Coming up with Your Own Effective Physics Mnemonics

Posted on: 20 July 2018

As you progress in your studies, you may find that the number of terms and concepts you must memories are enormous. Even worse is how you may not remember certain facts accurately. To overcome this problem, you will want to use whatever tools will help you memorize these concepts. 

Why Mnemonics Work

Mnemonic writing is a memorization tool that has served students for decades. Historically, mnemonics have been spread through rhymes and proverbs. However, it isn't that difficult to come up with some of your own. This is especially important for information that mostly can only be conveyed through text. 

Evoking the Right Mental Image

The best mnemonics are those that rely on words that evoke pleasant memories. The brain has a tendency to want to block out unpleasant concepts. For example, using acronyms based on desserts can help you remember certain concepts. "Good Honey Tastes Sweet", is a mnemonic used to help students remember Gibb's free energy formula: (delta)G = H - T(delta)S. Try to use words that are vivid, colorful and easily evoke sensory images.

Rude and Silly Mnemonics

If you are having a difficult time coming up with a pleasant mnemonic, an alternative is to come up with a rude-sounding one. Rude mnemonics are also easy to remember. Make sure to exaggerate. Funny or silly mnemonics are also easier to remember. For example: "Roman Men Invented Very Unusual X-Ray Guns," can be used to help you remember radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays and gamma rays. This is the order of increasing frequency of electromagnetic waves. 

Harnessing Your Senses

When you try to create a sensory image to help you remember a concept, make sure to think of the image in three dimensions. If the object is moving, it'll be easier to visualize it. 

Setting It to Music

If you are musically inclined, think of a way that you can turn your physics homework into a song. Song lyrics that rhyme are much easier to remember and can be a more fun way to learn. This is the reason why advertisers often rely on jingles to help customers remember their products. 

Brainstorming Mnemonics for Fun and Profit

A fun way to come up with mnemonics is to gather friends together to have a study session. There, you can have a contest to see who can come up with the best mnemonics, since multiple heads are better than one. 

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