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Learn Physics Fast

(from someone who can actually explain it)

Chris is a Stanford-educated tutor with over 10 years experience tutoring Physics to students of all abilities, from students struggling to get from a C to a B, to go-getters trying to move an A- up to an A, to struggling students just hoping to pass. In that time he got a lot of experience learning how to explain this stuff in a way it actually makes sense to normal people. Through his videos he has helped countless students, and he can do the same for you.

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Physics

Warning: This is not a full course! This is a collection of physics topics gathered from other courses on the site such as trig, calculus, and chemistry. Chris plans to produce a full physics class in the future, but for now what you see below covers only 20% or so of a typical college or high school physics class.
  1. Units, Sig Figs & General Science Stuff

  2. Scientific Notation

    This chapter covers the basics of scientific notation, both converting it to regular numbers and back again. Decimals, huge numbers, multiplying scientific notation numbers together, positive exponents, negative exponents, "base 10", etc. it's all covered.

  3. Sig Figs & Rounding Decimals

    Sig figs. This chapter will teach them to you, but it's your job to remember to use them in every answer for the rest of the year or you'll lose half your points. Seriously.

  4. Unit Conversions & Dimensional Analysis

    The process of converting units, often called Dimensional Analysis, is one of the most important skills in science, and like sig figs you'll need it for the rest of the year.

  5. Density & Buoyancy

    This chapter covers the general concepts of density and buoyancy, as well as how to calculate density and flotation forces on submerged and floating objects.

  6. Temperature & Absolute Zero

    Converting between degrees Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin. Also covered: absolute zero, and why you always want to use Kelvin for gas problems.

  7. Standard Deviation & The Normal Distribution

    This chapter introduces standard deviation, tells you what the heck it is and how to calculate it, and relates it to the normal distribution.

  8. Percent Error

    Not a long chapter, but one which explains something that's probably on your next lab report.

  9. Motion

  10. Reference Frames & Inertial Frames

    Reference frames are your easiest way to do better in physics (and get some partial credit along the way), so this video introduces what they are and shows you how to draw them in for several types of common kinematics problems.

  11. Relative Motion

    This chapter shows you how to do the most common relative motion problems: moving walkways, boats rowing across current in a river, and planes.

  12. One-Dimensional Motion (Linear Kinematics):
    instantaneous vs average velocity, acceleration, kinematic equations
    V=V0+at        V=V0y+gt X=X0+V0t+½at²       Y=Y0+V0yt+½gt² Vavg=ΔX/Δt        Vavg=(Vi+Vf)/2

    DO NOT skip this chapter unless you are the A+ student in your physics class (every class has one). You'll find lots of videos on how to do "one dimensional" motion problems (either things going straight up and down or straight sideways), and there are also lots of "equation free" videos to help you get used to the concepts, to get you used to the units of acceleration that seem to trip everyone up, to introduce the formulas, and to show you how to work easier problems in your head so that you're less likely to get lost plugging and chugging. The more advanced videos in this chapter get into the formulas also shows you how to do the most common vertical and horizontal kinematics problems: objects dropped off buildings; objects thrown vertically up or down off a building; cars and buses accelerating down the road.

  13. Analyzing Graphs of Acceleration, Velocity & Position

    These videos cover graphs of acceleration, velocity and position in a similar way to how your calculus professor made you sketch the derivative of a function. The key takeaways are that you can use the slope of a curve to sketch its derivative, or you can use the "area under the curve" to plot its integral.

  14. Vectors for Physics:
    component vectors, resultants, magnitude, scalar quantities, combining vectors

    This chapter covers how to do everything you need to do with vectors in physics, but especially the stuff you do constantly: breaking force and velocity vectors into their X & Y components, combining vector components back into a "resultant vector", and combining multiple vectors into one (like to find the net force vector) by breaking each into its components.

  15. Frictionless Kinematic Ramp Problems (No F=ma):
    ramps, skiing, sliding down a slope, acceleration, kinematic equations
    a=g⋅sinΘ

    This chapter covers kinematic ramp problems WITHOUT friction or forces, and most importantly, it explains how to draw those dang triangles for ramp problems, where you have to break g into its X and Y components. Problem types covered are kinematic setups like: A skier heads down a 20° slope, how fast is she going after 30m; or, A box slides down a 15° ramp, how long does it take to reach the bottom? If you're using F=ma to solve all kinds of free body diagram situations on ramps, then look for the ramps videos further down.

  16. Vector Motion In A Plane (aka X-Y Vector Kinematics with i, j)

    Your class might not cover this, so make sure you have to know this before watching these videos, because this is an annoying topic. Basically it's 2-D kinematics, kind of like you would find in the projectiles chapter, except EVERYTHING is a vector with i's and j's in it, and EVERYTHING is pointlessly confusing! It's like your prof and book went out of their way to make 2-D motion as obscure and abstract as possible. Makes you wonder if they're out to get you. (Before this chapter, I would have said they aren't, but after this chapter, I'm not sure...)

  17. Projectile Motion
    (Kinematics)

    This chapter covers Kinematics, which is the equations of motion used in problems about flying objects. One-dimensional and two-dimensional gravity problems, range, vector components of velocity, etc.

  18. Work Done By A Force

    Work by a constant or variable force: gravity, expanding gas, friction, efficiency, power. Also fun explanations of what the heck work is, and how to figure out what these problems are even asking!

  19. Centroids & Center of Mass

    The first two videos in this chapter cover finding center of mass of one-dimensional and two-dimensional (2-D) systems without using calculus, then the final video covers using integrals.

  20. Fluid Pressure & Forces

    This chapter covers the basics of pressure and the forces that pressure can exert on a surface, then it gets into using integrals to find the pressure on a vertical surface (plate, window, etc.).

  21. Gas Laws

  22. Intro to Gases

    This chapter explains Kinetic Molecular Theory (KMT), defines pressure & density, and explains how molar volume and molar density at STP (22.4 liters) can make problems really short.

  23. Effusion & Diffusion

    This topic almost always comes in the form of questions about the rate of effusion and rate of diffusion.

  24. Gas Laws

    Ideal Gas Law, Combined Gas Law, Boyle's Law, Charles' Law, Gay-Lussac's Law, and how to tell them apart.

  25. Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures

    This chapter explains partial pressures, and works the most common types of problems.

  26. Atoms & Quantum Mechanics

  27. History of Atoms

    The history of how scientists figured out that these things called "atoms" consist of a clump of protons with electrons orbiting: Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment, "plum pudding" model, and Bohr.

  28. Isotopes & Mass Numbers

    This chapter explains isotopes, the most common problem types, and percent composition.

  29. Electron Configurations & Orbital Diagrams

    Also covered are Hund's Rule, the Pauli Exclusion Principle, and shortcuts you can use to streamline electronic configurations.

  30. Quantum Numbers

    Sort of like the quantum version of x-y coordinates for electrons, these four coordinates give the shell, orbital type, sub-orbital and spin of every electron in an atom (Pauli Exclusion Principle).

  31. Photons & Light

    This chapter covers wavelength, frequency, electromagnetic spectrum (E&M), Planck's constant, energy of photons, and electron volts (eV, keV).

  32. Absorption & Emission Spectra

    This chapter explains how to calculate the energy, wavelength and frequency of photons which can be absorbed or emitted by electrons in hydrogen, using orbital energies or Rydberg's equation.

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