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Poor Physics

I think Physics is not fairly represented on this site. Many problems under mechanics are actually thermodynamics or Quantim physics (elementary). We need to break the topics up into Mechanics which only deals with motion of particles and foces. This could be relativistic at the higher levels.

Quantum mechanics is a different subject and should be its own topic. It starts from simple modern physics with the wave-particle duality and develops into calculating cross sections of interactions and other issues in quantum physics. Solid state physics can easily fit here.

Thermodynamics is a different topic altogether and relates to the development of the action of macroscopic quantities from the action of microscopic elements.

Electricity and magnetism are butchered on the site. We really need more focus on electromagnetics and electrodynamics at the higher levels. All levels that currently held are actually basic E&M theory. I would say levels one and two in the subject. MAxwell's equations and solutions to them should play a part from levels 3 onwards.

If others feel the same or would like to add their opinions please do so. I would love to hear from the site on how we can improve the representation of Physics on the site.

Thank you for indulging me.

Note by Hatim Zaghloul
2 years, 9 months ago

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I agree with you on the part that the Physics section should be broken into more subdivisions. But, regarding the Electromagnetism topic, I really don't think its a good idea to get into Maxwell's equations and its solutions, because if you have been an active member of Brilliant, you would have certainly noticed the quantity of users in the age range of 12-17 years. And since Maxwell's equations appear in the syllabus for students at a much later stage, it would be appropriate to limit this section to where it currently is.

Moreover, I really don't think that the quality of the problems in E&M section are bad. Some of them, such as Interaction between a point charge and a ring, Equal Charges may attract, Where does the particle stop, and Connecting wires end-to-end are brilliantly designed problems.

I might also add that solving the Maxwell's equations require the knowledge of Divergence, Curl, and Gradient etc, which also is a bit advanced concept in context of Calculus. Anish Puthuraya · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Anish Puthuraya Maybe creating a level 6, to the level of difficulty u are asking for, previously @David Mattingly created some really interesting problems, but physics on brilliant has dried up Beakal Tiliksew · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Beakal Tiliksew Yup, even though the quality of the problems reshared by the staff is good, they are seldom done so. Anish Puthuraya · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Anish Puthuraya Agreed. Problems in Quantum Mechanics uses a great deal of differential equations and linear algebra... Linear algebra is generally taught in specialist maths ("top maths level" for high school in Aus) but it is also taught at uni level (of course, in more detail). It requires a good bit of knowledge of those things as well. It must be reasonably hard to create problems at that level as well. Although, personally... it'd be fun. :P Vishnuram Leonardodavinci · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Anish Puthuraya My physics is not that good, but do problems on the physics section require the knowledge of calculus to solve? Or non-of them are calculus-based problem? Christopher Boo · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Christopher Boo Physics uses calculus to solve some advanced problems. In high school, kids learn calculus but sometimes (rare cases, not sure actually) they don't apply it that much. So people forget some bits on vector calculus. And physics is hard to do without calculus. So in essence, physics and calculus are complementary. Calculus is kinda like a tool used in physics. :-0 ~_~ Vishnuram Leonardodavinci · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Vishnuram Leonardodavinci Yes I agree, in my high-school you must first take physics without calculus approach meaning only elementary algebra which sucks but you get to take it in 11 grade.By the way what grade are you in you seem to solve level 5 mechanics problem. Mardokay Mosazghi · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Mardokay Mosazghi Yeah... I find calculus kind of connects with physics when you do it together... I'm technically a uni student now. :-0 Vishnuram Leonardodavinci · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Vishnuram Leonardodavinci Seeing that you have solved the problem, could you post the solution to Does smooth or rough really matter? Anish Puthuraya · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Anish Puthuraya Yeah, sure... I'll try my best writing one. (y) Vishnuram Leonardodavinci · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Vishnuram Leonardodavinci Wew done... Took a few hours. But there. (y) Vishnuram Leonardodavinci · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Christopher Boo Not all problems involve Calculus. But, it certainly makes the problem a lot more interesting and should be in a class of its own.

If you notice carefully, you might see that most Level 1 and 2 problems (in Physics, of course) are straight-forward and require very little/no knowledge of Calculus, while, Level 3,4,5 problems involve much Calculus (especially Integral Calculus), which is the reason why I love both Physics and Calculus. You just can't keep Calculus out of the game! Anish Puthuraya · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Anish Puthuraya I disagree, I think some high school students are ready to tackle that sort of material, even if all of it would fall under level 5 stuff. For instance, I took a course on edX on quantum computing last year and passed (I am a junior in high school now). I also know of several other students in my district who have taken multi variable calculus as a sophomore. I mean, this site has stuff on the riemann zeta function, and Im fairly sure that is well beyond high school level stuff :P Kesavan Kushalnagar · 2 years, 9 months ago

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I think there should be more problems shared by the Brilliant staff (just like in mathematics). Karthik Kannan · 2 years, 9 months ago

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I agree to you on this point.The mechanics section on brilliant contains more of electricity and thermodynamics problems .There are very few problems on Kinematics and Dynamics and they are of lower levels.Only few are of higher levels.I love to solve physics problems especially on dynamics which include forces and Newton laws. Their must be some interesting and complicated problems on it.

I would like brilliant staff to put up more problems on physics,those which are complicated and challenging. Tanmay Agarwal · 2 years, 9 months ago

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The whole problem is that Brilliant is targeted at students preparing for college, so that the first thing you see in the Home Page are topics that you'd find in advanced pre-college classes. I applaud the steadily increasing inclusion of college level subjects, but I think that calls for a home page of its own. Physics alone has a great many subjects, having them all in the home page with the "elementary" math subjects would make things a bit cluttered for those still trying master the latter. And then we have astronomy, engineering, economics, biology, and perhaps medical? I haven't seen much here about medical science, but certainly it's a fast-moving technological front. To have them all here in Brilliant is a huge, ambitious undertaking, making for a sort of a Brilli-Wikipedia, where you answer questions instead of looking them up. Give the Brilliant staff time to figure out how this can be done and implemented. Michael Mendrin · 2 years, 5 months ago

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@Michael Mendrin I don't like the physics problems on this site. They are either elementary or arbitrarily hard. I like questions that make me think (and are challenging) but not worry about too many conditions. Steven Zheng · 2 years, 5 months ago

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Check out my set called Problems in Modern Physics! the set contains mainly quantum mechanics and thermal physics from a statistical mechanics stance. Steven Zheng · 2 years, 5 months ago

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I feel, nowadays the lv of physics problems (which can be solved using basic theory of em and mech) has come down tremendously. Good Lv 4- 5 problems are hardly seen. And regarding maxwell eq, diffraction, relativity, quantum mech, etc. they should be encouraged (as brilliant doesn't restrict us to think only basic stuff) and they may be put under a section "Advanced/Higher Physics" :) Chandramouli Chowdhury · 2 years, 9 months ago

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I think you have a really fantastic idea. When I first joined this site, Mechanics didn't really stick out to me to be physics. Mechanics like you said is pretty much everything bundled up not one thing. This should definitely be changed because plenty of people like you think that there are so much more to physics than what is normally shown. Plus, I don't really think that the level of difficulty would be a problem like maxwells equation. Mainly because we might not have people that learn that in school, but most of the younger people on the website have enough of a thirst for knowledge to pursue learning before there grade level with the resources that they have. I learned maxwells equation and it's importance a while ago, sadly forgot it.😋 Robert Fritz · 2 years, 9 months ago

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@Robert Fritz Maybe... if people (not just staff) who know the topics quite well can write notes on things like dot products and things covered in vector calculus. I find that it might take time but it should be achievable. Vishnuram Leonardodavinci · 2 years, 9 months ago

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