College Physics

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9780130824448: College Physics

For the college-level algebra-based physics course.

This student-friendly text presents the fundamental principles of physics in a clear and concise manner. Emphasizing conceptual understanding as that basis for mastering a variety of problem-solving tools, the text provides a wide range of relevant applications and illustrative examples. The focus is on the broad view of physics—on the crucial role it plays in the everyday world.

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About the Author:

Jerry D. Wilson, a native of Ohio, is now Emeritus Professor of Physics and former Chair of the Division of Biological and Physical Sciences at Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina. He received his B.S. degree from Ohio University, M.S. degree from Union College, and in 1970, a Ph.D. from Ohio University. He earned his M.S. degree while employed as a Materials Behavior Physicist by the General Electric Co.

As a doctoral graduate student, Professor Wilson held the faculty rank of Instructor and began teaching physical science courses. During this time, he co-authored a physical science text that is now in its eighth edition. In conjunction with his teaching career, Professor Wilson continued his writing and has authored or co-authored six titles. Having retired from full-time teaching, he continues to write, including The Curiosity Corner, a weekly column for local newspapers, which now can also be found on the Internet.

With several competitive books available, one may wonder why another algebra-based physics text was written. Having taught introductory physics many times, I was well aware of the needs of students and the difficulties they have in mastering the subject. I decided to write a text that presents the basic physics principles in a clear and concise manner, with illustrative examples that help resolve the major difficulty in learning physics: problem solving. Also, I wanted to write a text that is relevant so as to show students how physics applies in their everyday world - how things work and why things happen. Once the basics are learned, these follow naturally.

- Jerry Wilson

Anthony J. Buffa received his B.S. degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 1970, Professor Buffa joined the faculty at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he is currently Professor of Physics, and has been a research associate with the Department of Physics Radioanalytical Facility since 1980.

Professor Buffa's main interest continues to be teaching. He has taught courses at Cal Poly ranging from introductory physical science to quantum mechanics, has developed and revised many laboratory experiments, and taught elementary physics to local teachers in an NSF-sponsored workshop. Combining physics with his interests in art and architecture, Dr. Buffa develops his own artwork and sketches, which he uses to increase his effectiveness in teaching physics.

I try to teach my students the crucial role physics plays in understanding all aspects of the world around them - whether it be technology, biology, astronomy, or any other field. In that regard, I emphasize conceptual understanding before number crunching. To this end, I rely heavily on visual methods. I hope the artwork and other pedagogical features in this book assist you in achieving your own teaching goals for your students.

- Tony Buffa

From the Back Cover:

Many speed skaters in the 1998 Winter Olympics shaved remarkable amounts of time—about one second per lap—off previous records. Most experts attribute much of the savings to the use of a new kind of skate invented by Dutch researchers in biomechanics. Christine Witty, shown on our cover, won the bronze medal in the 1500-meter race using such a skate. This skate is designed to increase the amount of time the skate is in contact with the ice, and therefore to lengthen the skater's stride and the amount of work done by the skater's leg muscles, without also causing the skate to dig into the ice, which would increase friction and decrease speed and stability. Hinged at the toe, the blade releases from the boot toward the end of the stride and then returns to the boot with a "clap" sound when the foot lifts off the ice-hence the new skate has been dubbed the "clap skate." The Dutch researchers who invented it, however, call it the "slap skate" because it allows skaters to "slap on" additional work with each stride.

Homer Levi Dodge (1896-1994), shown skating at top right with his wife, Margaret, on the Iowa River in 1921, probably would have been keenly interested in the clap skate. A physics professor, Dodge was an active researcher, primarily focusing on applied physics, and was involved in several conservation efforts and outdoors activities. Dodge was also very interested in physics education. In 1930 he helped found the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). He became the organization's first president and was instrumental in setting up its journal, now known as the American Journal of Physics.

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