# Preface

Welcome to *College Physics*, an OpenStax resource. This textbook was written to increase student access to high-quality learning materials, maintaining highest standards of academic rigor at little to no cost.

### About OpenStax

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#### Format

You can access this textbook for free in web view or PDF through openstax.org, and in low-cost print and iBooks editions.

### About *College Physics*

*College Physics* meets standard scope and sequence requirements for a two-semester introductory algebra-based physics course. The text is grounded in real-world examples to help students grasp fundamental physics concepts. It requires knowledge of algebra and some trigonometry, but not calculus. *College Physics* includes learning objectives, concept questions, links to labs and simulations, and ample practice opportunities for traditional physics application problems.

#### Coverage and Scope

College Physics is organized such that topics are introduced conceptually with a steady progression to precise definitions and analytical applications. The analytical aspect (problem solving) is tied back to the conceptual before moving on to another topic. Each introductory chapter, for example, opens with an engaging photograph relevant to the subject of the chapter and interesting applications that are easy for most students to visualize.

Chapter 1: Introduction: The Nature of Science and Physics

Chapter 2: Kinematics

Chapter 3: Two-Dimensional Kinematics

Chapter 4: Dynamics: Force and Newton’s Laws of Motion

Chapter 5: Further Applications of Newton’s Laws: Friction, Drag, and Elasticity

Chapter 6: Uniform Circular Motion and Gravitation

Chapter 7: Work, Energy, and Energy Resources

Chapter 8: Linear Momentum and Collisions

Chapter 9: Statics and Torque

Chapter 10: Rotational Motion and Angular Momentum

Chapter 11: Fluid Statics

Chapter 12: Fluid Dynamics and Its Biological and Medical Applications

Chapter 13: Temperature, Kinetic Theory, and the Gas Laws

Chapter 14: Heat and Heat Transfer Methods

Chapter 15: Thermodynamics

Chapter 16: Oscillatory Motion and Waves

Chapter 17: Physics of Hearing

Chapter 18: Electric Charge and Electric Field

Chapter 19: Electric Potential and Electric Field

Chapter 20: Electric Current, Resistance, and Ohm’s Law

Chapter 21: Circuits and DC Instruments

Chapter 22: Magnetism

Chapter 23: Electromagnetic Induction, AC Circuits, and Electrical Technologies

Chapter 24: Electromagnetic Waves

Chapter 25: Geometric Optics

Chapter 26: Vision and Optical Instruments

Chapter 27: Wave Optics

Chapter 28: Special Relativity

Chapter 29: Introduction to Quantum Physics

Chapter 30: Atomic Physics

Chapter 31: Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics

Chapter 32: Medical Applications of Nuclear Physics

Chapter 33: Particle Physics

Chapter 34: Frontiers of Physics

Appendix A: Atomic Masses

Appendix B: Selected Radioactive Isotopes

Appendix C: Useful Information

Appendix D: Glossary of Key Symbols and Notation

#### Concepts and Calculations

The ability to calculate does not guarantee conceptual understanding. In order to unify conceptual, analytical, and calculation skills within the learning process, we have integrated Strategies and Discussions throughout the text.

#### Modern Perspective

The chapters on modern physics are more complete than many other texts on the market, with an entire chapter devoted to medical applications of nuclear physics and another to particle physics. The final chapter of the text, “Frontiers of Physics,” is devoted to the most exciting endeavors in physics. It ends with a module titled “Some Questions We Know to Ask.”

#### Key Features

##### Modularity

This textbook is organized as a collection of modules that can be rearranged and modified to suit the needs of a particular professor or class. That being said, modules often contain references to content in other modules, as most topics in physics cannot be discussed in isolation.

##### Learning Objectives

Every module begins with a set of learning objectives. These objectives are designed to guide the instructor in deciding what content to include or assign, and to guide the student with respect to what he or she can expect to learn. After completing the module and end-of-module exercises, students should be able to demonstrate mastery of the learning objectives.

##### Call-Outs

Key definitions, concepts, and equations are called out with a special design treatment. Call-outs are designed to catch readers’ attention, to make it clear that a specific term, concept, or equation is particularly important, and to provide easy reference for a student reviewing content.

##### Key Terms

Key terms are in bold and are followed by a definition in context. Definitions of key terms are also listed in the Glossary, which appears at the end of the module.

##### Worked Examples

Worked examples have four distinct parts to promote both analytical and conceptual skills. Worked examples are introduced in words, always using some application that should be of interest. This is followed by a Strategy section that emphasizes the concepts involved and how solving the problem relates to those concepts. This is followed by the mathematical Solution and Discussion.

Many worked examples contain multiple-part problems to help the students learn how to approach normal situations, in which problems tend to have multiple parts. Finally, worked examples employ the techniques of the problem-solving strategies so that students can see how those strategies succeed in practice as well as in theory.

##### Problem-Solving Strategies

Problem-solving strategies are first presented in a special section and subsequently appear at crucial points in the text where students can benefit most from them. Problem-solving strategies have a logical structure that is reinforced in the worked examples and supported in certain places by line drawings that illustrate various steps.

##### Misconception Alerts

Students come to physics with preconceptions from everyday experiences and from previous courses. Some of these preconceptions are misconceptions, and many are very common among students and the general public. Some are inadvertently picked up through misunderstandings of lectures and texts. The Misconception Alerts feature is designed to point these out and correct them explicitly.

##### Take-Home Investigations

Take Home Investigations provide the opportunity for students to apply or explore what they have learned with a hands-on activity.

##### Things Great and Small

In these special topic essays, macroscopic phenomena (such as air pressure) are explained with submicroscopic phenomena (such as atoms bouncing off walls). These essays support the modern perspective by describing aspects of modern physics before they are formally treated in later chapters. Connections are also made between apparently disparate phenomena.

##### Simulations

Where applicable, students are directed to the interactive PHeT physics simulations developed by the University of Colorado. There they can further explore the physics concepts they have learned about in the module.

##### Summary

Module summaries are thorough and functional and present all important definitions and equations. Students are able to find the definitions of all terms and symbols as well as their physical relationships. The structure of the summary makes plain the fundamental principles of the module or collection and serves as a useful study guide.

##### Glossary

At the end of every module or chapter is a Glossary containing definitions of all of the key terms in the module or chapter.

##### End-of-Module Problems

At the end of every chapter is a set of Conceptual Questions and/or skills-based Problems & Exercises. Conceptual Questions challenge students’ ability to explain what they have learned conceptually, independent of the mathematical details. Problems & Exercises challenge students to apply both concepts and skills to solve mathematical physics problems.

In addition to traditional skills-based problems, there are three special types of end-of-module problems: Integrated Concept Problems, Unreasonable Results Problems, and Construct Your Own Problems. All of these problems are indicated with a subtitle preceding the problem.

##### Integrated Concept Problems

In Integrated Concept Problems, students are asked to apply what they have learned about two or more concepts to arrive at a solution to a problem. These problems require a higher level of thinking because, before solving a problem, students have to recognize the combination of strategies required to solve it.

##### Unreasonable Results

In Unreasonable Results Problems, students are challenged to not only apply concepts and skills to solve a problem, but also to analyze the answer with respect to how likely or realistic it really is. These problems contain a premise that produces an unreasonable answer and are designed to further emphasize that properly applied physics must describe nature accurately and is not simply the process of solving equations.

##### Construct Your Own Problem

These problems require students to construct the details of a problem, justify their starting assumptions, show specific steps in the problem’s solution, and finally discuss the meaning of the result. These types of problems relate well to both conceptual and analytical aspects of physics, emphasizing that physics must describe nature. Often they involve an integration of topics from more than one chapter. Unlike other problems, solutions are not provided since there is no single correct answer. Instructors should feel free to direct students regarding the level and scope of their considerations. Whether the problem is solved and described correctly will depend on initial assumptions.

### Additional Resources

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### About the Authors

#### Senior Contributing Authors

Paul Peter Urone, Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento

Roger Hinrichs, State University of New York, College at Oswego

#### Contributing Authors

Kim Dirks, University of Auckland

Manjula Sharma, University of Sydney

#### Reviewers

Matthew Adams, Crafton Hills College, San Bernardino Community College District

Erik Christensen, South Florida Community College

Douglas Ingram, Texas Christian University

Eric Kincanon, Gonzaga University

Lee H. LaRue, Paris Junior College

Chuck Pearson, Virginia Intermont College

Marc Sher, College of William and Mary

Ulrich Zurcher, Cleveland State University