Dr Anson Cheung
Part III General Physics Advice
Enjoy this moment in your physics career: now is the moment when you
will be able to see the whole picture and survey from a mountain how much you really understand. With a few principles, which you should
revise and practise, you can understand large tracts of the universe. Take a deep breath and admire. The paper is there to focus your mind and
let you look at your achievements. Treat it as a distraction from resynthesising and reorganising your knowledge.
1. Don't panic - The idea of a synoptic paper isn't to have in-depth
knowledge of the whole of physics. It is about knowing general principles.
2. Construct a mind-map or spider diagram of the fundamental quantities
and ideas in each course and try to distil general principles into a master mind-map of the whole of physics. You will find that you it will
fit onto an A4 sheet.
3. Try not to cram. The exam will never ask for details beyond key
equations. In the course of revision, you should know fewer facts rather than more.
4. You should have greater confidence in your knowledge and abilities because you wouldn't have gotten this far without it!
5. If you didn't understand something from before, say rigid body motion
at Part IB, then let it slide. You won't have the time to gain deep understanding now.
6. Spend your time practising past exam questions first without your
notes. Go back afterwards with your notes to fill in the gaps.
7. Do not spend time memorising additional bookwork. Everything should be derivable or otherwise given to you.
8. The questions are not designed to catch you out, but rather
demonstrate general understanding. If you are stuck, outline how in principle you would solve the problem. It might be a simple matter of
your forgetting the precise form of an equation and not misunderstanding its meaning.
9. Use the examples classes to pace your revision and as an avenue to ask questions.
10. Enjoy the process! Have fun playing with ideas.
Part II Thermal and Statistical Physics
Part IA Gravitational and electromagnetic fields
Arrangements for Easter 2011
14.30-15.30: Lesourd and Willetts
15.45-16.45: Bennett and Selvi
17.00-18.00: Skilbeck and Song