Classical Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism

(with a bit of Cosmology thrown in)


--Chapters, Chapter-End Solutions and Index--

by Craig Fletcher

Title Page and Acknowledgements

Table of Contents and Note to Students

Chapter 1- What Do You Know About Your World?

Chapter 2  -  Cosmology
Chapter 3  -  Math Review
.....Solutions to Ch 3 Problems
Chapter 4  -  Kinematics
.....Solutions to Ch 4 Problems
Chapter 5  -  Newton's Laws

.....Solutions to Ch 5 Problems
Chapter 6  -  Energy

.....Solutions to Ch 6 Problems

Chapter 7- Momentum

.....Solutions to Ch 7 Problems

Chapter 8  -  Rotational Motion

.....Solutions to Ch 8 Problems
Chapter 9  -  Vibratory Motion

.....Solutions to Ch 9 Problems
Chapter 10  -  Wave Motion

.....Solutions to Ch 10 Problems
Chapter 11  -  Relativity
Second Semester Preamble and First Day Nutshell
Chapter 12  -  Electric and Potential Fields

.....Solutions to Ch 12 Problems
Chapter 13  -  AC/DC Circuits

.....Solutions to Ch 13 Problems

Chapter 14  -  Capacitors

.....Solutions to Ch 14 Problems
Chapter 15  -  Semi-Conductoring Devices

.....Solutions to Ch 15 Problems
Chapter 16  -  Magnetic Fields

.....Solutions to Ch 16 Problems

Chapter 17  -  Magnetic Induction

.....Solutions to Ch 17 Problems
Chapter 18  -  Radios

.....Solutions to Ch 18 Problems


     In a standard Advanced Placement course covering Classical Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism, the emphasis is generally on the theoretical side of the physics involved.  For instance, the idea that an electric field is a modified force field is presented in the beginning, then two long chapters are devoted to deriving mathematical functions that define the electric fields due to various charge configurations (e.g.., a charged ball, a charged rod, a sheet of charge, etc.).  There are very specific mathematical techniques for doing these kinds of operations, many of which are covered within the AP curriculum.
     Having contact with this kind of math is a good thing, especially if a student is interested in going on into physics or engineerring in college. 
     Unfortunately, there are two problems with the E&M part of the Advanced Placement curriculum. 
     First, the mathematical techniques presented are limited in the sense that they can really only be used in relatively simple, ideal situations.  Indeed, they embody the first steps in understanding more complex, more sophisticated approaches, but in and of themselves they are not very useful to anyone who intends never again to look at another physics book in his or her lifetime. 
     Second, these techniques are often more than challenging to deal with during the second semester of one's senior year.  You can't go to sleep for a few days in an AP level E&M class and have much chance of ever catching up.  If you aren't being conscientious, a class like this can ruin the end of your high school stay.

     So what's happening with the Honors course?
     Contrary to the hopes and dreams of many, the course about which the Honor's Physics book is wrapped is not designed to get students out of doing work during the second semester of their senior year.  It will, to some degree, diminish the sometimes mind numbing mathematics students run into during the second semester of an AP course, but students will still be responsible for understanding the basic mathematics associated with E&M.  They will also be responsible for understanding the concepts associated with those topics. 
     What should make the class fun, though, is that students will be expected to learn how to deal with electricity and magnetism in a hands-on way.  They will have the thrill of tearing apart stuff (VCR's, etc.), then using the resulting bits and pieces to build other things like a motor and a simple, solar robot . . . all the while being expected to understand how and why everything actually works.
     In short, if you are about to follow this curriculum, buckle up.  This should be fun, though certainly not trivial.