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Thinkwell Home-school Curriculum

Physics 1

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Our complete Physics 1 package includes:
  • 12-month Online Subscription to our complete Physics 1 course with video lessons, day-by-day lesson plans, automatically graded exercises, and much more.
  • Printed Notes (optional) are the Physics 1 course notes from the Online Subscription printed in a black & white, on-the-go format. These are available for purchase from the Physics 1 Course Site.

Physics 1 details

Thinkwell's Physics I is a calculus-based college-level physics course, intended for physics majors as well as for engineering and other science students. It includes topics that are generally covered in the first semester of a two-semester sequence.

It's a great head start for the college-bound math, science, or engineering student.

Calculus is a prerequisite.

Thinkwell's Physics 1 has all the features your home school needs:

  • More than 140 educational video lessons
  • 104 available contact hours (What is this?)
  • 35-week lesson plan with daily assignments (see lesson plan)
  • 1000+ interactive physics exercises with immediate feedback allow you to track your progress (See sample)
  • Practice tests and final tests for all 11 chapters, as well as a midterm and a final
  • Printable illustrated notes for each topic
  • Glossary of more than 150physics terms
  • Engaging content to help students advance their knowledge of physics:
    • Kinematics and motion
    • Newton's three laws of physics
    • Work, energy, and power
    • Momentum
    • Extended objects
    • Gravity
    • Fluid statics and dynamics
    • Einstein’s theory of relativity and relativistic dynamics
    • Oscillatory motion
    • Waves

About the Authors

Professor Steven Pollock

Steven Pollock
University of Colorado at Boulder

Steven Pollock is an associate professor of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He earned a B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Prof. Pollock wears two research hats: he studies theoretical nuclear physics and does physics education research. Currently, his research activities focus on questions of replication and sustainability of reformed teaching techniques in (very) large introductory courses. He received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 1994 and a Boulder Faculty Assembly (CU campus-wide) Teaching Excellence Award in 1998. He is the author of two Teaching Company video courses: Particle Physics for Non-Physicists: a Tour of the Microcosmos, and The Great Ideas of Classical Physics.

Prof. Pollock regularly gives public presentations in which he brings physics alive at conferences, seminars, and colloquia, and for community audiences.

Professor Ephraim Fischbach

Ephraim Fischbach
Purdue University

A professor of physics at Purdue University, Ephraim Fischbach earned a B.A. in physics from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. In Thinkwell Physics I, he delivers the "Physics in Action" video lectures and demonstrates numerous laboratory techniques and real-world applications.

As part of his mission to encourage an interest in physics wherever he goes, Prof. Fischbach coordinates Physics on the Road, an Outreach/Funfest program. He is the author or coauthor of more than 180 publications including a recent book, The Search for Non-Newtonian Gravity, and was made a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2001. He also serves as a referee for a number of journals including Physical Review and Physical Review Letters.

Table of Contents

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1. Preliminaries

  • 1.1 Welcome to Physics
    • 1.1.1 Welcome to Physics
  • 1.2 Measuring the World Around Us
    • 1.2.1 Physical Quantities and Units of Measurement
    • 1.2.2 Unit Conversion and Dimensional Analysis
    • 1.2.3 Uncertainty in Measurement and Significant Digits
  • 1.3 Vectors
    • 1.3.1 The Basics of Vectors
    • 1.3.2 Vector Components and Unit Vectors
  • 1.4 Scalar Products
    • 1.4.1 The Scalar Product
  • 1.5 Vector Products
    • 1.5.1 The Vector Product

2. Kinematics

  • 2.1 Investigating One-Dimensional Motion
    • 2.1.1 Describing Motion
    • 2.1.2 Displacement and Average Velocity
    • 2.1.3 Understanding Instantaneous Velocity
    • 2.1.4 Instantaneous Velocity and the Derivative
    • 2.1.5 Acceleration
    • 2.1.6 Another Look at Position, Velocity, and Acceleration
  • 2.2 One-Dimensional Motion With Constant Acceleration
    • 2.2.1 Describing Motion Under Constant Acceleration
    • 2.2.2 Solving Problems Involving Motion Under Constant Acceleration
    • 2.2.3 Free-Falling Objects
  • 2.3 Describing Motion in Two and Three Dimensions
    • 2.3.1 The Position and Velocity Vectors
    • 2.3.2 The Acceleration Vector
    • 2.3.3 Relating Position, Velocity, and Acceleration Vectors in Two Dimensions
  • 2.4 Investigating Motion in Two Dimensions
    • 2.4.1 A First Look at Projectile Motion
    • 2.4.2 Understanding Projectile Motion
    • 2.4.3 Physics in Action: The Hunter and the Monkey
  • 2.5 Uniform Circular Motion
    • 2.5.1 Describing Uniform Circular Motion
  • 2.6 Relative Motion and Reference Frames
    • 2.6.1 Understanding Relative Motion
    • 2.6.2 Physics in Action: Toss-and-Catch from Two Points of View

3. Dynamics

  • 3.1 Newton's Three Laws
    • 3.1.1 Newton's First Law
    • 3.1.2 Physics in Action: The Three Balls Demo
    • 3.1.3 Introduction to Newton's Second Law
    • 3.1.4 The Vector Nature of Force and Newton's Second Law
    • 3.1.5 Weight
    • 3.1.6 Actions, Reactions, and Newton's Third Law
    • 3.1.7 Physics in Action: A Tug-of-War
  • 3.2 Applications of Newton's Three Laws
    • 3.2.1 Free-Body Diagrams
    • 3.2.2 Solving Problems Using Newton's Laws: Ropes and Tension
    • 3.2.3 Solving Problems Using Newton's Laws: Inclines and the Normal Force
  • 3.3 The Forces of Friction
    • 3.3.1 Understanding the Frictional Force Between Two Surfaces
    • 3.3.2 Problems on Friction and Inclines
    • 3.3.3 Motion Through a Fluid: Drag Force and Terminal Speed
  • 3.4 The Dynamics of Circular Motion
    • 3.4.1 Forces and Uniform Circular Motion
    • 3.4.2 Solving Circular Motion Problems

4. Energy

  • 4.1 Work
    • 4.1.1 The Work Done by a Constant Force in One Dimension
    • 4.1.2 The Work Done by a Constant Force in Two Dimensions
    • 4.1.3 The Work Done by a Variable Force
    • 4.1.4 The Work Done by a Spring
  • 4.2 Work, Kinetic Energy, and Power
    • 4.2.1 The Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem
    • 4.2.2 Solving Problems Involving Work and Kinetic Energy
    • 4.2.3 Power
  • 4.3 Potential Energy
    • 4.3.1 Work and Gravitational Potential Energy
    • 4.3.2 Conservative and Nonconservative Forces
    • 4.3.3 Calculating Potential Energy
  • 4.4 Conservation of Energy
    • 4.4.1 Understanding Conservation of Mechanical Energy
    • 4.4.2 Physics in Action: The Triple Chute
    • 4.4.3 Solving Problems Using Conservation of Mechanical Energy
    • 4.4.4 Potential Energy Functions and Energy Diagrams
    • 4.4.5 Work and Nonconservative Forces
    • 4.4.6 Physics in Action: The Giant Nose-Basher
    • 4.4.7 Conservation of Energy in General

5. Momentum

  • 5.1 Momentum and Its Conservation
    • 5.1.1 Linear Momentum and Impulse
    • 5.1.2 Solving Problems Using Linear Momentum and Impulse
    • 5.1.3 Conservation of Momentum
    • 5.1.4 Solving Problems Using Conservation of Momentum
    • 5.1.5 Rocket Propulsion
  • 5.2 Elastic and Inelastic Collisions
    • 5.2.1 Elastic Collisions in One Dimension
    • 5.2.2 Inelastic Collisions in One Dimension
    • 5.2.3 Collisions in Two Dimensions

6. The Physics of Extended Objects

  • 6.1 Systems of Particles and the Center of Mass
    • 6.1.1 The Center of Mass of a System of Particles
    • 6.1.2 The Center of Mass of a Rigid Body
    • 6.1.3 The Center of Mass and the Motion of a System of Particles
    • 6.1.4 Physics in Action: Motion and the Center of Mass
  • 6.2 Describing Angular Motion
    • 6.2.1 Angular Displacement, Velocity, and Acceleration
    • 6.2.2 Rotation with Constant Angular Acceleration
    • 6.2.3 Relating Angular and Linear Quantities
  • 6.3 Rotational Inertia and Kinetic Energy
    • 6.3.1 The Kinetic Energy of Rotation
    • 6.3.2 Calculating the Rotational Inertia of Solid Bodies
  • 6.4 The Dynamics of Rotational Motion
    • 6.4.1 Torque
    • 6.4.2 Newton's Second Law for Rotational Motion
    • 6.4.3 Solving Problems Using Newton's Second Law for Rotational Motion
    • 6.4.4 Work and Power in Rotational Motion
  • 6.5 Rolling
    • 6.5.1 Understanding Rolling Motion
    • 6.5.2 Solving Problems Involving Rolling Motion
    • 6.5.3 Physics in Action: A Downhill Race
  • 6.6 Angular Momentum
    • 6.6.1 The Definition of Angular Momentum
    • 6.6.2 Torque and Angular Momentum
  • 6.7 Conservation of Angular Momentum
    • 6.7.1 Understanding Conservation of Angular Momentum
    • 6.7.2 Physics in Action: Conservation of Angular Momentum
    • 6.7.3 Solving Problems Using Conservation of Angular Momentum
  • 6.8 Precession
    • 6.8.1 Understanding Precession
  • 6.9 Statics
    • 6.9.1 The Conditions for Static Equilibrium
    • 6.9.2 Understanding Stable Equilibrium and the Center of Gravity
    • 6.9.3 Solving Static Equilibrium Problems

7. Force of Gravity

  • 7.1 Gravity
    • 7.1.1 Newton's Law of Gravitation
    • 7.1.2 Gravity on Earth
    • 7.1.3 Weightlessness
    • 7.1.4 Gravitational Potential Energy
  • 7.2 Orbital Motion
    • 7.2.1 Understanding Circular Orbital Motion
    • 7.2.2 Kepler's Three Laws
    • 7.2.3 Energy in Orbital Motion

8. Fluids

  • 8.1 Fluid Statics
    • 8.1.1 Fluids, Density, and Pressure
    • 8.1.2 Physics in Action: A Bed of Nails
    • 8.1.3 How Pressure Varies with Depth
    • 8.1.4 Physics in Action: Pressure in a Graduated Cylinder
    • 8.1.5 Physics in Action: Pressure Changes in a Bell Jar
    • 8.1.6 Physics in Action: Barrel Crunch
    • 8.1.7 Pascal's Principle and Examples of Hydrostatics
    • 8.1.8 Buoyancy and Archimedes' Principle
    • 8.1.9 Physics in Action: Buoyancy in Air
  • 8.2 Fluid Dynamics
    • 8.2.1 Fluids in Motion: Streamlines and Continuity
    • 8.2.2 Bernoulli's Equation
    • 8.2.3 Physics in Action: A Ball Caught in a Stream of Air
    • 8.2.4 Fluids in the Real World: Surface Tension, Turbulence, and Viscosity

9. Relativity

  • 9.1 Understanding Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity
    • 9.1.1 Einstein's Postulates
    • 9.1.2 The Relativity of Simultaneity
    • 9.1.3 Time Dilation
    • 9.1.4 Length Contraction
  • 9.2 The Lorentz Transformations
    • 9.2.1 The Lorentz Transformation Equations
    • 9.2.2 Solving Problems Using the Lorentz Transformations
  • 9.3 Relativistic Dynamics
    • 9.3.1 Relativistic Momentum
    • 9.3.2 Relativistic Energy
    • 9.3.3 A Clock Story

10. Oscillatory Motion

  • 10.1 Simple Harmonic Motion
    • 10.1.1 A Mass on a Spring: Simple Harmonic Motion
    • 10.1.2 The Equations Describing Simple Harmonic Motion
    • 10.1.3 Energy in Simple Harmonic Motion
  • 10.2 Pendulums
    • 10.2.1 The Simple Pendulum
    • 10.2.2 Physical Pendulums
  • 10.3 Damped and Driven Oscillations
    • 10.3.1 Damped Simple Harmonic Motion
    • 10.3.2 Driven Oscillators
    • 10.3.3 Physics in Action: Resonance

11. Waves

  • 11.1 The Basics of Waves
    • 11.1.1 Introduction to Waves
    • 11.1.2 A Wave on a Rope: Frequency and Wavelength
    • 11.1.3 A Wave on a Rope: Wave Speed
    • 11.1.4 A Wave on a Rope: Energy and Power
  • 11.2 Waves on Top of Waves
    • 11.2.1 Reflection, Transmission, and Superposition
    • 11.2.2 Interference
  • 11.3 Standing Waves
    • 11.3.1 Standing Waves: Two Waves Traveling in Opposite Directions
    • 11.3.2 Standing Waves on a String
    • 11.3.3 Physics in Action: Standing Waves on a Rope
    • 11.3.4 Longitudinal Standing Waves
    • 11.3.5 Physics in Action: Standing Waves on a Sheet of Metal
  • 11.4 Sound
    • 11.4.1 Sound Waves
    • 11.4.2 Physics in Action: Sound Waves in a Flaming Pipe
    • 11.4.3 The Character of Sound and Fourier Analysis
    • 11.4.4 Physics in Action: Musical Instruments and Waveforms
    • 11.4.5 Intensity and Loudness
    • 11.4.6 Sound and Light
  • 11.5 Interference and the Doppler Effect
    • 11.5.1 Sound Waves and Interference
    • 11.5.2 Beats
    • 11.5.3 The Doppler Effect
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