Building on the research-proven instructional techniques introduced in Knight’s Physics for Scientists and Engineers, the most widely adopted new physics text in more than 30 years, College Physics: A Strategic Approach set a new standard for algebra-based introductory physics–gaining widespread critical acclaim from professors and students alike.
For the Second Edition, Randy Knight, Brian Jones, and Stuart Field continue to apply the best results from educational research, and refine and tailor them for this course and the particular needs of its students. New pedagogical features (Chapter Previews, Integrated Examples, and Part Summary problems) and fine-tuned and streamlined content take the hallmarks of the First Edition—exceptionally effective conceptual explanation and problem-solving instruction—to a new level. More than any other book, College Physics leads students to proficient and long-lasting problem-solving skills, a deeper and better-connected understanding of the concepts, and a broader picture of the relevance of physics to their chosen career and the world around them.
College Physics, Second Edition, is accompanied by MasteringPhysics™— the most advanced, educationally effective, and widely used online physics tutorial and homework system in the world.
Table of contents
I. FORCE AND MOTION
1. Representing Motion
2. Motion in One Dimension
3. Vectors and Motion In Two Dimensions
4. Forces and Newton’s Laws of Motion
5. Applying Newton’s Laws
6. Circular Motion, Orbits, and Gravity
7. Rotational Motion
8. Equilibrium and Elasticity
II. CONSERVATION LAWS
10. Energy and Work
11. Using Energy
III. PROPERTIES OF MATTER
12. Thermal Properties of Matter
IV. OSCILLATIONS AND WAVES
15. Traveling Waves and Sound
16. Superposition and Standing Waves
17. Wave Optics
18. Ray Optics
19. Optical Instruments
VI. ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM
20. Electric Fields and Forces
21. Electrical Potential
22. Current and Resistance
24. Magnetic Fields and Forces
25. Electromagnetic Induction and Electromagnetic Waves
26. AC Electricity
VII. MODERN PHYSICS
28. Quantum Physics
29. Atoms and Molecules
30. Nuclear Physics
New to this edition
- Chapter Previews at the start of each chapter are based on the educational psychology concept of an “advance organizer.” This illustrated preview ties upcoming ideas to existing knowledge, sets them in context, and explains their utility—providing a simple and accessible base upon which students can build their understanding.
- Integrated Examples at the end of each chapter demonstrate problem-solving in the context of a capstone, multi-concept real-world scenario. They are designed to help students to bridge the gap from section-based worked examples in the chapter to general homework problems spanning the whole chapter, or many chapters.
- Part Summary integrated problems close each of the seven parts of the book. These take student problem-solving one step further by covering topics that span several chapters—something the MCAT routinely does.
- Fine-tuning of the chapter content throughout streamlines and focuses the text, in response to adopter feedback.
- Increased emphasis is placed on ratio reasoning in the text, examples, and in the end-of-chapter sections.
Features & benefits
STRATEGIC PROBLEM-SOLVING INSTRUCTION
College Physics builds students’ problem-solving abilities and confidence—starting with basic skills and core concepts, using explicit and systematic problem-solving strategies, and carefully progressing to more advanced and wide-ranging problems. Students learn how to visualize problems first and then solve them–instead of just looking for a similar example that they can minimally modify.
- A consistent three-step approach provides a problem-solving framework throughout the book: Students learn to analyze a problem from several qualitative perspectives and plan the solution (in the PREPARE step) before treating it mathematically (SOLVE) and then analyzing their result (ASSESS).
- Detailed problem-solving strategies for different topics are developed throughout the book, each one built on the PREPARE/SOLVE/ASSESS framework.
- Tactics Boxes give explicit procedures for developing specific skills (drawing free-body diagrams, using ray tracing, etc.).
- Worked examples follow the three-step strategies and include careful explanations of the underlying, and often unstated, reasoning.
- Conceptual examples build students’ qualitative reasoning skills. They follow a REASON and then ASSESS strategy (no math is involved and so a SOLVE step is not needed).
- Explicit instruction, particularly on figures, is provided to help the student translate back and forth between different representations—such as verbal, pictorial, graphical, and mathematical descriptions.
- The Student Workbook provides straightforward confidence- and skill-building exercises.
THOUGHTFULLY CRAFTED RELEVANCE
Interesting and wide-ranging applications—from biology, technology, sports, and medicine, carefully woven into the text, give students motivational examples of how physics will help them in their chosen careers—and in understanding the world around them.
- Many Examples and end-of-chapter problems are set in the context of an interesting real-world scenario.
- Try It Yourself activities throughout the text provide students with simple real-world experiments, designed to reinforce an idea through direct experience.
- Free-standing applications with photographs and short captions are provided in the margin to connect the physical principles with the real world.
The authors directly address students’ preconceptions, misconceptions, and common stumbling blocks–guiding students to a solid foundational knowledge of connected concepts and to confidence in applying their understanding.Throughout, the text carefully guides students away from their known preconceptions, and around common sticking points (often unstated or under-explained in conventional texts).
- Based on the most recent educational research, the text takes exceptional care to guide students through what they need to know. It is complete, concise, and well worded.
- NOTE paragraphs target the many details (including math-related skills) that often cause students the most trouble.
- Stop to Think questions at the end of a section encourage active thought over passive reading. Using proven techniques from cognitive science, they are designed to help students discover and overcome their misconceptions. Answers are provided at the end of the chapter.
- Math relationship boxes discuss in detail the key mathematical relationships that are most common in this course, giving textual, graphical, and algebraic representations, and tips on how to reason with limiting cases, etc. Icons in the text refer back to the relevant math box when the relationship reoccurs between key physical variables, helping students see connections in the mathematical forms they need to use, and reason with physical relationships.
College Physics is a highly readable, accessible text—building from familiar and concrete examples, providing a carefully structured learning path, and employing key ideas from educational research into how visual pedagogy can be used to help make physics more accessible. Research shows that today’s students need an engaging presentation that starts from concrete examples and carefully works to abstract concepts, making connections and guiding understanding.
- New concepts are introduced through observations about the real world and theories grounded by making sense of observations. This inductive approach illustrates how science operates, and has been shown to improve student learning.
- Each chapter begins with a roadmap of the chapter ahead (see “Chapter Previews” below) so that students can focus on the key upcoming ideas; Looking Back references allow them to see key connections with earlier ideas.
- Unique visual chapter summaries help students organize their knowledge in a coherent hierarchy, rather than a jumbled set of disconnected facts, figures, and equations.
- Throughout, key ideas from educational research and proven techniques from cognitive science drive a unique approach to figures (e.g. annotation directly on figures, simplified use of color, little extraneous detail) to make physics more accessible.
Randy Knight has taught introductory physics for 25 years at Ohio State University and California Polytechnic University, where he is currently Professor of Physics. Randy received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics before joining the faculty at Ohio State University. It was at Ohio State, under the mentorship of Professor Leonard Jossem, that he began to learn about the research in physics education that, many years later, led to Five Easy Lessons: Strategies for Successful Physics Teaching, Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach, and now to this book. Randy’s research interests are in the field of lasers and spectroscopy. When he’s not in the classroom or in front of a computer, you can find Randy hiking, sea kayaking, playing the piano, or spending time with his wife Sally and their seven cats.
Brian Jones has won several teaching awards at Colorado State University during his 17 years teaching in the Department of Physics. His teaching focus in recent years has been the College Physics class, including writing problems for the MCAT exam and helping students review for this test. Brian is also Director of the Little Shop of Physics, the Department’s engaging and effective hands-on outreach program, which has merited coverage in publications ranging from the APS News to People magazine. Brian has been invited to give workshops on techniques of science instruction throughout the United States and internationally, including Belize, Chile, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan and Slovenia. Previously, he taught at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College in Mbabane, Swaziland, and Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Brian and his wife Carol have dozens of fruit trees and bushes in their yard, including an apple tree that was propagated from a tree in Isaac Newton’s garden, and they have traveled and camped in most of the United States.
Stuart Field has been interested in science and technology his whole life. While in school he built telescopes, electronic circuits, and computers. After attending Stanford University, he earned a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, where he studied the properties of materials at ultralow temperatures. After completing a postdoctoral position at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, he held a faculty position at the University of Michigan. Currently at Colorado State University, Stuart teaches a variety of physics courses, including algebra-based introductory physics, and was an early and enthusiastic adopter of Knight’s Physics for Scientists and Engineers. Stuart maintains an active research program in the area of superconductivity. His hobbies include woodworking; enjoying Colorado’s great outdoors; and ice hockey, where he plays goalie for a local team.