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Algebra-Based College Physics: Part I

Mechanics to Thermal Physics

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Language:  English
This book provides a concise, but yet comprehensive text of the key topics and concepts covered in the algebra-based introductory physics course at a comprehensive public university.
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This book (Part I and Part II) grew from the request of the author’s students to provide a concise, but yet comprehensive text of the key topics and concepts covered in his algebra-based introductory physics course at a comprehensive public university. Any scientific discipline can only be mastered if the key concepts are applied to a wide-range of problems. Physics is no exception, and this book is intended for use along with one of the existing college-physics texts, where a much greater selection of practice problems can be found.

  1. Mathematical Tools
    1. Units
    2. Scalars and Vectors
  2. Motion in 1 -Dimension
    1. Displacement and Distance
    2. Velocity and Speed
    3. Acceleration
    4. Free Fall
  3. Motion in 2 Dimensions: Projectile Motion
  4. Dynamics: Newton’s Laws
    1. Newton’s Laws
    2. Free-Body Diagram
    3. Gravitational Force
  5. Uniform Circular Motion
  6. Work and Energy
    1. Work-Kinetic Energy
    2. Potential Energy
    3. Non-conservative forces
  7. Momentum
    1. Center of Mass
    2. Collisions
  8. Rotational Kinematics and Dynamics
    1. Rotational Kinematics
    2. Mechanical Equilibrium
    3. Rotational Dynamics
  9. Oscillations
    1. Energy Consideration
    2. Motion on the Reference Circle: Simple Harmonic Motion
    3. Elastic Forces: Spring
    4. Resonance
  10. Fluids
    1. Fluids at Rest
    2. Fluids in Motion
    3. Surface Tension
  11. Waves
    1. Transverse and Longitudinal Waves
    2. Wave Speed
    3. Doppler Effect
    4. Interference
    5. Standing Waves
    6. Diffraction
  12. Thermal Physics
    1. Temperature and Heat
    2. Calorimetry
    3. Ideal Gas Law
    4. Thermodynamics
About the Author

Ulrich Zürcher

The author is a native of Basel, Switzerland, where he also earned a Diploma (in 1985) and Ph.D. (in 1989) in Theoretical Physics. The main research interest of the author is statistical physics applied to a wide variety of problems from physics, chemistry, and biology. After several postdoctoral appointments and visiting positions [at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Clarkson University, and elsewhere], his focus shifted towards teaching mostly at the undergraduate level, first at the University of Rhode Island and since 2003 at Cleveland State University. One his passion is the application of physics in biology and medicine.  The author has published several papers in the American Journal of Physics and the European Journal of Physics.  In 2018, he published the book “Electrostatics at the Molecular Level (Morgan & Claypool Publishing - IOP Publishing).  The connection between classical physics (Hamiltonian mechanics) and quantum mechanics (Schrodinger equation) is one of his current interest.