. Many of them you will be already familiar with and you will begin to feel good with your successes. The author, however, has a “mean streak” in that he has some single starred puzzles followed by multiple starred extension

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