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When we finished creating the non calculus versions of the chapters in the Physics2000 text, it was clear that the complete set of chapters would be too long for a one-year introductory physics course. The two reasons for this are first, calculus is an effective shorthand notation. A non calculus version needs a more detailed explanation. The second reason is that students in a non calculus course have less of a mathematics background than students who have taken a calculus course, and thus should have more time to digest the material.

To handle this, we have created a core text that makes a balanced treatment of classical and modern physics. We have balanced the particle (Newtonian) behavior of matter and the wave (Quantum) nature of matter. Our choice of material was heavily influenced by the syllabus of Bryan Crump who has been using the Physics2000 calculus based text in a non calculus introductory physics at the Oakland Christian High School. We also appreciate comments by Ron Revere who teaches at the Washington- Lee High School and used the non calculus version of the text.

The chapters left out of the core text are still available on the CD version of the text. We have, in a sense, demoted them to Satellite Chapters, in much the same way that Pluto was demoted to a minor planet. As much as we may like some of the demoted chapters, for example, on Gyroscopes, Entropy, Faraday’s Law, and Atoms and Chemistry, there is not time to do them all in a non calculus course. But the chapters are available for teachers who want to select some of them, and for students who may want to use them for project work.

We have included Essays which are overviews of the material in Satellite chapters. This has been particularly effective in describing Maxwell’s contribution to the theory of Electricity and Magnetism, since we did not have to go through the details of the equations.


Numerous labs and almost all homework exercises are included in the text material. We put the homework at precisely the point where we want the student to stop and think about the material. We avoid the approach of presenting scant text material and then a flood of exercises at the end of the chapter. Our goal is to introduce the concepts of physics and our exercises are carefully selected to do this.

Figure 4 - Student Built Electron Gun

Student-built electron gun showing an elecron beam moving through crossed electric and magnetic fields.

Where possible, we have illustrated concepts with related experiments. We developed an electron gun that students could build and use to study the behavior of electron beams. Unfortunately, with the demise of vacuum tubes, parts for the electron gun are no longer available. Movies of some of the electron gun experiments are available on the accompanying CD.

However, with MacScope, for both Mac and Windows, we are able to supply a free and powerful audio oscilloscope. Not only does MacScope do Fourier analysis, it is a triggered dual beam scope that can do live signal averaging and store data. A good example of the dual beam capability is the experiment in Figure (5), directly measuring the time it takes a sound pulse to travel down a steel pipe. This experiment required the purchase of two external lapel mikes. Experiments recording the sound of musical instruments can be done using the computer's own sound input, at no additional expense.


The accompanying CD contains over 20 movies which can be run by clicking on a related diagram in the CD version of the text. The main movies are the 38-minute muon lifetime movie which we use to introduce the Lorentz contraction, and the newsreel footage of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. It took two years to negotiate for the rights to include the muon lifetime movie on our CD, and we got permission to include the Tacoma Narrows film from the son of the photographer.

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