Principles of Physics is designed for a one-year introductory calculus-based physics course for engineering and science students and for premed students taking a rigorous physics course. This fourth edition contains many new pedagogical features—most notably, an integrated Web-based learning system and a structured problem-solving strategy that uses a modeling approach. Based on comments from users of the third edition and reviewers’ suggestions, a major effort was made to improve organization, clarity of presentation, precision of language, and accuracy throughout.
This project was conceived because of well-known problems in teaching the introductory calculus-based physics course. The course content (and hence the size of textbooks) continues to grow, while the number of contact hours with students has either dropped or remained unchanged. Furthermore, traditional one-year courses cover little if any physics beyond the 19th century.
In preparing this textbook, we were motivated by the spreading interest in reforming the teaching and learning of physics through physics education research. One effort in this direction was the Introductory University Physics Project (IUPP), sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Institute of Physics. The primary goals and guidelines of this project are to reduce course content following the “less may be more” theme; incorporate contemporary physics naturally into the course; organize the course in the context of one or more “story lines”; and treat all students equitably.
Recognizing a need for a textbook that could meet these guidelines several years ago, we studied the various proposed IUPP models and the many reports from IUPP committees. Eventually, one of us (RAS) became actively involved in the review and planning of one specific model, initially developed at the U.S. Air Force Academy, entitled “A Particles Approach to Introductory Physics.” Part of the summer of 1990 was spent at the Academy working with Colonel James Head and Lt. Col. Rolf Enger, the primary authors of the Particles model, and other members of that department. This most useful collaboration was the starting point of this project.