College Physics is the first text to use an investigative learning approach to teach introductory physics. This approach encourages students to take an active role in learning physics, to practice scientific skills such as observing, analyzing, and testing, and to build scientific habits of mind. The authors believe students learn physics best by doing physics.
An active learning approach encourages students to construct an understanding of physics concepts and laws in the same ways that physicists acquire knowledge. Students learn physics by doing physics.
Students learn to represent physical phenomena in multiple ways using words, figures, and equations, including qualitative diagrams and innovative bar charts that create a foundation for quantitative reasoning and problem solving.
Students discover the real-world application of physics by relating physics concepts and laws to everyday experiences and applying them to problems in diverse fields such as biology, medicine, and astronomy.
Innovative, widely praised assessment tools employ an active learning approach through examples, exercises, and problems that promote higher-level reasoning.
I. Introducing Physics
1. Kinematics: Motion in One Dimension
2. Newtonian Mechanics
3. Applying Newton’s Laws
4. Circular Motion
5. Impulse and Linear Momentum
6. Work and Energy
7. Extended Bodies at Rest
8. Rotational Motion
10. Static Fluids
11. Fluids in Motion
12. First Law of Thermodynamics
13. Second Law of Thermodynamics
14. Electric Charge, Force, and Energy
15. The Electric Field
16. DC Circuits
18. Electromagnetic Induction
19. Vibrational Motion
20. Mechanical Waves
21. Reflection and Refraction
22. Mirrors and Lenses
23. Wave Optics
24. Electromagnetic Waves
25. Special Relativity
26. Quantum Optics
27. Atomic Physics
28. Nuclear Physics
29. Particle Physics
Eugenia Etkina has a PhD in Physics Education from Moscow State Pedagogical University and has more than 30 years experience teaching physics. She currently teaches at Rutgers University, where she received the highest teaching award in 2010 and the New Jersey Distinguished Faculty award in 2012. Professor Etkina designed and now coordinates one of the largest programs in physics teacher preparation in the United States, conducts professional development for high school and university physics instructors, and participates in reforms to the undergraduate physics courses. In 1993 she developed a system in which students learn physics using processes that mirror scientific practice. That system serves as the basis for this textbook. Since 2000, Professors Etkina and Van Heuvelen have conducted over 60 workshops for physics instructors and co-authored The Physics Active Learning Guide (a companion edition to College Physics will be available from Pearson in January, 2013). Professor Etkina is a dedicated teacher and an active researcher who has published over 40 peer-refereed articles.
Michael Gentile is an Instructor of Physics at Rutgers University. He has a masters degree in physics from Rutgers University, where he studied under Eugenia Etkina and Alan Van Heuvelen, and has also completed postgraduate work in education, high energy physics, and cosmology. He has been inspiring undergraduates to learn and enjoy physics for more than 15 years. Since 2006 Professor Gentile has taught and coordinated a large-enrollment introductory physics course at Rutgers where the approach used in this book is fully implemented. He also assists in the mentoring of future physics teachers by using his course as a nurturing environment for their first teaching experiences. Since 2007 his physics course for the New Jersey Governor's School of Engineering and Technology has been highly popular and has brought the wonders of modern physics to more than 100 gifted high school students each summer.
Alan Van Heuvelen holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Colorado. He has been a pioneer in Physics Education Research for several decades. He taught physics for 28 years at New Mexico State University where he developed active learning materials including the Active Learning Problem Sheets (the ALPS Kits) and the ActivPhysics multimedia product. Materials such as these have improved student achievement on standardized qualitative and problem-solving tests. In 1993 he joined Ohio State University to help develop a PER group. He moved to Rutgers University in 2000 and retired in 2008. For his contributions to national physics education reform, he won the 1999 AAPT Millikan Medal and was selected a fellow of the American Physical Society. Over the span of his career he has led over 100 workshops on physics education reform. In the last ten years, he has worked with Professor Etkina in the development of the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE), which integrates the results of physics education research into a learning system that places considerable emphasis in helping students develop science process abilities while learning physics.