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Solutions to Problems in:

Solutions to Physics Problems

Disclaimer: These "solutions" are my own personal unprofessional attempts at solving the problems. They are officially sanctioned neither by the textbook authors nor by anybody else in particular, they have for the most part not been checked for errors, and, if past precedent is any guide, there is every reason to believe that many of them are dead wrong. If you find errors, please let me know.

I started working out problems like these after college, when I was working as a circuit designer and started to get nostalgiac for my days in school studying physics. I think I might have had some sort of silly notion that if I solved all the problems in Jackson, Goldstein, Peskin & Schroeder, and the other canonical texts, then I would somehow magically become a physicist capable of contributing original scientific work without ever having to spend six years being a broke and disrespected grad student. So then I figured that if I pursued this route and started showing up at conferences and publishing journal papers without any official academic credentials then the other scientists might start to get suspicious and would demand to know just who I was and why I was purporting to know something about their field, at which point it would be convenient to have reams of complete typed-out solutions to Goldstein and Jackson problems to whip out as evidence that I was a respectable and competent physicist and that they should take me seriously.

Right. Well, I had a lot of crazy ideas when I was 23. Having now been thoroughly disabused of any notions of bypassing six years of poverty and disrespect en route to becoming a professional physicist, I find myself, sure enough, in grad school, and thus not necessarily in need of reams of typed-out Jackson solutions to show people as proof of anything. But actually I still find it kind of useful to work out problems like these, and to draw up the solutions in LaTeX. For one thing, on some of the longer calculations it's easy to lose signs and terms and whatnot if you're just scribbling on scratch paper, and in the middle of a calculation I find myself forever rederiving equations because I couldn't quite read my writing three pages back, whereas if I derive that equation once correctly and put it in the LaTeX document then it's correct and accurate and set in stone and you can refer back to it many times and it will still be right.

Another virtue to writing down solutions is that other people can read them and tell me where I made mistakes. If you find mistakes, please let me know.

Here are some links to other physics problems pages.


Homer Reid's Solutions to Physics Problems, by Homer Reid
Last Modified: 11/16/16