Wouldn't it be great if there were a physics book that showed you how things work instead of telling you how? Finally, with Head First Physics
, there is. This comprehensive book takes the stress out of learning mechanics and practical physics by providing a fun and engaging experience, especially for students who "just don't get it." Head First Physics
offers a format that's rich in visuals and full of activities, including pictures, illustrations, puzzles, stories, and quizzes -- a mixed-media style proven to stimulate learning and retention. One look will convince you: This isn't mere theory, this is physics brought to life through real-world scenarios, simple experiments, and hypothetical projects. Head First Physics
is perfect for anyone who's intrigued by how things work in the natural world.
You'll quickly discover that physics isn't a dry subject. It's all about the world we live in, encompassing everything from falling objects and speeding cars, to conservation of energy and gravity and weightlessness, and orbital behavior. This book:
- Helps you think like a physicist so you can understand why things really work the way they do
- Gives you relevant examples so you can fully grasp the principles before moving on to more complex concepts
- Designed to be used as a supplement study guide for the College Board's Advanced Placement Physics B Exam
- Introduces principles for the purpose of solving real-world problems, not memorization
- Teaches you how to measure, observe, calculate -- and yes -- how to do the math
- Covers scientific notation, SI units, vectors, motion, momentum conservation, Newton's Laws, energy conservation, weight and mass, gravitation and orbits, circular motion and simple harmonic motion, and much more
If "Myth Busters" and other TV programs make you curious about our physical world -- or if you're a student forced to take a physics course -- now you can pursue the subject without the dread of boredom or the fear that it will be over your head. Head First Physics comes to the rescue with an innovative, engaging, and inspirational way to learn physics!
Whether you're struggling to pass the AP Physics B exam, fighting a headache from your college physics course, or just want to understand how the world around you really works, Head First Physics will give you what you need to master algebra-based mechanics and practical physics. Designed for the way your brain works instead of a text-heavy approach that puts you to sleep, this book offers a multi-sensory learning experience and encourages a deeper understanding of the material.
Hey! You want to pass, understand and ...yes...even enjoy physics, so...
Learn Physics the Head First way...
Physics textbooks or exam prep books usually present you with all the facts you might need to know, in a quick-fire overwhelming way. In Head First Physics, the pace is deliberately slower to give you space to explore and make your own discoveries. For example, you'll spend a chapter solving clues in a treasure hunt competition--as you go along you'll find out for yourself how vectors work, and how they help you to win! The interactivity and self-teaching style is a huge contrast to the usual textbook method of listing every possible "fact" about vectors as quickly as possible.
In Head First Physics, it's the exploration that makes things stick—and makes the physics easier to learn. You're immersing yourself in the scenario and taking part rather than "reading along and nodding" from the "outside" like you would for most books.
One area in particular where exploration is key is in the "crossover" between math and physics. Many students say that they can "use" equations or mathematical relationships in simple problems where it's possible to substitute values from the question into equations given on a sheet. But more complicated problems can be a real struggle, with students not knowing where to start, not knowing which values or equations to use, and feeling stuck in an "I don't get it" rut.
Overcome Past Learning Struggles...
In Head First Physics, you spend a lot of time building solid foundations and working out the "simple" equations for yourself. For example, you spend a chapter working out how to defend a castle--and by the end, you really understand how trigonometry works. And after implementing a training schedule for a thoroughbred hamster, radians and circular motion are no longer a mystery. The relationships between the math and the physics are clear when you go on to apply what you've learned to other areas, such as forces or orbits.
Spending time on the foundations gives you a new depth of understanding, far beyond "find an equation, plug in some values." Faced with a more complicated problem, you'll be able to spot the places where you can break it down into simpler problems that you already know how to do.
In Head First Physics, you find yourself in many different scenarios--designing a music player, fixing a pizza delivery website, helping the dingo catch the emu, going to Pluto - and so on! So instead of a problem set at the end of each chapter, you solve scenario-related problems as you go along so that there's always a direct application for what you're doing. Many of the problems have hints, and every time you flip the page, there are fully worked answers and explanations that you can compare with your own. No more wondering "where they got that answer from!"
Another element that hones your problem solving skills are the Question Clinics. Each Question Clinic gives an outline of a typical "type" of physics question, showing you the buzzwords that help you to work out what you're supposed to do, and giving you hints about how you should proceed.
Make Connections and See the Big Picture
Force... mass... weight... momentum... impulse... potential energy... kinetic energy...The typical textbook approach to these topics is to say: "Here are Newton's three laws, in order. Here are some other equations for momentum conservation and impulse. Here are a couple more equations for potential and kinetic energy." This makes it natural for students to treat each topic completely separately, with a list of unrelated equations that are difficult to memorise and even harder to apply.
In Head First Physics, it's the connections that are emphasized. You find out about momentum conservation while helping some pirates deal with a ghost ship, which you use to discover Newton's 2nd & 3rd laws and impulse. Your next assignment is for "Fakebusters" investigating a phoney "instant weight loss" machine, where you use what you already learned about forces to work out the difference between weight and mass and master the normal force. Being the physics consultant on a computer game helps you to consolidate what you know about forces, then you discover energy conservation while working out a way to lift the sword in the stone using physics.
Head First Problem Solving Tips
Don't try to memorize!
That's got to be the most important thing. Physics is like a sport — you learn best by doing rather than by memorizing. So the whole book's geared towards learning by doing, through solving problems as you go along.
Start with a sketch, and write down all the values you already know on it.
This gets the visual parts of your brain working and gives you a single reference on your page where you've collected together everything you know so far.
Ask: "What's it LIKE"?
Physics is about the world around you, and you already have plenty of experience there. Your sketch may remind you of a scenario you've seen before, or a similar problem you've previously solved, even if the "story" is different.
Don't be afraid to have a go.
The best way to solve a problem is to start it. You won't always see in advance how you're going to work your way through the problem, but as you sketch and write things down you'll often get ideas popping into your head that you can run with.