Tutorials In Introductory Physics and Homework Package, 1st edition

  • Lillian C. McDermott
  • Peter S. Shaffer

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Tutorials in Introductory Physics is based on extensive teaching experience and more than twenty years of research in which the Physics Education Group has sought to identify and address common difficulties that students encounter in studying physics. Development of the tutorials was motivated by the conviction that in order to develop a functional understanding of the material students need more assistance than they can obtain through listening to lectures, reading the textbook, and solving standard quantitative problems. Tutorials in Introductory Physics is intended to supplement these traditional forms of instruction by providing a structure that promotes the active mental engagement of students in the process of learning physics. The materials are equally appropriate for algebra-based and calculus-based courses. Working together in small collaborative groups, students help one another go through the steps in reasoning necessary for the construction and application of important concepts and principles. The tutorials have been rigorously class-tested at the University of Washington, at other research universities, and at two-year and four-year colleges.

This First Edition of Tutorials in Introductory Physics builds upon the Preliminary Edition. In addition to new and revised tutorials on mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and waves and optics, the First Edition also includes tutorials on selected topics from hydrostatics, thermodynamics, and modern physics. In all cases,, a complete tutorial sequence consists of a pretest, worksheet, homework assignment, and examination questions that serve as cost-tests. The student texts consist of the tutorial worksheets and homework assignments. Pretests are included in the Instructors Guides: For these instructional materials to be most effective, it is important that course examinations include qualitative questions that emphasize the concepts and reasoning skills developed in the tutorials.

Table of contents



Velocity. Representations of Motion. Acceleration in One Dimension. Motion in Two Dimensions. Relative Motion.

Newton's Law.

Forces. Newton's Second and Third Laws. Tension.

Energy and Momentum.

Work and the Work-Energy Theorem. Changes in Energy and Momentum. Conservation of Momentum in One Dimension. Conservation of Momentum in Two Dimensions.


Rotational Motion. Dynamics of Rigid Bodies. Equilibrium of Rigid Bodies.



Charge. Electric Field and Flux. Gauss' Law. Electric Potential Difference. Capacitance.

Electric Circuits.

A Model for Circuits Part 1: Current and Resistance. A Model for Circuits Part 2: Potential Difference. RC Circuits.


Magnets and Magnetic Fields. Magnetic Interactions.


Lenz' Law. Faraday's Law and Applications.



Superposition and Reflection of Pulses. Reflection and Transmission. Propagation and Refraction of Periodic Waves. Electromagnetic Waves.


Geometrical Optics.

Light and Shadow. Plane Mirrors. Curved Mirrors and Multiple Reflections. Interpretation of Ray Diagrams. Convex Lenses. Magnification.

Physical Optics.

Two-Source Interference. Wave Properties of Light. Multiple-Slit Interference. A Model for Single-Slit Diffraction. Combined Interference and Diffraction. Thin-Filmed Interference. Polarization.



Pressure in a Liquid. Buoyancy.


Ideal Gas Law. First Law of Thermodynamics.

Modern Physics.

Wave Properties of Matter. Photoelectric Effect.

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Published by Pearson (August 20th 2001) - Copyright © 2002