Lectures on Introductory Physics I
This issue is supposed to implement my dream since 1966 when I was a
student of the St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia,
and later as a professor in Russia. It was impossible to achieve it there
because of lack of available publishing facilities.
The idea is to provide students with handouts, a workbook so they wouldn’t
have to concentrate their whole attention on copying from the chalkboard
or from the screen, but instead concentrate on professor’s words and just
make notes in the space provided in the workbook.
This workbook is based on my handouts, which I have examined in my
Introductory Physics classes during some past years at the College of Charleston,
Charleston, SC, where I teach since 1993. The teaching-learning effectiveness
has been increased, and positive feedback was received from students and
faculty at the College and some other Universities.
Lectures on Physics promotes my vision of the teaching and learning
process by both the contents and the way the materials are presented. The
goal is to increase the teaching-learning effectiveness. The issue includes
• Original photographs and drawings.
Photographs of the author at experiments provide feeling of participation
in the process. E.g.: In Physics I a photograph of myself floating in the
high-density water of the Dead Sea, Israel as a demonstration of the Archimedes’
• Derivations (more complete rather than those given in the
Explanation of derivations doesn’t take this much time compare to the
old-fashioned method when the professor is writing, explaining what and
why s/he is doing and the students have to record both the writing on the
chalkboard and professors’ words.
• Problems (most of them are my original) with solutions for
practicing before the tests are provided. More problems will be supplied
in the supplement. Any textbook has more problems then one can solve during
the course. This gives a professor a choice what to use for teaching. I
have made it.
|• Solutions for these problems (based on my vision)
Providing my original solutions, I explain how concepts should be used
to solve problems.
• Solutions of some problems from the textbook.
I do use a lot of problems from the textbook, but I am not always satisfied
with the solutions provided in it.
Based on my experience of teaching students with diversity of backgrounds,
educational goals and objectives (and the College of Charleston is a bright
example of such a pool of students), I designed number of examples, which
relate concepts of Physics to a variety of concepts in other areas of knowledge
and/or human activity. This helps me approach students in my classes.
The set of transparencies I designed to promote my method of understanding
and relating concepts should be used by the teacher who would chose to
try my method and advise students to buy the workbook.
Even though this workbook will not be able to substitute for the textbook,
it could not be substituted by it either.
Using Lectures on Physics will
• help the professor to cover more material in less time in
class, which isn’t the major goal, but it will give more time for solving
problems, interactive communication with students, answering questions,
• reduce amount of mechanical writing and free the student’s
brain for thinking in class
Availability of Lectures on Physics for students at home, will give
them opportunity to prepare for class, know what to expect in class by
reading a smaller volume rather than a next chapter of the textbook (every
Some of these materials I presented recently at the SACS-AAPT Fall 2000
and Spring 2001 Conferences and First Charleston Connection Conference.
I received a positive feedback from my colleagues.
|Being published, Lectures on Physics will start its own life.
I realize the responsibility in upgrading and updating the materials
to keep the connection.
This volume is the first in my sequence of Lectures on Introductory
I hope that you will like it would use my Lectures on Introductory
My Lectures on General Physics ( Calculus based) are also available.
PS. Important message to students:
Some people are visual learners; some are audio learners...
The success of the learning process depends a lot on how much one can
employ all senses: vision1 , hearing2 , sense
of touch3, sense of smell4 , sense of taste5
, and of course, the 6-th sense - sense of Humor6 .
1 You will see the material in class and in the Lectures on Physics
2 You will hear from the lecturer the material in class and you
should read loud the Lectures on Physics so you could hear it again.
3 You will skip a lot of writing in class and you should
write some of the material of the Lectures on Physics so you could
employ, sense of touch to help you learn.
4 You will use a lot your sense of smell, sense of taste , and
of course, the 6-th sense - sense of Humor in class, but you should never
forget to employ them when you use Lectures on Physics.
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Copyright 2002 © M. AGREST