Problems for
Intermediate Methods in Theoretical Physics

Edward F. Redish

Foothold Ideas: 1

During the first third of this class we have discussed a number of different topics.

For each of these topics organize what we have learned by identifying a few crucial "foothold ideas" -- general principles that help you make sense of the topic and from which other useful results can be derived. If you include an equation on your list, don't just give an equation. Give an explanation -- a few words saying what the equation represents and under what conditions it is appropriate.

You want this to be your own personal list. If there are results that you find useful that you know can be derived from other ideas -- but only in principle (you couldn't actually do it, say on an exam) -- then include the result. You want the list to be short, not long. That way it will be easier to remember. The items in your lists should make sense to you. They might be phrases (or even paragraphs) rather than equations. You want your list to be as short as possible, but not shorter.


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This page prepared by

Edward F. Redish
Department of Physics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405-6120

Last revision 30. September, 2005.