This book is the product of more than half a century of leadership and innovation in physics education. When the first edition of University Physics by Francis W. Sears and Mark W. Zemansky was published in 1949, it was revolutionary among calculus-based physics textbooks in its emphasis on the fundamental principles of physics and how to apply them. The success of University Physics with generations of (several million) students and educators around the world is a testament to the merits of this approach and to the many innovations it has introduced subsequently.
In preparing this First Australian SI edition, our aim was to create a text that is the future of Physics Education in Australia. We have further enhanced and developed University Physics to assimilate the best ideas from education research with enhanced problem-solving instruction, pioneering visual and conceptual pedagogy, the first systematically enhanced problems, and the most pedagogically proven and widely used online homework and tutorial system in the world, Mastering Physics.
Our original aim in adapting Sears and Zemansky and later editions by Hugh D. Young and Roger A. Freedman for the Australian market was to keep the overall integrity of the book in tact since the book is based on years of research on the teaching and learning of physics by undergraduate students. We have ensured that the text retains the key elements of fundamental and conceptual physics which is a central and indispensable tool for students undertaking a first year unit in undergraduate physics, and to also provide academics with an essential outline of physics with which to design curricula for their particular needs. Throughout the book we have not only provided several worked examples to show students how to solve problems but also to test their conceptual understanding of the material covered in various chapters. The book lends itself to be used either as a one, two or three semester course. Academics can choose a combination of chapters for their varied courses because there is plenty of material to do so.
Hugh D. Young is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He attended Carnegie Mellon for both undergraduate and graduate study and earned his Ph.D. in fundamental particle theory under the direction of the late Richard Cutkosky. He joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon in 1956 and has also spent two years as a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Young’s career has centered entirely around undergraduate education. He has written several undergraduate-level textbooks, and in 1973 he became a co-author with Francis Sears and Mark Zemansky for their well-known introductory texts. With their deaths, he assumed full responsibility for new editions of these books until joined by Prof. Freedman for University Physics.
Roger A. Freedman is a Lecturer in Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Freedman 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. He came to UCSB in 1981 after three years 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 helped to develop computer-based tools for learning introductory physics and astronomy.
A. 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’s research area is theoretical atomic physics, with a specialisation in atomic collisions. At Texas A&M he has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, but primarily introductory physics.
Ragbir Bhathal obtained his PhD from the University of Queensland and teaches physics to engineering majors. He carries out research in physics, astrophysics and physics education at the University of Western Sydney, publishing several papers in international refereed journals. He is Project Director of the Australian Optical SETI (OZ OSETI) project, the only dedicated southern hemisphere search for nanosecond laser pulses from outer space. He is considered the father of SETI in Australia. He served as the Foundation Director of the hands-on Singapore Science Centre and as a UNESCO consultant on science policy. He served as an Honorary Secretary of the Singapore National Academy of Science and is a Foreign Fellow of the Singapore Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr Bhathal is also an award winning author and has published 15 books. He was awarded the prestigious Nancy Keesing Fellowship by the State Library of NSW, the CJ Dennis Award for excellence in natural history writing and the 1988 Royal Society of NSW award for services to science and research.