Lectures on Physics,by Richard P. Feynman,
Robert B. Leighton and Matthew Sands
Mathematica for Students of Science,Tutorial
Approach to Mastery of Mathematica by James J. Kelly,
Physics, University of
Institute of Physics History of Physics List of Exhibits
Physics with the Physics Suite by Edward F.
Problems in Physics by Dan Styer of the Oberlin
College Physics Department
Introductory Physics Through Problem Solving by Ken Heller of
the University of Minnisota School of Physics and Astronomy
Logical Problem-Solving Strategy, an exerpt from "The
Competent Problem Solver, A Strategy for Solving Problems in Physics,"
by Heller and Heller of the University of Minnisota School of Physics
Analysis and Uncertainty Calculations
The University of Toronto Chemistry
Department has posted a well-written Stats
See also the nice Curve
Calibration Statlet made available by the Penn State
Department of Educational Psychology, School Psychology, and Special
A site started by Jason Turgeon with links to free
What it IS, What it is NOT, and How We Know
A web page with a bunch of Flash Movies by
Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School (book)
John D. Bransford, Ann L. Brown, and Rodney R. Cocking, editors
Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning
Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
National Research Council
The National Academies Press, 1999
Education Technology (PhET)
University of Colorado at Boulder
physics simulation applets.
Experiments in Gravity
This site of John Walker, coauthor of AutoCad, shows how to construct a
device for demonstrating the gravitational force of attraction between
objects that you can hold in your hand and time-lapse videos of the
apparatus in operation. At the same site there is an applet
that allows you to explore orbital motion.
John Falstad has created a sophisticated circuit simulator
java applet that allows you to build your own simulated
circuits. It depicts current as dots moving about the circuit
in the direction of conventional current. If you prefer
current to be depicted as dots moving in the direction of electron
flow, you'll probably want to use the Circuit Construction
Kit at the University of Colorado Physics
Education Technology (PhET) project web site.
Wave Pulse Reflection Simulation Applet
This is a valuable applet but it is an old one so please read
this: You need the java runtime environment which you can
download from www.java.com.
Make sure that your browser window is not covering the upper left (in
the ballpark of 2 inches square) region of your screen. The
controls for the apsplet will appear there. Choose
your boundary condition and start the applet in continuous wave mode
(where it plays too fast on modern machines). Then
select the pulse crest or pulse trough radio button. Then
click on the forward button. Finally, cause the wave
pulse to propagate by repeatedly depressing the space bar on
your keyboard. This procedure also applies to the Transverse
Wave Pulse Reflection Simulation Applet. Both
applets were created by Sadahisa Kamikawa.
A handy non-graphing scientific freeware calculator created by Martin
Buerki and conforming to standard algebraic notation,
available for download and installation.
An Applet maintained by the publisher John Wiley &
Sons that you can use to numerically evaluate a definite integral.
Intuitor Basic Physics Savvy Quiz
A conceptual physics quiz consisting of
40 true/false questions. While you might think of
a quiz as an evaluation tool, this one is an excellent
learning tool because of the thoroughness of the feedback provided for
each question (and because of the quality of the
questions themselves). The feedback becomes available after
you submit your answers.
at Your Latitude and Longitude made
available by the U.S. National
Geodetic Survey is a calculator of the magnitude of
the acceleration (relative to the surface of the earth) of an
object in freefall (neglecting force of air) near the surface
of the earth at a location having the coordinates you
enter. (Leave the elevation blank if you don't know it and
the calculator will provide the elevation at the surface
too.) If you don't already have them, you can obtain the
coordinates and elevation of the location of interest by means of the
maps at http://www.topozone.com.
With the coordinates in hand, you can also get the properties of the
earth's magnetic field at the same point on the
earth by visiting the Compute Earth's Magnetic Field Values calculator made
available by the United States National Geophysical Data Center.
NIST Reference on
Constants, Units, and Uncertainty
Information on SI units and
related topics from the United States National Institute of Standards
Documents by John S. Denker
A collection of explanations which
in most cases were written as answers to questions posted on PHYS-L,
a list serve for physics educators. (See also the PHYS-L
Abused Web Page
A collection of documents written by Donald
Simanek on physics misconceptions and incorrect explanations along with
his own explanations and links to web sites with similar information.
of Minnesota Physics Education Research and Development
Some of the best
resources for learning and teaching physics can be found at the web
sites of groups that do research into how people learn physics and
research on successful methods of teaching physics. The University of Minnesota Physics Education Research
web site includes information on what works in physics education,
useful resources for teaching your own course (e.g. the Context Rich
Problems), and a comprehensive set of links to other physics education
research web pages.
Tutorials by James L. Hunt, Professor Emeritus,
University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Professor Hunt has created two sets of HTML-coded physics tutorials.
The first set, Physics Tutorials,
is designed to enhance the user's introductory-physics-related
mathematical skills as well as the user's understanding of some
introductory physics concepts. In the second set you will find Prof.
Problem Solutions (SPSc) each of which
leads the user on a user-response-dependent path through the solution
of a unique physics problem by means of a set of questions.
by Benjamin Crowell
Dr. Benjamin Crowell of
Fullerton College has written three excellent introductory physics
textbooks, all of which are available on-line in pdf (and other
formats). He's also been a big promoter of free on-line books written
by other people (check out his on-line book review site,
The Assayer ). By means of his work, Dr. Crowell inspired me to
write Calculus-Based Physics, and, through email communication, Dr.
Crowell gave me the encouragement and information I needed to release
it under a Creative Commons license. Here are the links to the books he
Discover Physics - A conceptual physics textbook designed for use
in a one-semester conceptual physics course.
Light and Matter - A set of six books that together constitute a
textbook for a two-semester algebra-based physics course. The Light and
Matter books are also available in hard copy.
Simple Nature - A textbook designed for use in a three-semester
calculus-based physics course.
To date, the way I've used Dr. Crowell's work is to create a handout by
printing a page of physics problems/questions from one of his books. I
write his name, the title of the book, and the url on the page before
photocopying. I pass such a handout out to students (as I do, I
recommend the book it came from to the students) at the start of one of
our weekly recitation sessions and assign students to solve the
problems in small groups. Each group puts the solution to their problem
on the board and we have a class discussion of the solutions.
Instruction Materials, Eric Mazur, Harvard University
I consider myself to be an
extreme user of Eric Mazur's peer tutoring method. To me, the heart of
the method is the execution of the reading assignment, by the students,
prior to class. (In fact, I wrote my book in an attempt to maximize the
reading of assigned textual material by my students. My thinking was,
the shorter I could make a reading assignment, subject to the condition
that it still contained the information I wanted the students to get
out of it, the more likely the students would be to complete the
reading assignment. I teach at a quality liberal arts college and the
anecdotal evidence I have indicates that my students are getting more
than 200 pages per week in reading assignments outside of physics.)
Except for the occasional pop no-quiz, I start each class with a quiz.
I aim for two questions that anybody who does a reasonably thorough job
on the reading assignment will answer correctly, and one that requires
application of the concepts covered by the reading assignment. After
the quiz, I display a multiple choice question on a screen at the front
of the room. The students respond, all at once, either by means of
colored index cards, or, more recently, by means of the infrared
transmitters of a classroom response system. What we do in class prior
to the next question (discussion with peers, explanation of reasoning
by a student, clarification of the concepts by me, a second opportunity
for students to answer the same question, or nothing) depends on the
responses. We deal with such multiple choice questions, one after
another, until we run out of time. I make up some of the questions and
the others are concept tests that come with
Peer Instruction: A User's Manual, by Eric Mazur.
Go to Tech
books for free and
click on the Science tab to see a strong list of free science and
engineering books. James Nearing's Mathematical Tools for Physics looks
particularly useful to me.
Sonoma State University Department of Physics and Astronomy
Dr. Joseph Tenn of the Sonoma State University Department of Phyiscs
and Astronomy hosts a series of invited talks at Sonoma
State and is now making them available in streaming video at
What Physicists Do . At that site, the talks can be viewed
live at 4 pm (Pacific Time) on Mondays during the academic
year, or after the presentation. I recommend the
Feb. 06, 2006 talk SEEING THE INVISIBLES:
THE CHALLENGE TO PARTICLE PHYSICS IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM by
Prof. Hitoshi Murayama. Dr. Tenn has also compiled a valuable
set of physics links on a web page entitled Some Resources for Introductory Physics
program SciLab provides an interpreted programming environment similar
to MatLab, but SciLab is free. It is useful for
solving introductory physics problems for which either the analytic
solution is beyond the scope of the course, or, there is no
analytic solution. (Finding the trajectory of an object for
which air resistance is not negligible would fall into this
category.) The quick and easy generation of graphs in SciLab
is particularly valuable. I include the latest windows version
of SciLab here (scilab41.zip)
just in case you are unable to get it from http://www.scilab.org/
Andes Physics Tutor
Andes Physics Tutor is a free on-line homework system in
which students construct diagrams, select the applicable concept and
otherwise work out the solutions to physics problems with feedback at
Concept of Force
A paper by V. G. Jadhao of the Regional Institute
of Education, Bhopal, India; and; and
B. K. Parida of the Regional Institute of Education, Bhubaneswar, India.
The authors discuss many alternate conceptions of what force