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Inquiry into Physics 8th Edition

Vern J. Ostdiek | Donald J. Bord

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INQUIRY INTO PHYSICS, 8th Edition, continues to emphasize the inquiry approach to learning physics by asking students to try things, to discover relationships between physical quantities on their own, and to look for answers in the world around them. To build conceptual understanding, this arithmetic-based text includes Physics to Go activities, Concept Maps, and periodic conceptual quizzes. The Applications feature demonstrates the use of physical concepts in areas such as astronomy, medicine, environmental science and cultural studies. Historical development of physics are also reviewed and vignettes about the scientists who made new discoveries possible are included -- elements that are particularly relevant as context for non-science majors.

Vern J. Ostdiek, Benedictine College, Atchison, KS

Vern Ostdiek was an Associate Professor at Benedictine College, where he had a joint appointment in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. In addition to teaching courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science, he oversaw the Computer Discovery Lab. Vern was named Benedictine College's Educator of the Year in 1999. His research interests centered on the nocturnal dynamics of the lower part of the Earth's atmosphere. Past research topics included noctilucent clouds and frontal zones.

Donald J. Bord, University of Michigan, Dearborn

Don Bord, Ph.D., is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Prior to his appointment, he taught at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where his collaboration with Vern Ostdiek led to the development and publication of INQUIRY INTO PHYSICS, now in its 8th Edition. Don has an abiding interest in physics and astronomy education, particularly as it pertains to laboratory instruction, and has published articles in The American Journal of Physics, The Physics Teacher, and Sky and Telescope. He was co-editor, with Clint Sprott, of the first edition of Great Ideas for Teaching Physics. Don's research focuses on determining the abundance of heavy and rare-earth elements in chemically peculiar stars and the Sun using high-resolution spectra. Don served as chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, associate dean for planning and faculty development and associate provost, interim chair of the Department of Health and Human Services in 2016. He was the first recipient of the University of Michigan's Jacqueline Lawson Award for his contributions in the area of faculty governance.

WebAssign is a flexible and fully customizable online instructional solution that puts powerful tools in the hands of teachers, enabling you to realize your teaching goals and instantly assess individual student performance to help students learn math, not just do online homework.

  • CONCEPT MAPS. Concept Maps (one to three in each chapter) visually summarize abstract concepts, helping students link key concepts, processes, and systems in an easy-to-follow flowchart format. End-of-chapter Mapping It Out! features allow students to create and share their own concept maps to improve and validate their understanding of important concepts and key relationships.
  • PROLOGUE. An introductory chapter covers the application of physics, the scientific method, and measurement and answers such basic questions as: What is physics? How does one do physics? How does a beginner learn physics? This chapter has been designed to help students immediately see why the study of physics is a useful and stimulating endeavor.
  • WITHIN-CHAPTER LEARNING CHECKS. To give students an opportunity to test their basic comprehension of the material before going on, Learning Checks at the end of each major section provide conceptual self-quizzes.
  • CHAPTER-ENDING PROFILES. Each chapter ends with a fascinating look at the human side of physics. Newly titled Profiles in Physics, these essays trace the lives and work of individuals who made groundbreaking discoveries and developed the physics concepts presented in the chapter. Exploring the lives of scientists from Aristotle to Murray Gell-Mann, these features reveal to readers the challenges faced and overcome by physicists throughout history.
  • CONCISE, STRUCTURED CONTENTS. With just 12 chapters, INQUIRY INTO PHYSICS, 8th Edition, is more compact than competing texts, making it perfect for instructors teaching one-semester courses and looking for a text structured in a traditional "chapter-a-week" format.
  • NATURAL PHENOMENA APPLICATIONS. The book uses a broad range of applications of physics principles as seen in natural phenomena, such as thunder and lightning storms, rainbows and sundogs, auroras, the greenhouse effect, geomagnetism, and more, to better engage non-science majors.
  • EMPHASIS ON MODERN APPLICATIONS. Modern applications of physics to such devices as iPods and iPads, airport metal detectors, in-home smoke detectors, radar "guns," plasma TVs, fiber optics probes, PET scanners, lasers, and more engage students and show them the relevance of physics in their lives.
  • INQUIRY-BASED APPROACH. Physics to Go activities encourage students to engage with the subject matter through guided hands-on activities and to draw conclusions based on their observations before proceeding to the textual discussion of the principles of physics involved.

Inquiry into Physics


Prologue: Getting Started.
1. The Study of Motion.
2. Newton's Laws.
3. Energy and Conservation Laws.
4. Physics of Matter.
5. Temperature and Heat.
6. Waves and Sound.
7. Electricity.
8. Electromagnetism and EM Waves.
9. Optics.
10. Atomic Physics.
11. Nuclear Physics.
12. Relativity, Particle Physics, and Cosmology.
Appendix A: Winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Appendix B: Math Review.
Appendix C: Answers.
Glossary of Key Terms and Laws.
Table of Conversion Factors and Other Information.
Periodic Table.

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Instructor's Website

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Contains a variety of resources to aid instructors in preparing and presenting text material in a manner that meets their personal preferences and course needs. The posted Instructor’s Manual presents chapter-by-chapter suggestions and resources to enhance and facilitate learning.

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