This textbook is designed to familiarize students with the concepts and problem-solving skills of physics. It is meant to fill a gap between a purely conceptual, “physics for poets” course (usually only one term long, with virtually no mathematics), and the first term of an algebra-based General Physics sequence (often called “College Physics” and covering a full academic year).

A conceptual physics course provides thought-provoking and qualitative explanations of the physics of everyday phenomena. These types of courses are an excellent introduction to viewing the world around you in a new light, but they do not have the mathematical rigor that is required to solve quantitative problems.

In this book, you will find qualitative descriptions of physics concepts, derivations of some of the equations we will use as tools to solve problems, worked example problems, and practice problems. In the online version of the text, you can interact with many of the figures and diagrams that are just static images in the print version, and see solutions to practice problems immediately upon completion. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the online version of the text can generate nearly-limitless variations in the practice problems.

When used appropriately, these features help you learn. For example, you can look at a graph, predict what should happen when you make some particular change, and see the results—if you got it right, good job! If not, you can analyze what actually happened and further your understanding of the phenomenon. With solutions to practice problems immediately available, you do not need to wait to receive feedback from your professor. The variations in the practice problems gives you the opportunity for more practice without needing to do the exact same problem over and over.

Dan Roth
Olympic College
December 2018