Preparing for General Physics: Math Skill Drills and Other Useful Help / Edition 1

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Includes Rounds I-V. This self-study workbook provides review of algebra, trigonometry, and calculus topics for students enrolled in introductory physics. All examples relate directly to physics. Emphasis is placed on working with powers of 10 and order of magnitude estimating. Students write their answers in the text and then check their answers on the following page. Also discussing why math is important in physics; pretests; posttests.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201538021
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 8/31/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 7.95 (w) x 10.94 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Before beginning his teaching career in 1963, Arnold Pickar made his connections with physics in a variety of contexts. He was an engineering officer in the merchant marine at the end of World War II and for several years thereafter. Later, working out of the Naval Research Laboratory, he helped develop airborne submarine detection devices and also built instrumentation for rocket-borne ionosphere studies. At the National Bureau of Standards, he studied spin interactions in paramagnetic substances at liquid helium temperatures. Finally, during his tenure at Portland State University, in connection with the Environmental Sciences and Resources Program, he investigated mechanisms of charge transport across lipid bilayer membranes induced by pesticides and other environmental toxins.

At PSU, besides this teaching and research in physics, he taught liberal arts courses on the history and social implications of science and technology. He also helped develop courses integrating physics, chemistry, and biology at both the high school and college science-majors levels.

It was in his teaching of general physics that he became acutely aware of the barriers that cause many otherwise excellent students to stumble pitifully when they encounter their first course in college physics. In response, he developed an evolving series of mini-courses which emphasized not only basic mathematical skills, but the ability to deal with word problems and to think pictorially and graphically. These remedial courses were the genesis of his books, Preparing for General Physics.

Arny is now retired but maintains an active association with Portland State - at least when he's not volunteering for a variety of causes or skiing and hiking.

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Table of Contents

I. Words and Numbers.


Review 1: Dealing with Numbers.

Review 2: Units to Go with the Numbers.

Review 3: Words, Symbols, and Pictures.


Essay: Why is Physics so "Mathematical"?

II. Nature at Its Simplest: Linear Behavior.


Review 4: Proportion and Ratio.

Review 5: Linear Equations.

Review 6: Rearranging Equations—Basic Algebra.

Review 7: Simultaneous Linear Equations.


Essay: Two Remarkable Proportions of Professor Newton.

III. Dealing With Space.


Review 8: Geometry I—Describing and Drawing.

Review 9: Geometry II—Angles. Shape, and Size.

Review 10: Trigonometry I—Mostly Right Triangles.

Review 11: Trigonometry II—Other Triangles and Applications.


Essay: We Live in a Three-Dimensional World—Don't We?

IV. Physics of a Higher Order: Power Functions.


Review 12: Quadratic Expressions.

Review 13: Problems, Formulas, and Physics.

Review 14: Other Power Laws.


Essay: Energy and Other Conservative Issues.

V. Non-Algebraic Functions.


Review 15: Sinusoidal functions—Oscillating Phenomena.

Review 16: Exponential Functions—Growth and Decay.

Review 17: Logarithmic Functions—Big Things, Little Things.


Essay: What in the World? Particles and Waves.

VI. Continuous Change in Physics: Using Calculus.


Review 18: Differential I—Rates of Change and Other Basic Ideas.

Review 19: Differentiation II—More Complicated Expressions.

Review 20: Integration I—The Integral as an Antiderivative.

Review 21: Integration II—The Integral as a Summation.


Appendix: Coping with Test Anxiety.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2004

    This is very useful

    To anyone endeavoring to study some kind of university physics course, be it calculus based or not, should do the math drill¿s in this book. There is a great section on ratios and proportions, as well as Geometry and trig.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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