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Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide 2nd Edition

114 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471134473
ISBN-10: 0471134473
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Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide + Chemistry: Concepts and Problems: A Self-Teaching Guide + Biology: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd edition
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This fully updated edition retains the unique feature of its bestselling predecessor--the interactive, self-teaching technique that offers readers frequent questions and problems to respond to, increasing both learning speed and retention. Mathematical treatments of each subject discussed are set apart and labeled "optional" so readers can choose to do the math or not. Contains fresh examples and new applications such as the now-common use of fiber optics.

From the Back Cover

The fast, easy way to master the fundamentals of physics

Here is the most practical, complete, and easy-to-use guide available for understanding physics and the physical world. Even if you don't consider yourself a "science" person, this book helps make learning key concepts a pleasure, not a chore. Whether you need help in a course, want to review the basics for an exam, or simply have always been curious about such physical phenomena as energy, sound, electricity, light, and color, you've come to the right place! This fully up-to-date edition of Basic Physics:

  • Has been tested, rewritten, and retested to ensure that you can teach yourself all about physics
  • Requires no math—mathematical treatments and applications are included in optional sections so that you can choose either a mathematical or nonmathematical approach
  • Lets you work at your own pace with a helpful question-and-answer format
  • Lists objectives for each chapter—you can skip ahead or find extra help if you need it
  • Reinforces what you learn with end-of-chapter self-tests

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471134473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471134473
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

350 of 356 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Thompson on January 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
rating 4.5;
Dr Kuhn has made a somewhat different approach to the usual methods of teaching physics
1) Mathematically (formulas!)
2) Conceptually (no mathematics, just ideas, more like 'popular science')
Instead he has sought a pedagogically stronger middle ground (balancing act) between these two methods that don't always compliment each other: especially in the minds of those who can't do mathematics very well but commmunicate well, or do mathematics very well and not the communicating thing very well. This means he has effectively made physics more accessible and more applicable (by including optional mathematical treatments of some topics). SO you can learn the concepts and then move on to the introductory mathematics of these concepts.
Lets face it: the push with physics now, so it seems, is concept mastery before mathematical treatment (anybody can learn some equations, plug the numbers in and turn the handle...it's knowing what they meant that's far more important). Dr Kuhn does a good job of this. His language, style and setting are conducive to reading and gaining the concepts in a fairly standard progression (this can be seen in the table of contents). The level here is for the 10-11 grade student or somebody who has never seen physics before. This book will not make passing those university physics courses overly likely. But it will get you on the right track so you can confront the books that those courses require you to read (and work with mathematically). Dr Kuhn uses the tool of a small 'section' quiz - three, four five questions at the end of each section (very short!) to reinforce the point of that section.
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101 of 104 people found the following review helpful By D. Yee on March 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a great place to start for anyone wanting to learn the basics of Newtonian physics. I decided to read this book in preparation for my high school's Physics AP class that I'll be taking next year. Comparing this book to an outline of the course, I found that the book covers more topics than the class, but in less detail. Like I said, it's great for the basics, but that's about it. The approach is rather non-mathematical, but very clear and easy to understand. Kuhn has done a great job of making basic physics understandable. This book, in conjunction with a study text, such as Schaum's Beginning Physics I or a textbook, would be an ideal way to learn physics on your own.
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130 of 136 people found the following review helpful By Rodney J. Szasz on September 19, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Should bring you up to Grade 12 level in Physics or serve as a good primer for those middle age lovers of science whose occupations never test our knowledge of physics, but nonetheless who feel the need for a physics "fix" later in life.
This book is so good that I never have to ask my wife (an Engineer) for help. In that sense it is good for family relations as well.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Filip on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I liked the book. It's very simple, quite organised. I belive it has about 23 chapters. Starts with velocity, speed, gravity, weight, then goes to more advanced areas for example waves, particles, etc. Sometimes it gives the background of a discovery. Newton liked to make people sad, I think I remember. It has the regular Einstein is the greatest mind of all times. I think it tries to explain the E=MC2 that everybody knows and few understand it.

It's pretty simple. Stripped out of all formulas but the most useful ones. I really liked the beginning of the book, dealing with gravity. For example, there is no such thing as Zero gravity. The cosmonauts are acutally in microgravity because they fall with the ship, and the ship falls continously in a straight line towards earth, but as it falls it spirals around the earth because of gravity, which makes it miss the target and be kept orbiting around the earth. There is not one place in space where there is no gravity.

What I like about this book is the way it teaches the reader. It continously asks questions. Why this, why that, and you have to figure it out yourself. Although it does give brief introductory substance, but what you have the job to expand it. Luckily, all the answers are right beneath wihch is very annoying. Somtimes I see the answer before, and now the question is useless. I had to cover the answers before reading the questions.

But I belive there is an equal amount of literature and formulas. You won't learn math from this book, but the general idea. I gave it 5 starts because it is what the title says: self-teaching, and basic.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Hauri on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought several physics books for my husband, as he really wanted to learn physics. He never had it in school so he needed a basic physics book. Out of all the books I bought, this one is by far his favorite. It explains everything very well and truly works well as a self-teaching guide. Highly recommended if you are looking for a good book as a basic physics refresher or to learn about physics for the first time. It goes over all the areas of general physics, which provides a great overview of the subject.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Bell on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book very helpful in preparing for my teacher certification test to teach high school science. It helped me recall many physical concepts that I had studied in college years ago. The book is written in language that is easy to understand. The fill-in-the-blank format helps to reinforce ideas. This is an excellent book.
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