200 Puzzling Physics Problems grew out of the experience of physicists P. Gnadig, G. Honyek and K. F. Riley. It follows the spirit of problem-solving with some elegant brain-work and slick physical arguments. The book is published by Cambridge University Press in 2001.
The book contains 200 interesting problems. Some are invented by the authors, others are from the Hungarian "Secondary School Mathematics and Physics Papers" which span more than 100 years. Problems and ideas from various Hungarian and international physics contests, as well as the Cambridge Colleges’ entrance examination, have also been used.
This book is strongly recommended for physics olympiad. It has limited unitility for IIT-JEE due to nature of its problems. The problems in this book are of the same type as in Aptitude Test Problems in Physics by SS Krotov.
The book focuses on classical physics with more emphasis on mechanics. Problems from other topics such as electrodynamics, thermodynamics are treated as well. The book tests a physicist and his ability to reason. It is meant for the exceptional high school student, the good undergraduate and the competent graduate student.
The majority of the problems are not easy. You should try to solve the problems on your own to get the greatest pleasure. If you are unable to achieve this, you should not give up, but turn to the relevant page of the short hints chapter. In most cases this will help, though it will not give the complete solution, and the details still have to be worked out. Once you have done this and want to check your result (or if you have completely given up and only want to see the solution), the last chapter should be consulted.
In the words of Vivek Lohani, “the book is a problem primer on classical physics, a gymnasium for those who like to flex muscles in their brain and a must for people participating in physics contests, such as the physics olympiads!”
This text will strengthen a student's ability to apply the laws of physics to practical situations and problems that yield more easily to intuitive insight than to complex mathematics. The mathematical prerequisites are minimal and do not go beyond elementary calculus. This intriguing book of physics problems will prove instructive, challenging and fun.
Brief hints and full answers are provided for every problem so that students can obtain as much or as little help as they need
You can buy 200 Puzzling Physics Problems at Amazon.
A sequel to this book "200 More Puzzling Physics Problems" is published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. You can download pdf from archive.org or buy 200 More Puzzling Physics Problems from Amazon.
Peter Gnadig graduated as a physicist from Roland Eotvos University (ELTE) in Budapest in 1971 and received his PhD in theoretical particle physics there in 1980. Since 1985 he has been one of the leaders of the Hungarian Olympic team taking part in the International Physics Olympiad. He is also the Physics Editor of KOMAL, the 100-year-old Hungarian Mathematical and Physical Journal of Secondary Schools, which publishes several challenging physics problems each month, as well as one of the organisers of the formidable Hungarian Physics competition (the Eotvos Competition).
Gyula Honyek graduated as a physicist from Eotvos University (ELTE) in Budapest in 1975 and finished his PhD studies there in 1977. Since 1986 he has been one of the leaders and selectors of the Hungarian team taking part in the International Physics Olympiad. He is also a member of the editorial board of KOMAL. As a co-author of a physics textbook series for Hungarian secondary schools, he has wide experience of teaching physics at all levels.
Ken Riley read mathematics at the University of Cambridge and proceeded to a PhD there in theoretical and experimental nuclear physics.