Physics Technology Update: Pearson New International Edition

James S. Walker  
Total pages
August 2013
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Walker’s goal is to help students make the connection between a conceptual understanding of physics and the various skills necessary to solve quantitative problems. The pedagogy and approach are based on over 20 years of teaching and reflect the results of physics education research. Already one of the best-selling textbooks in algebra-based physics, The Fourth Edition strengthens both the conceptual foundations and the tools for problem solving to make the book even better suited to today's students.



  • Worked Examples in the text serve as a guide for solving problems. Every worked example is structured to provide a systematic process for solving problems:
    • Picture the Problem reminds students to visualize the situation, identify and label important quantities, and set up a coordinate system. This step is always accompanied by a figure and free-body diagram when appropriate.
    • Strategy helps students learn to analyze the problem, identify the key physical concepts, and map a plan for the solution.
    • Solution is presented in a two-column format to help students translate the words of the problem on the left to the equations they will use to solve it on the right.
    • Insight points out interesting or significant features of the problem, solution process, or the result.
    • Practice Problems give students the opportunity to test their understanding and skills on a problem similar to the one just worked.
  • Conceptual Checkpoints serve as a pause in the reading for students to check their understanding. These multiple choice, conceptual questions recognize and address common student misconceptions.
  • Active Examples serve as bridges between the Worked Examples and the end-of-chapter Problems. Students take an active role by thinking through the logic of the steps on the left and checking their answers with the answer on the right. This unique pedagogical tool prepares students to better tackle homework problems on their own. 
  • Passage Problems provide students with an opportunity to practice problem types similar to those found in the MCAT exam. A Passage Problem ends each chapter’s problem set. Students answer several multiple-choice questions associated with the extended problem description.
  • Big Picture sections complete each chapter, linking the ideas covered in the chapter to related material earlier and later in the text.
  • Physics in Perspective is a set of six two-page spreads integrated throughout the text, that use a highly visual format to review key principles and relationships, helping students to see these ideas from a new angle and emphasizing the fundamental patterns and connections that students often miss. Focused on key principles like Energy, Force and Motion, and Entropy, these visual summaries unify the coverage of ideas spread out over several chapters and enable students to synthesize their understanding and appreciate the unity of physical ideas.
  • Predict/Explain problems provide instructors with an opportunity to assess student progress with critical thinking and conceptual understanding. Students are given “greater than, less than, or equal to” questions and are asked to “explain.” Full credit for the problem can only be obtained by combining the correct prediction with the correct explanation.
  • Conceptual Exercises are conceptual ranking task exercises in multiple-choice format. Because they are multiple-choice they can be assigned and easily graded as paper and pencil homework, in an online homework system, or in class using a personal response system.
  • Problem Solving Notes highlight useful problem-solving methods while also pointing out common pitfalls and misconceptions.
  • A full chapter devoted to vectors (Chapter 3) and their application to physics. Including vectors in the text sends a message that this is important material, and it gives students an opportunity to brush up on their math skills.
  • Real-world and Biological applications are identified by a marginal icon. The inclusion of a generous selection of these applied topics should help to make the material more interesting and relevant to all students, including the many whose career orientation is towards the life sciences. A list of Applications is available in the Preface.
  • Chapter Summaries at the end of each chapter are organized in an outline format for easy reference and study and include key figures, concepts, and equations from the chapter.
  • Problem-Solving Summaries at the end each chapter address common sources of misconceptions in problem solving, and give specific references to Examples and Active Examples illustrating the correct procedures.
  • Integrated Problems (IP) integrate a conceptual question with a numerical problem. Problems of this type, which stress the importance of reasoning from basic principles, show how conceptual insight and numerical calculation go hand in hand in physics. Approximately 20 percent of the end-of-chapter problems are IP.
  • Interactive Problems feature an Example, an Active Example, a Conceptual Checkpoint, or a Figure that “comes alive” as the computer animates the corresponding physical system. 
  • Interactive Figures, marked with an icon in the text, are designed to be flexible in their application–they can be used in lecture, as a “virtual lab,” or as a component of a homework assignment. By giving direct visual feedback to the student, they help to reinforce what is being learned and to provide an additional pathway of understanding.

New to this Edition

  • NEW! QR codes appear throughout the textbook, enabling students to use their smartphone or tablet to instantly watch interactive videos about relevant demonstrations.
  • The new Pearson eText app for iPad® and Android® are a great companion to Pearson’s eText browser-based book, ready for desktop and laptop computers.

Table of Contents

Applications in the Text  

Preface: To the Instructor   

Preface: To the Student  

Guide to Features of the Text

1. Introduction to Physics 


2. One-Dimensional Kinematics

3. Vectors in Physics  

4. Two-Dimensional Kinematics

5. Newton’s Laws of Motion

6. Applications of Newton’s Laws 

7. Work and Kinetic Energy

8. Potential Energy and Conservation of Energy 

9. Linear Momentum and Collisions  

10. Rotational Kinematics and Energy  

11. Rotational Dynamics and Static Equilibrium

12. Gravity

13. Oscillations About Equilibrium   

14. Waves and Sound

15. Fluids


16. Temperature and Heat

17. Phases and Phase Changes

18. The Laws of Thermodynamics


19. Electric Charges, Forces, and Fields  

20. Electric Potential and Electric Potential Energy 

21. Electric Current and Direct-Current Circuits  

22. Magnetism

23. Magnetic Flux and Faraday’s Law of Induction   

24. Alternating-Current Circuits  


25. Electromagnetic Waves

26. Geometrical Optics

27. Optical Instruments

28. Physical Optics: Interference and Diffraction


29. Relativity

30. Quantum Physics

31. Atomic Physics