Aptitude Test Problems in Physics by SS Krotov

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Aptitude Test Problems in Physics by SS Krotov

Science for Everyone: Aptitude Test Problems in Physics by SS Krotov was published by MIR publishers (Russia) in 1988. The book contains 250 problems and their solutions. These problems were meant for the Moscow physics olympiad. The problems are divided into four sections - mechanics, heat and molecular physics, electricity and magnetism, and optics. The problems are mostly non-standard and need an intuitive approach (aptitude test).

How to Get this Book?

Download pdf from archive.org or buy from Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

The solutions are given in the book itself. These solutions are detailed and explains all the critical points. Video solutions by Y Kumar on YouTube are good.

Krotov is more relevant for the physics olympiad than IIT JEE. The problems in this book are of puzzle type and needs a lot of thinking and imagination to solve them. Learn more.

Irodov is better than Krotov for IIT JEE. The problems in Irodov has a balance between concepts and intuitive skills. There are 1800 problems in Irodov as compared to 250 in Krotov. Read detailed comparison.

Key Features

The book contains non-standard physics problems. Most of the problems are of puzzle type and needs a lot of thinking and imagination to solve them. The emphasis is given to analytical thinking and not on mathematical rigour. The problems can be solved without advanced mathematical skills like calculus etc. The problems in this book are usually considered tough. Many of them need out-of-the box thinking.

Solutions of SS Krotov

The solutions to all problems are given in the book itself. The solutions are detailed and explain all the critical points. The solutions provide the author's perspective and help in learning something new from every problem. However, conceptual clarity is a prerequisite to understand these solutions.

To see solutions by others, try a google search. See video solutions to Krotov's problems by Y Kumar (YouTube). These solutions are good but the video quality is mediocre. Download solutions of SS Krotov in PDF (archive.org).

Irodov vs Krotov

This is a frequently asked question by IIT JEE/ IPhO aspirants. Given below is a reasonably good comparison of I.E. Irodov and S.S. Krotov.

Irodov Krotov
Topics-wise problems
Mechanics 388 116
Heat and Molecular 257 42
Electromagnetism 407 62
Optics 292 20
Oscillations and Waves 224 nil
Atomic and Nuclear 310 nil
Total 1878 250
Type of Problems
Standard/non-standard mix non-standard
Mathematical skills high low
Intuitive skills low high
Solutions no yes
More relevant for IIT JEE olympiad

The problems in Irodov has a balance between concepts and skills. Krotov is more biased towards skills/tricks. The problems in Irodov need more mathematical rigour (calculus etc) whereas it is not so in Krotov. The problems in Krotov are more analytical, they need more thinking (intuition, imaginative skills, out of the box thinking).

Irodov has a mixture of standard problems (problems that strengthen your concepts) as well as non-standard problems (puzzling and tricky problems that polish your problem solving skills). Krotov has a collection of non-standard problems.

It is a general perception that problems in Krotov are tough as compared to that in Irodov. This perception depends on the individual’s liking, inherent capability, and training. I personally feel that problems in Krotov are slightly more conceptual and difficult as compared to that in Irodov.

Both books have great problems, some of which can blow your mind. These books cater to one's love for problem solving in Physics. If you are preparing for IIT-JEE then always keep an eye on the syllabus. Many questions in these books are out of JEE syllabus.

Relevance of Krotov for JEE

This is another FAQ by IIT JEE aspirants. In JEE (Advanced), problems are formulated to test conceptual clarity. The emphasis is given to the concepts, although there are few problems on aptitude as well (IIT JEE 1995 and JEE Advanced 2016 are famous for tricky problems).

The intuitive/imaginative skills can be polished through problem solving. This needs a lot of practice and time. Remember, the concepts are limited in numbers but problems are not. A balanced and step-by-step approach is likely to give better results. My advice for IIT-JEE aspirants is:

  1. For conceptual clarity and standard problems: use HC Verma/ Resnick
  2. For problem solving skills: use Irodov, previous year problems, or similar
  3. For tricky/intuitive problems: use Krotov or similar (last option)

JEE aspirants should give preference to Irodov over Krotov. If you have enough time or you are looking forward to the physics olympiad then use both books (Krotov was originally meant for theoretical problems in Moscow Physics olympiad). In Krotov, you may give a try to questions on mechanics and electromagnetism. Most of the questions in heat and optics are out of JEE syllabus. As I said earlier, always keep an eye on the syllabus. Many questions in these books are out of JEE syllabus.

Remember, JEE doesn't require you to become a master of just physics (you've got maths and chemistry to take care of as well) and you've got limited time (you've gotta have some time for fun as well).

Many times, unable to solve tricky problems may bring your morale down. Hence, this book is not recommended for JEE Mains, NEET, AIIMS and Board exams.

Finally, it boils down to your ambition, inherent capabilities, and perseverance. Be realistic and have fun!

Biography of S.S. Krotov

SS Krotov

S.S. Krotov was Russian physicist well known for his book "Aptitude Test Problems in Physics". He was born in 1948. He received a Ph.D. degree in Physics and Mathematics from the V.A. Steklov Institute of Mathematics. He was a professor in physics department of Moscow State University. Dr. Krotov published many research papers and books. He specializes in physics of magnetism and ferroelectricity. Dr. Krotov was member of many committees including vice chairman of International Commission on Physics Education (IUPAP Commission 14). S.S. Krotov Page at Moscow State University (in Russian).

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