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Math challenges being solved by more people than the physics ones.

I have noticed that mathematics challenges have been solved by much more people than physics challenges.I'm in level three at both and the number of people having solved maths(algebra) ranges from 300 to 1100 while at physics 600 people have solved the first challenge and only about 50 the other three.Do you think that's because olympiad mathematics are more popular or is brilliant physics harder for people?

Note by Avraam Aneleitos
3 years, 11 months ago

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I'm going to weigh in here, cause I think there is useful insight for our students to be had. Physics is solved less than math because not as many people take it and it is more content based. Hence there are problems that people don't know how to solve yet at the higher levels simply because they may not have gotten to the topic in school. However, for physics at least, that's part of what makes great students - they don't wait for school. You will NEVER learn all you need to know to excel in school. So while everything up to tier 12 or so are high school physics topics (at varying difficulty) the last tiers are reserved for anything goes problems that require students to go above and beyond. However, the information required to solve those problems is, in general, easily found (we don't need to make problems hard by using obscure information).

And, for the moment we plan to keep it this way. Brilliant students are, well, pretty brilliant. But, imho, there's one part of life many in this great community haven't grasped yet. You don't rise to the top by doing things that have already been done. You rise to the top by creating the new and doing things that haven't been done, or better yet, haven't even been thought of yet. So the top end problems for physics are there precisely so that the best students can see hard stuff that isn't in their texts and hasn't been done by thousands of students before them. And I hope that for those problems no one cares that they haven't seen them in school, but instead takes it as a challenge, sits down with online resources or a text, and gets practice figuring out and creating something new that takes them outside their comfort zone.

If you're not a little outside your comfort zone, you aren't improving and aren't on the cutting edge. David Mattingly Staff · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@David Mattingly sir i agree with you completely

i want you to increase the number of problems in physics to atleast 8 Vasanth Balakrishnan · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@David Mattingly I think for overtaking the school problem there should be each content about the problem in Brilliant blog. Rushikesh Jogdand · 3 years, 11 months ago

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One of the reasons may be that some of the physics questions (especially the electromagnetism ones) require a relatively large amount of knowledge, whereas the maths ones tend not to. Given that the people using Brilliant tend to be students, they may not have studied the required topics yet.

I know I personally can't really attempt the last two physics problems this week, as I don't know enough to do so. The first level 3 question is mechanics (which seems to be covered earlier on in schools), which may explain why more people have solved it (though the others may be more difficult too). Clifford Wilmot · 3 years, 11 months ago

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physics is more easier than math

i think brilliant must increase the number of problems in physics atleast to 8 Vasanth Balakrishnan · 3 years, 11 months ago

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I think it's also that because olympiad mathematics are so popular there are many books for people to study so they are more aware of some tricks that they can use.Instead for physics there is not much material about olympiad physics(if there is such a term).To solve the mathematics problems you need to do some "clever algebraic manipulations"(I'm talking about level three, I don't know if more knowledge is necessary in higher levels).In physics there is a much wider range of problem types that you will have to face since there are many different topics covered at each level.However I think that by exposing us to problems of which we don't know the theory, brilliant gives us the chance to explore new concepts of physics.For example although I didn't manage to solve the last problem(the one with the guitar string) I searched and learned some things about waves and I think that's the point. Avraam Aneleitos · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Avraam Aneleitos Regarding "olympiad physics". Google "International Physics Olympiad", "World Physics Olympiad", and "Asian Physics Olympiad". You can find past competition problems with solutions in their websites. Ramon Vicente Marquez · 3 years, 11 months ago

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Also, not everyone is studying science.. :( Aditya Parson · 3 years, 11 months ago

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At least there are 600 at level 1 for Physics. At level 5, there are merely 50 people for Physics. :( Pranav Arora · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Pranav Arora Where did you get this information from? Brock West · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Brock West Because I'm at level 5. :P

50 is a rough estimate, I usually see 30 or less people in the list of Top Scorers. So the condition is much worse. There aren't enough people to complete even the top scorers list. :D Pranav Arora · 3 years, 11 months ago

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Actually I find olympiad mathematics easier as compared to physics because high level physics isn't taught in our schools and I have not joined any coaching institute. Soham Dibyachintan · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Soham Dibyachintan right Superman Son · 3 years, 11 months ago

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physics problems tends to be engineering ones .. they require much knowledge of Engineering Physics and high level math . Abanoub Melad · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Abanoub Melad No, I don't think so. Someone with a knowledge of high school physics can solve them. (Some problems like last ones of level 5 requires some advanced knowledge of the subject.) Pranav Arora · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Pranav Arora Actually people from India and other South Asian countries would find things slightly different from people from European, African or American countries. In India, we study for IIT and other exams and are also taught relatively high level physics, but that is not so in all those other countries, where only very basic physics in taught in high-school.

Personally I find physics are easier than maths, but do require more knowledge. Mirza Baig · 3 years, 11 months ago

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I think it's because olympiad mathematics are more popular. Personally, I find physics easier than math. I started at level 2 in physics, and now I'm at level 5. For math however, I'm stuck at level 3. Ramon Vicente Marquez · 3 years, 11 months ago

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@Ramon Vicente Marquez But you are at 5 for Algebra Rushikesh Jogdand · 3 years, 11 months ago

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I would say that most Olympiad Math questions are easy to understand for people of all ages, but physics has more varied terms and definitions used to solve problems. I for one, prefer math to physics. I don't understand yet what Teslas, Flux and other important terms are. Math in that sense is simpler. Rohan Rao · 3 years, 11 months ago

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I think, physic is not so hard. We can understand it well by understanding the concepts (imagination approved).. But, I am lost time for Physic in a year :( Andrias Yuwantoko · 3 years, 11 months ago

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