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Intro Physics First year physics book

  1. Dec 14, 2017 #1
    I am in a small school in North Dakota and will have four students in the class next year. I have been here two years after retiring from another state. Two years ago they took an online physical science class and from what I can figure out they learned very little to use for background. They will have had a bit of trigonometry.
    So I am looking for an easier physics book that can introduce them to physics and somewhat bring them up to speed. Any suggestions for a book or program that would be most helpful to them? Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2017 #2
    Can you tell what will be the age of the students?
  4. Dec 14, 2017 #3
    they will be 12 grade students when they take Physics They are all currently in Algebra II as Juniors
  5. Dec 14, 2017 #4
    As far as I can gauge from your first post, the students will not know calculus. If that's the case, I'll ask you to give at least first two weeks for calculus, at least preliminary differentiation and integration. Because without calculus, they won't be able to understand anything in Physics, and we can refer only middle school books in that case, which generally don't explain topics in depth.

    With a knowledge of preliminary calculus, you can look forward to books like Fundamentals of Physics by Resnick and Halliday, or Concepts of Physics Volumes 1 and 2 by H. C. Verma.
  6. Dec 14, 2017 #5
    Thanks I will take a look at them
  7. Dec 14, 2017 #6


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    There are a number of algebra+trigonometry based intro physics textbooks which are used for college/university intro physics courses for non-physics majors. The one I used most recently several years ago was Serway & Vuille:


    This may be more material than needed for a high school course, but I don't know what books high schools commonly use.
  8. Dec 15, 2017 #7

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    There is (or was) also an algebra-based version of Halliday and Resnick. I have not seen it to know how good it is.
  9. Dec 15, 2017 #8
    I've never heard of it.
  10. Dec 23, 2017 #9


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    Hm, judging from my own experience when I was a high-school student (in Germany however), don't use highschool textbooks. They make the already difficult subject of physics even more difficult in their try to be "pedagogical". The first university-level physics book was a revelation to me. It was some general introductory book for the introductory experimental physics lecture, I've found at the public library (I think it was the classic by Gerthsen, of which I don't know whether there is an English translation, but it's still published today in its 25th edition!). It's of the kind like Tipler or Haliday. I think that helps your 12graders more than some confusing highschool or "calculus free physics" book (the latter being a "contradictio in adjecto" ;-)).
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