Mnemonics are memory devices that help learners recollect larger pieces of information, especially in the form of lists like characteristics, steps, stages, parts, phases or even a short song. Mnemonics are useful in various branches of science and mathematics and many new ones are being continuously formulated to make learning and memorizing easy.
This involves the sequence of operations in any simplification problem either in arithmetic or in algebra. The idea is to get the parts inside the brackets done and then the operation of that indicates order comes in. This implies if after the bracket work is complete and we encounter say 7/8 of 192 then it has to be done immediately after the work inside the bracket. Then of course division, multiplication, addition, and subtraction come in that sequence.
So, can you solve this now? Answer in comments.
In trigonometry, the mnemonic ” Add sugar to coffee” helps students remember the positive signs of the trigonometric ratios in different quadrants as will be evident from the following figure.
Here in the first quadrant, all the ratios are positive and this all is indicated by the first letter in the capital in the word ‘add’ placed in quadrant 1. Then in the 2nd quadrant, only sine and its reciprocal are positive and this is being indicated by the capital ‘S’ in the first letter sugar.
Similarly, the first letters (in capital) of the words ‘tTo’ indicate that tan and its reciprocal are positive in quadrant cosine and its reciprocal are positive and this has been indicated by the capital letter ‘C’ of Coffee. A very simple and easy to remember sentence it is but demands some alertness from the student while putting the right word incorrect quadrant. For beginners of trigonometry, the mnemonic ” Some Old Hags Can’t Always Hide Their Old Age” actually contains the clue for the origin trigonometric functions sine, cosine, and tangent, for example, the first letters of the first three words tell us that sine (S) is the ratio of opposite arm (Old) with the hypotenuse (Hags). Cosine (Can’t) is the ratio of adjacent indicated by old age.
3. Colors of the spectrum of white light
‘VIBGYOR’ indicating the seven colors of the sunlight. This has been formed by taking the first letters of the seven colors as they are written in English. Interestingly, exactly similar mnemonics are available in different Indian languages using the first letters of the colors as spelled in that language. In VIBGYOR the colors are placed from lower wavelength to higher wavelength means from Violet to Red through the reverse is not that unfamiliar. So the same information is put in a mnemonics in a different style as ROY G BIV and this is kept in mind with the use of mnemonics ‘ Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain’ where each capital letter i.e. the first letter of each word represents a color in the visible spectrum.
4. Periodic table elements.
Chemists have developed mnemonics to remember the names of the elements following the periodic table arrangement. The first letter of each word of this sentence below provides us the name of the first 10 elements and it is easy to identify as well as remember. It says “Happy Henry Liks Beans But Could Not Order Fresh Nectar”.
Tthe first ten elements of the periodic table come from either the first or the first two letters of the words of the sentence: H (happy) for hydrogen, He (Henry) helium, Li (likes lithium and Be or beryllium is Beans. The next three elements boron, carbon, and nitrogen are given by the words Beans, Could, Not while the; last three elements of this list come from Order (oxygen, O) fresh (fluorine, F) and Nectar (neon, Ne).
5. Earth’s atmosphere.
We know that the atmosphere of the Earth is spread out to a height of about 450 km above the surface of the Earth. We also know that the air gets rare when one gets up to higher altitudes. The weather-related phenomenon occurs within the first four kilometers from the surface of the Earth. For the sake of convenience, there are few imaginary layers of the Earth’s atmosphere designed by scientists and that is quite convenient for the study of weather, air pollution, atmospheric science, telecommunications, aerodynamics and many other related branches of science.
What are the names of these layers? Well, the one closest to the earth is known as Troposphere, then comes Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, Exosphere in that order. The corresponding mnemonic is ” The strong Mnas; triceps explode”. Here the first letter of each word of this sentence is also the first letter of an atmospheric layer in that order.
6. Classification in Life Sciences.
In life sciences, the classification of apparently similar things is very important. After classification, the tracing of different trees and animals become quite easy. There is a hierarchy in this classification that needs to be remembered. So the mnemonic goes like [Limping Dreadfully,] King Phillip Came Over From Great Spain”. Once again let us look at the first letter of each word and the hints lie therein. L gives Life and D the Domain, then Kingdom from K, Phylum from Phillip, Class from Came Order from Over, Family from From, Genus from Great and Species from Spain.
7. Solar planet.
A well known mnemonic “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” had the first letters of the entire solar planet when Pluto was part of the family. Now with the relegation of Pluto to a dwarf planet, the mnemonics has possibly changed to “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos”.
Feature image: pinterest