Introductory physics attracts a wide variety of students, with different backgrounds, levels of preparedness, and academic destinations. To many, the course is one of the most daunting in the science curriclum, full of arcane principles that are difficult to grasp. To others, it is one of the most highly anticipated -the first step on the path to the upper reaches of scientific inquiry.
In their years as instructors and as editors of The Physics Teacher, Clifford E. Swartz and the late Thomas Miner developed and encountered many innovative and effective ways of introducing students to the fundamental principles of physics. Teaching Introductory Physics brings these strategies, insights and techniques to you in a unique, convenient volume.
This is a reference and a tutorial book for teachers of an introductory physics course at any level. It has review articles on most of the topics of introductory physics, providing background information and suggestions about presentation and relative importance. Whether you are teaching physics for the first time or are an experienced instructor, Teaching Introductory Physics will prove to be an exceptionally helpful classroom companion. The book should be particularly useful for graduate students teaching for the first time and for research physicists who have not taught the introductory course recently.
Teaching Introductory Physics gives you access to the cumulative expertise of the world's most dedicated physics instructors-not just Professor Swartz and Miner, but many of the contributors and subscribers to the Physics Teacher. it is sure to enhance your teaching skills, helping you to give your students the basic knowledge and hands-on experience they need to work with the fundamental physical laws of nature.
About the Authors:
Clifford E. Swartz has been the Editor of The Physics Teacher for the greater part of the last 30 years and is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 1983, Dr. Swartz received the Outstanding Civillian Service Medal from the Department of the Army and in 1987 he received the Oersted Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). He has authored 33 books for students from kindergarten to grduate school.
Thomas Miner (1911-1991) was a physics teacher at Garden City High School from 1932 to 1966 and Assistant Professor of Physics at Yeshiva University from 1966 to 1972. For the next 16 years he served as Associate Editor of the Physics Teacher. In 1980, Dr. Miner received the Millikan Award from AAPT. He was the author of five books and numerous professional papers.
From the contents:
1. Fatherly Advice
2. Error (Uncertainty) Analysis
3. Units, Dimensions, Vectors, and Scaling
6. Reference Frames and Relativity
7. Newton's Laws of Dynamics
8. Angular Momentum
9. Work and Energy
10. Internal Energy
11. Second Law of Thermodynamics
14. Wave Transmission
15. Complex Waves and Wave Interactions
17. Electric Current
19. Currents and Fields that Change with Time
20. Electromagnetic Radiation
"[The book] is intended for new teaching assistants, first-time teachers, and faculty who are returning to the introductory course after an absence of some years. It is meant to fill the need for renewal in physics education and to provide a useful context for the teacher. It succeeds at much of this. The drawings by Art Ferguson are wonderfully clear and helpful and will make all of us who do not have access to such an artist jealous. Perhaps the book will even help its readers to become better teachers and to have fewer dissatisfied students. Both authors are expert at teaching and communication...Both brought their wealth and experience in teaching and knowledge to the book...the reader can encounter fascinating aspects of friction, a discussion of transfer of tension by a rope, one of the clearest expositions of the difference between diffraction and interference ever written, a nicely written explanation of the difference between phase and group velocity and a wonderful discussion of many aspects of ferromagnetism...Overall, the first tow wonderful chapters and the very nice treatments of various topics in the rest of the book overwhelm any reservations about recommending the book. This will indeed be a valuable addition to a teacher's bookshelf."
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICS
"The primary intent of the authors was to condense and filter decades of experience teaching Introductory Physics so that faculty, new to teaching physics at the high school or college level, would have a tutorial on effective teaching. They have done a superb job. Though much of the material can be found elsewhere, much of it is new, or at least not easy to find...Not all of the chapters are of the same quality or depth. But each is designed so that an instructor can read the chapter one day, go into class the next, and immediately improve the quality of instruction. Though the authors have written a book that is aimed at beginning teachers, it will be useful to faculty at all levels of experience. I have been teaching Introductory Physics for 10 years, and there was not a single chapter which did not give me some new insight, or remind me of something I know but do not always take into account...In general, the book by Swartz and Miner fills a niche long empty in the education of physics faculty, and should be one of the first books on the shelf of anyone considering a career teaching physics at the high-school or college level."
Clifford Swartz, longtime editor of The Physics Teacher, has developed an ideal reference book for teachers giving an introductory physics course--at either the high school or college level. The material ranges from practical hints about classroom management to tutorial essays. Some of the pedagogical suggestions are aimed at small class situations and others are concerned with lecture courses. Frequently the tutorials provide a summary of material that will prove extremely handy for classroom preparation.