10 Issues to Avoid When Solving Physics Problems

By Steven Holzner

Part of Physics I Workbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you get stumped working on physics formulas, take a deep breath, and recheck your work. Go through these common physics-problem issues to make sure you have avoided them:

  • Mixing units

  • Expressing the answer in the wrong units

  • Swapping radians and degrees

  • Getting sines and cosines mixed up

  • Failing to treat vectors as vectors

  • Neglecting latent heat

  • Getting refraction angles wrong

  • Getting the signs wrong in Kirchhoff’s loops

  • Adding resistors incorrectly

  • Getting ray diagrams wrong