University Physics  Wolfgang Bauer   Gory D  Westfall  2011

University Physics Wolfgang Bauer Gory D Westfall 2011

Written by: McGraw-Hill

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  • Publisher: Bukupedia
  • Publish Date: 2011-05-11
  • ISBN-10: 9780072857368
  • ebook-university-physics-wolfgang-bauer-gory-d-westfall-2011.pdf
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Book Summary

Physics is a thriving science, alive with intellectual challenge and presenting innumerable research problems on topics ranging from the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles. Physicists have managed to bring understanding, order, consistency, and predictability to our universe and will continue that endeavor into the exciting future. However, when we open most current introductory physics textbooks, we find that a different story is being told. Physics is painted as a completed science in which the major advances happened at the time of Newton, or perhaps early in the 20th century. Only toward the end of the standard textbooks is “modern” physics covered, and even that coverage often includes only discoveries made through the 1960s. Our main motivation to write this book is to change this perception by appropriately weaving exciting, contemporary physics throughout the text. Physics is an exciting, dynamic discipline—continuously on the verge of new discoveries and life-changing applications. In order to help students see this, we need to tell the full, exciting story of our science by appropriately integrating contemporary physics into the first-year calculus-based course. Even the very first semester offers many opportunities to do this by weaving recent results from non-linear dynamics, chaos, complexity, and high-energy physics research into the introductory curriculum. Because we are actively carrying out research in these fields, we know that many of the cutting-edge results are accessible in their essence to the first-year student. Authors in many other fields, such as biology and chemistry, already weave contemporary research into their textbooks, recognizing the substantial changes that are affecting the foundations of their disciplines. This integration of contemporary research gives students the impression that biology and chemistry are the “hottest” research enterprises around. The foundations of physics, on the other hand, are on much firmer ground, but the new advances are just as intriguing and exciting, if not more so. We need to find a way to share the advances in physics with our students. We believe that talking about the broad topic of energy provides a great opening gambit to capture students’ interest. Concepts of energy sources (fossil, renewable, nuclear, and so forth), energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, and environmental effects of energy supply choices (global warming) are very much accessible on the introductory physics level. We find that discussions of energy spark our students’ interest like no other current topic, and we have addressed different aspects of energy throughout our book. In addition to being exposed to the exciting world of physics, students benefit greatly from gaining the ability to problem solve and think logically about a situation. Physics is based on a core set of ideas that is fundamental to all of science. We acknowledge this and provide a useful problem-solving method (outlined in Chapter 1) which is used throughout the entire book. This problem-solving method involves a multi-step format that both of us have developed with students in our classes. With all of this in mind along with the desire to write a captivating textbook, we have created what we hope will be a tool to engage students’ imaginations and to better prepare them for future courses in their chosen fields (admittedly, hoping that we would convert at least a few students to physics majors along the way). Having feedback from more than 300 people, including a board of advisors, several contributors, manuscript reviewers, and focus group participants, assisted greatly in this enormous undertaking, as did field testing of our ideas with approximately 4000 students in our introductory physics classes at Michigan State University. We thank you all! —Wolfgang Bauer and Gary D. Westfall

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