University Physics with Modern Physics, 15th edition

Published by Pearson (July 6, 2019) © 2020

  • Hugh D. Young Carnegie Mellon University
  • Roger A Freedman University of California, Santa Barbara


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For courses in calculus-based physics.

Practice makes perfect

University Physics with Modern Physics addresses the challenge of students seeing connections between worked examples in the textbook and problems on homework and exams. Written to help students see the big picture of what each worked example is trying to illustrate, the text enables them to practice using sets of related problems that help identify repeating patterns and strategies.

The 15th Edition provides multiple new features and resources that provide problem-solving practice and address students' tendency to focus on the details posed in a problem, rather than recognizing the underlying principle or the problem's type.

Hallmark features of this title

Provide problem-solving tools

  • A research-based problem-solving approach (Identify, Set Up, Execute, Evaluate) teaches students to tackle problems thoughtfully rather than cutting straight to the math.

Reinforce problem-solving skills

  • Bridging Problems use scaffolding to help students move from single-concept worked examples to multi-concept problems.
  • Examples and Conceptual Examples allow students to explore problem-solving challenges.

Build conceptual understanding

  • Test Your Understanding questions use a multiple-choice or ranking-task format to let students probe for common misconceptions.
  • Annotated equations illustrate all key equations to help students make a connection between a conceptual and mathematical understanding of physics.

New and updated features of this title

Give students the problem-solving tools

  • Key Example Variation Problems provide a range of related problems that use the same basic approach to solve. These build in difficulty by changing scenarios and adding complexity and/or steps of reasoning and are based on selected worked examples in the Guided Practice sections.
  • Worked example “Key Concept” statements provide a brief summary of the key idea used in the solution to consolidate what was most important and what can be broadly applied to other problems.

Reinforce problem-solving skills

  • EXPANDED: Challenge problems often involve calculus with multiple steps through a complex analysis and/or an exploration of a topic or application not explicitly covered in the chapter.
  • Estimation problems help students learn to analyze problem scenarios, assess data, and work with orders of magnitude. Students explore the problem's situation, determine what data needs to be estimated and then estimate that data.
  • EXPANDED: Cumulative problems promote more advanced problem-solving techniques, requiring students to use knowledge and skills from previous chapters and to integrate with understanding and skills from the current chapter.

Build conceptual understanding

  • EXPANDED: Caution paragraphs focus on typical misconceptions and student problem areas.

Features of Mastering Physics for the 15th Edition

  • NEW: Enhanced End-of-Chapter Questions provide expanded remediation built into each question when and where students need it. 50% of all end-of-chapter problems now have wrong-answer feedback and links to the eText.
  • NEW: Key Example Variation Problems build in difficulty by changing scenarios, swapping the knowns vs. unknowns, and adding complexity and/or steps of reasoning to provide the most helpful range of related problems that use the same basic approach to find their solutions. Assignable in Mastering Physics.
  • NEW: Bridging Problems help students move from single-concept worked examples to multi-concept homework problems and are now assignable in Mastering Physics.
  • NEW: Alternate problem sets provide hundreds of new questions and problems for additional problem-solving practice and offer instructors more options when creating assignments.
  • NEW: Quantitative Prelecture Videos now complement the conceptual Interactive Prelecture Videos designed to expose students to concepts before class and help them learn how problems for a specific concept are worked.
  • Interactive Prelecture Videos introduce key topics with embedded assessment to help students prepare before lecture and to help professors identify student misconceptions.

Features of Pearson eText for the 15th Edition

  • NEW: Video Tutor Demonstrations and Video Tutor Solutions are integrated within the eText.

Complete version: Chapters 1-44

Available in 3 separate volumes:

  • Volume 1: Chapters 1-20
  • Volume 2: Chapters 21-37
  • Volume 3: Chapters 37-44


  1. Units, Physical Quantities, and Vectors
  2. Motion Along a Straight Line
  3. Motion in Two or Three Dimensions
  4. Newton's Laws of Motion
  5. Applying Newton's Laws
  6. Work and Kinetic Energy
  7. Potential Energy and Energy Conservation
  8. Momentum, Impulse, and Collisions
  9. Rotation of Rigid Bodies
  10. Dynamics of Rotational Motion
  11. Equilibrium and Elasticity
  12. Fluid Mechanics
  13. Gravitation
  14. Periodic Motion


  1. Mechanical Waves
  2. Sound and Hearing


  1. Temperature and Heat
  2. Thermal Properties of Matter
  3. The First Law of Thermodynamics
  4. The Second Law of Thermodynamics


  1. Electric Charge and Electric Field
  2. Gauss's Law
  3. Electric Potential
  4. Capacitance and Dielectrics
  5. Current, Resistance, and Electromotive Force
  6. Direct-Current Circuits
  7. Magnetic Field and Magnetic Forces
  8. Sources of Magnetic Field
  9. Electromagnetic Induction
  10. Inductance
  11. Alternating Current
  12. Electromagnetic Waves


  1. The Nature and Propagation of Light
  2. Geometric Optics
  3. Interference
  4. Diffraction


  1. Relativity
  2. Photons: Light Waves Behaving as Particles
  3. Particles Behaving as Waves
  4. Quantum Mechanics I: Wave Functions
  5. Quantum Mechanics II: Atomic Structure
  6. Quantum Mechanics II: Atomic Structure
  7. Molecules and Condensed Matter
  8. Nuclear Physics
  9. Particle Physics and Cosmology

About our authors

Roger A. Freedman is a Lecturer in Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was an undergraduate at the University of California campuses in San Diego and Los Angeles and did his doctoral research in nuclear theory at Stanford University under the direction of Professor J. Dirk Walecka. Dr. Freedman came to UCSB in 1981 after three years of teaching and doing research at the University of Washington.

At UCSB, Dr. Freedman has taught in both the Department of Physics and the College of Creative Studies, a branch of the university intended for highly gifted and motivated undergraduates. He has published research in nuclear physics, elementary particle physics, and laser physics. In recent years, he has worked to make physics lectures a more interactive experience through the use of classroom response systems and pre-lecture videos.

In the 1970s Dr. Freedman worked as a comic book letterer and helped organize the San Diego Comic-Con (now the world's largest popular culture convention) during its first few years. Today, when not in the classroom or slaving over a computer, Dr. Freedman can be found either flying (he holds a commercial pilot's license) or with his wife, Caroline, cheering on the rowers of UCSB Men's and Women's Crew.

In Memoriam: Hugh Young (1930–2013)

Hugh D. Young was Emeritus Professor of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University. He earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from that university. He earned his Ph.D. in fundamental particle theory under the direction of the late Richard Cutkosky. Dr. Young joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon in 1956 and retired in 2004. He also had two visiting professorships at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Young's career was centered entirely on undergraduate education. He wrote several undergraduate-level textbooks, and in 1973 he became a coauthor with Francis Sears and Mark Zemansky for their well-known introductory textbooks. In addition to his role on Sears and Zemansky's University Physics, he was the author of Sears and Zemansky's College Physics.

Dr. Young earned a bachelor's degree in organ performance from Carnegie Mellon in 1972 and spent several years as Associate Organist at St. Paul's Cathedral in Pittsburgh. He often ventured into the wilderness to hike, climb, or go caving with students in Carnegie Mellon's Explorers Club, which he founded as a graduate student and later advised. Dr. Young and his wife, Alice, hosted up to 50 students each year for Thanksgiving dinners in their home.

Always gracious, Dr. Young expressed his appreciation earnestly: "I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to my colleagues at Carnegie Mellon, especially Professors Robert Kraemer, Bruce Sherwood, Ruth Chabay, Helmut Vogel, and Brian Quinn, for many stimulating discussions about physics pedagogy and for their support and encouragement during the writing of several successive editions of this book. I am equally indebted to the many generations of Carnegie Mellon students who have helped me learn what good teaching and good writing are, by showing me what works and what doesn't. It is always a joy and a privilege to express my gratitude to my wife, Alice, and our children, Gretchen and Rebecca, for their love, support, and emotional sustenance during the writing of several successive editions of this book. May all men and women be blessed with love such as theirs." We at Pearson appreciated his professionalism, good nature, and collaboration. He will be missed.

Lewis Ford is Professor of Physics at Texas A&M University. He received a B.A. from Rice University in 1968 and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1972. After a one-year postdoc at Harvard University, he joined the Texas A&M physics faculty in 1973 and has been there ever since. Professor Ford has specialized in theoretical atomic physics—in particular, atomic collisions. At Texas A&M he has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, but primarily introductory physics.

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