Fluency with physics fundamentals and problem-solving has a collateral effect on students by enhancing their analytical reasoning skills. In a sense, physics is to intellectual pursuits what strength training is to sports.
Designed for a two-semester algebra-based course, Essential Physics provides a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of physics central to many fields. It omits material often found in much larger texts that cannot be covered in a year-long course and is not needed for non-physics majors. Instead, this text focuses on providing a solid understanding of basic physics and physical principles. While not delving into the more specialized areas of the field, the text thoroughly covers mechanics, electricity and magnetism, light, and modern physics.
This book is appropriate for a course in which the goals are to give the students a grasp of introductory physics and enhance their analytical problem-solving skills. Each topic includes worked examples. Math is introduced as necessary, with some applications in biology, chemistry, and safety science also provided. If exposure to more applications, special topics, and concepts is desired, this book can be used as a problem-solving supplement to a more inclusive text.
Systems of Units, Significant Figures, Coordinate Systems, and Vectors Systems of Units Conversion of Units Significant Figures Scientific Notation Trigonometry Coordinate Systems Vectors Addition and Subtraction of Vectors Guideline for Determining the Direction of the Resultant Motion in One Dimension Displacement Average Velocity Average Speed Instantaneous Velocity Acceleration Equations of Motion Free-Falling Object Two-Dimensional Motion and Circular Motion Displacement, Velocity, and Acceleration Equations of Motion in Two Dimensions Projectile Motion Uniform Circular Motion Linear Velocity, Angular Velocity, Period, and Frequency Nonuniform Circular Motion Newton's Laws: Implications and Applications Statement of Newton's Laws Discussion of Newton's Laws of Motion Free Body Diagram Remarks on the Application of Newton's Second and Third Laws Newton's Gravitational Law Mass, Weight, and Newton's Gravitational Law Newton's Third Law and Apparent Weight Dynamics of a Uniform Circular Motion Newton's Laws: Friction in Linear and Circular Motions Frictional Forces Banked Roads Work and Energy Work Work-Energy Theorem Conservative Forces Potential Energy Nonconservative Forces and the Total Mechanical Energy Power Linear Momentum and Collision Systems of Particles Motion of the Center of Mass Linear Momentum of a System of Particles Collisions and Change in Linear Momentum Impulse Collisions in Two Dimensions Types of Collision Rotational Motion Angular Kinematic Quantities Rotational Motion in a Plane Torque Rigid Body Moment of Inertia Parallel Axis Theorem Equilibrium of a Rigid Body Angular Momentum Rotational Kinetic Energy A Rigid Body in Translational and Rotational Motions Total Mechanical Energy of a Rigid Body Simple Harmonic Motion Hooke's Law Potential Energy of a Spring Mass-Spring System in SHM Simple Pendulum in SHM Thermal Physics: Temperature, Heat, and Thermal Expansion Heat is a Form of Energy, Specific Heat, and Heat Capacity Heat and Internal Energy Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics Thermometers and Temperature Scales Thermal Expansion Calorimetry Heat Transfer: Transfer by Conduction Waves and Wave Motion Wave Motion Types of Waves Mathematical Treatment of an Ideal Wave Intensity of Waves Superposition of Waves: Interference and Standing Waves Fluids Pressure: Definition and Units Pressure Within Fluids Density of Fluids Variation of Pressure with Depth in a Static Fluid Pascal's Principle and Applications Archimedes' Principle Dynamics of Fluids: Equation of Continuity Bernoulli's Equation Electric Forces and Fields Introduction Conductors and Insulators: Charged Objects Coulomb's Law The Electric Field Conductors in an Electric Field Gauss' Law Electric Potential Energy and Potential Introduction Potential Energy Electric Potential Electric Potential of Point charges: Spatially Varying E Direct Current Circuits Introduction Ohm's Law Resistivity Simple Circuits Electric Power Kirchhoff's Rules Capacitors Magnetic Forces and Fields Introduction The Magnetic Field The Magnetic Force on an Electric Current Magnetic Fields Produced by Moving Charges Magnetic Materials and Permanent Magnets Electromagnetic Induction Introduction Faraday's Law Electric Generators Self-Inductance Transformers Alternating Current Electric Circuits Introduction Alternating Signals Phase Relations in Simple AC Circuits RCL Series Circuit Root-Mean-Square Average Values, Power Electromagnetic Waves Introduction The Electromagnetic Spectrum Geometrical Optics Introduction Wavefronts and Rays Reflection Refraction Thin Lenses Optical Instruments Physical (Wave) Optics Introduction Double-Slit Experiment Thin-Film Interference Single-Slit Diffraction The Diffraction Grating Polarization Modern Physics Introduction Atoms Line Spectra The Bohr Model Beyond the Bohr Model The Periodic Table of Elements X-Rays Quantum Physics Thermal Radiation Wave-Particle Duality Quantum Mechanics The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle The Atomic Nucleus, Radioactivity