QUESTION: How should I deal with formulas in mechanical engineering?

Mechanical Engineering has tons of formula. It could be daunting to memorize them. The following techniques will assist you get acquainted with them:

  • Relax: Don’t be apprehensive about it. You will become familiar with all the formulae in no distant time.
  • Learn how to derive the formula: Even though you may not be required to do this in school, learning to derive the formula will not only help you know the final formula. You become acquainted with other formulae used in the derivation.
  • Understand the formula: Analyse the units. Perform dimensional analysis on it. Understand the structure. Learn the symbols. It will stick.
  • Draw diagrams: While studying , draw diagrams. Relate it to the theory you know. Find out sign conventions. Know the variations of the formula.
  • Don’t restort to learning a list of formula : Cramming of formulae can be confusing and counter productive in the long run.
  • Learn. Practice. Repeat. Solving problems will make you get familiar with the formulae.
  • Use memory techniques: You can create a story around the formula.
  • Learn the theory behind it: Understanding the theory can be useful in knowing an engineering formula. For instance , If you know that some factors are directly proportional to a variable, You multiply it. If they are inversely proportional , you divide it.
  • Make use of flash cards: Stick them around. It helps.
  • Find out which formulae you need to memorise: Sometimes , data and formula sheet can be provided by your tutor. It may not contain the basics. All find out from your tutor. I won’t expect my students to memorise the Navier-Stokes equations.

The answer was first published here

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