The Language of Physics
Physics is a word that scares most people, adults and students alike. One of the major reasons many people are afraid of physics is the mathematics involved. But, you have been using physics for years, you just didn't realize it. You don't have to master mathematics to understand most basic physics concepts. However, mathematics is the language for physics.
Mathematics is a very special language. The symbols act as punctuation, the numbers are the letters or words and how they go together is like grammar rules. The grammar of mathematics is trickier than the grammar of English, though. If you have bad grammar in English, you won't get good grades, but people will probably still understand what you are trying to say. However, if you have poor grammar in mathematics you may not get your point across. All meaning will be lost.
The need to be so careful is probably the reason why many people think mathematics is hard, but isn't really. You just have to be careful, don’t rush yourself and determine whether your answer makes sense.
Mathematics is very important to physics. With mathematics, you can not only communicate the concepts you understand to others, but you can predict new things that you don't have personal experience with yet. Mathematics is a powerful tool.
Just remember, when you learn the language of physics, you want to learn the grammar. Learning individual equations without knowing why they work is like going to a foreign country with a phrase book but not knowing the language. You don't understand what you say, and you could say something completely wrong and not even know it. Plus, you won't know how to say anything that isn't in your phrase book.
By learning some of the concepts of physics first, when you do learn the equations that go with the concepts, you will have a better chance of understanding what the mathematics means.
“Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater.” –Albert Einstein