Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach With Modern Physics (3rd Edition)

Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach With Modern Physics (3rd Edition)

Author: Randall D. Knight

Publisher: Pearson


Publish Date: January 7, 2012

ISBN-10: 0321740904

Pages: 1376

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

In 2003 we published Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach. This was the first comprehensive introductory textbook built from the ground up on research into how students can more effectively learn physics. The development and testing that led to this book had been partially funded by the National Science Foundation.

This first edition quickly became the most widely adopted new physics textbook in more than 30 years, meeting widespread critical acclaim from professors and students.

For the second edition, and now the third, we have built on the research-proven instructional techniques introduced in the first edition and the extensive feedback from thousands of users to take student learning even further.


My primary goals in writing Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach have been:

■ To produce a textbook that is more focused and coherent, less encyclopedic.
■ To move key results from physics education research into the classroom in a way that allows instructors to use a range of teaching styles.
■ To provide a balance of quantitative reasoning and conceptual understanding, with special attention to concepts known to cause student difficulties.
■ To develop students’ problem-solving skills in a systematic manner.
■ To support an active-learning environment.

These goals and the rationale behind them are discussed at length in the Instructor Guide and in my small paperback book, Five Easy Lessons: Strategies for Successful Physics Teaching. Please request a copy from your local Pearson sales representative if it is of interest to you (ISBN 978-0-8053-8702-5).

What’s New to This Edition

For this third edition, we continue to apply the best results from educational research, and to refine and tailor them for this course and its students. At the same time, the extensive feedback we’ve received has led to many changes and improvements to the text, the figures, and the end-of-chapter problems. These include:

■ New illustrated Chapter Previews give a visual overview of the upcoming ideas, set them in context, explain their utility, and tie them to existing knowledge (through Looking Back references). These previews build on the cognitive psychology concept of an “advance organizer.”

■ New Challenge Examples illustrate how to integrate multiple concepts and use more sophisticated reasoning in problem-solving, ensuring an optimal range of worked examples for students to study in preparation for homework problems.

■ New Data-based Examples help students with the skill of drawing conclusions from laboratory data. Designed to supplement lab-based instruction, these examples also help students in general with mathematical reasoning, graphical interpretation, and assessment of results. End-of-chapter problem enhancements include the following:

■ Data from Mastering Physics® have been thoroughly analyzed to ensure an optimal range of difficulty, problem types, and topic coverage. In addition, the wording of every problem has been reviewed for clarity. Roughly 20% of the end-of chapter problems are new or significantly revised.

■ Data-based problems allow students to practice drawing conclusions from data (as demonstrated in the new data-based examples in the text).

■ An increased emphasis on symbolic answers encourages students to work algebraically.

The Student Workbook also contains new exercises to help students work through symbolic solutions.

■ Bio problems are set in life-science, bioengineering, or biomedical contexts. Targeted content changes have been carefully implemented throughout the book. These include:

■ Life-science and bioengineering worked examples and applications focus on the physics of life-science situations in order to serve the needs of life-science students taking a calculus-based physics class.

■ Descriptive text throughout has been streamlined to focus the presentation and generate a shorter text.

■ The chapter on Modern Optics and Matter Waves has been re-worked into Chapters 38 and 39 to streamline the coverage of this material. At the front of the book, you’ll find an illustrated walkthrough of the new pedagogical features in this third edition. The Preface to the

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