“In the matter of physics, the first lessons should contain nothing but what is experimental and interesting to see. A pretty experiment is in itself often more valuable than twenty formulae extracted from our minds.” ~Albert Einstein
Physics is a science that relates to all other sciences: Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Astronomy, Meteorology, Engineering, etc. Everything on Earth, everything in our solar system, everything in our galaxy, and everything in the universe moves and interacts, and forces play a big part in that. Physicists study those forces and interactions, and the effects that they have. For an excellent introduction to the science of physics, see:
PHYSICS4KIDS.COM is a free website that teaches the basics of physics to all ages. It has sections on motion, heat & thermodynamics, electricity & magnetism, light, sound, waves, and modern physics. It explains the topics with as little math as possible. Activities and quizzes are included.
8th Grade Physical Science – Energy, Heat, Force, Motion, Machines, Light, Sound, Electricity, Magnetism, Matter. The content available on the Georgia Department of Education’s Shared Resources Website is available for anyone to view. Courses are divided into modules and are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards.
A collection of physics links based on state standards for middle school students:
- Newton’s First Law of Motion
- Newton’s Second Law of Motion
- Newton’s Third Law of Motion
The Physics Classroom– An online physics tutorial originally developed for physics students at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois. This site contains tutorials, multimedia displays, and practice exercises dealing with basic concepts in physics. Each unit is broken up into lessons and sub-lessons resembling the type and extent of coverage given to that physics topic in class. The sub-lessons are accompanied by Check Your Understanding sections, providing an opportunity to assess one’s understanding of the lesson material. The tutorial, when combined with other resources at this site, provide students a great opportunity to learn and to test their understanding.
Free High School Science Text: Physics – An online textbook for High School students studying Physics. Also available in a printable PDF version. Part of a University of Cape Town (UCT) project, and edited to follow the South African government’s syllabus, Free High School Science Texts was started by South African physicist Mark Horner “to provide free science and mathematics textbooks for Grades 10 to 12 science learners in South Africa.” The textbooks offered are free knowledge, in that they are both openly sharable and affordable. UCT students and volunteers expect and receive no royalties of any kind from the sale of the books. The only cost schools have to cover, in effect, would be printing. Mark Horner holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from UCT, and conducted his research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.
Physics Study Guide – This guide is meant as a supplement to a year long freshman level physics course with a trigonometry prerequisite. Some ideas from calculus are included in the book but are not necessary to understand the content. The overview of equations and definitions and eventually sample problem solutions are pertinent to an introductory, college-level physics course suitable for pre-meds. This is not a stand alone textbook; rather the intent is to help the student and any other interested person quickly familiarize themselves with concepts and terminology so as to use the appropriate equations to get the desired answers to physics problems. A featured book on Wikibooks, it contains substantial content and is is well-formatted.
Physics Videos – Solid understanding of algebra and a basic understanding of trigonometry necessary. (From Khan Academy, a not-for-profit with the goal of providing a world-class education to anyone anywhere, completely free of charge.)
The Mechanical Universe…and Beyond – A video instructional series on physics for high school and college classrooms and adult learners; 52 half-hour video programs and coordinated books (shown at left). This series helps teachers demystify physics by showing students what it looks like. Field trips to hot-air balloon events, symphony concerts, bicycle shops, and other locales make complex concepts more accessible. Inventive computer graphics illustrate abstract concepts such as time, force, and capacitance, while historical reenactments of the studies of Newton, Leibniz, Maxwell, and others trace the evolution of theories. The Mechanical Universe helps meet different students’ needs, from the basic requirements of liberal arts students to the rigorous demands of science and engineering majors. Produced by the California Institute of Technology and Intelecom. 1985.
College Physics for Students of Biology and Chemistry – This is a comprehensive online textbook written for first-year undergraduate physics students. It assumes that you have a working knowledge of algebra, that you are currently taking or have taken a college level course in Biology and one in Chemistry, and that you are interested in biology, chemistry or one of the health-related fields.
Amusement Park Physics – This site explores the physics involved in amusement park rides such as roller coasters, carousels, and bumper cars. What are the forces behind the fun?
Fizzics Fizzle! – This comprehensive guide to the world of physics is divided into three levels—Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Includes a reference section for quickly looking up formulas, values, and several tables that provide you with the information needed to do most physics problems.
How Things Work/The Six Simple Machines – The target age of this title is 8-12 years old, although older kids, and even adults, may enjoy its simplicity, clarity, and brevity.
Learn Physics Today! – An online physics tutorial designed to teach the fundamentals of physics: mechanics, light and waves, and electricity.
Physics Central– This site, sponsored by the American Physical Society, provides information on physics as it relates to everyday life. Physics@Home is a collection of physics experiments that can be done at home. Color Me Physics is a series of activity and coloring books created with the goal of introducing children to physics is a fun, exciting way. If you have questions about how things work, or why things are the way they are, you can even Ask-a-Physicist.
Physics Experiments You Can Do at Home – FREE ebook! Download this 22-page ebook with many different experiments exploring motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism and light. Brought to you by The Wonders of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Wonders of Physics is aimed at generating interest in physics among people of all ages and backgrounds, showing that physics can be entertaining as well as educational.
Physics Demonstrations: A Sourcebook for Teachers of Physics by Dr. Julien Clint Sprott is a full-color, 300-page, heavily illustrated book containing a detailed description of 85 demonstrations. It is accompanied by two closed-captioned DVDs showing all 85 demonstrations presented to a live audience. Organized to teach the six major areas of classical physics — motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, and light — the book includes: a brief description of each demonstration, materials lists with sources for common materials, preparation procedures, discussions of the physics principles demonstrated, potential safety hazards, and references for further information. Professor Sprott’s demonstrations will appeal to general audiences and students from grade school to graduate school. This book and DVDs should be on the shelf of every educator who wants to make science come to life in the minds and hearts of students. Great value – low price!