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Conceptual Physics

4.4 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 8th edition (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9990823405
  • ISBN-13: 978-9990823400
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,316,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I would imagine that the answer to my subject heading is, for most people, NO! But for me it was YES!, as I'd never had a physics class, and it was essential, for research that I am conducting, that I have slightly more than an elementary grasp of physics. I turned to this book, and am glad that I did.
This book, thankfully, is written in conceptual terms. There are few equations - because equations are necessary in science - but you don't need to know calculus or trigonometry to read this book and walk away with a solid foundation.
The author has a clear and easy tone about his writing, and breaks complex concepts down into their simple building blocks so that a typical layperson can understand. I know - because I'm as typical a layperson as they come regarding the sciences.
I can't recommend this highly enough.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I took freshman physics in college. I picked up this book as a bit of a review. It is well worth reading. It is pitched at a level that a 12 year old could understand, but contains physics that would educate and entertain adults. I recommend getting the accompanying work book as well. There are concept questions and math questions. The math questions at the end of the chapters require knowledge of arithmetic ( not heavy algebra or calculus ).
I recommend this book for those that just like to read educational material for fun.... this is a light enough read to allow that. I also recommend this book for science students that want to get the concepts of physics down, before they get bogged down in the math. It makes your higher level physics book much easier to read.
If you dont get this book, you are really missin out on a good thing.
Katherine
PS yes real girls do read physics
1 Comment 68 of 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I am a high school physics teacher. While I was taking my teaching physics courses in my undergraduate education (in 1996), Hewitt's approach in teaching physics and his book "Conceptual Physics" was one of the topics that we have discussed in the class. It is also discussed in a well-known textbook of Chiappetta and et. al. "Science Instruction in the Middle and Secondary Schools". His approach and the book can be considered a breakthrough in physics education.
The major critique on the book focuses on little or no math used in it. But, it is a natural aspect of "conceptual physics". The main aim of that approach is to facilitate the understanding of concepts of physics which will surely create a robust framework for problem solving in physics and, for advanced physics. Many researches have shown that lack of conceptual base for science is the major responsible for the difficulties in deeper understanding, and/or for the obstacles in the road of problem solving.
Do not consider the book as an algebra based or calculus based physics textbook. As it's name says, it is "conceptual". No one can ignore(and actually Hewitt himself does not 'ignore') the beauty of math in physics, actually in any science. Dealing with physics by using the math as the language requires two aspects: 1)a well-structured conceptual understanding of physics, 2)mastery in math. The "Conceptual Physics" is for the first aspect. And it does function very well!
Comment 30 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
As a new teacher returning to physics for the first time since engineering school ten years ago, I found this book to be a wonderful resource. The analogies that Hewitt uses are extremely helpful in explaining concepts to students.
The book was the district chosen book in a lower level physics class that I no longer teach, but I still use it in my honors class as required reading to insure that students understand the concepts before we get to the math.
Comment 26 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I'm in the 4th semester of physics now, and I always look at what this book has to say about a particular area before I dive into my calc-based physics text. It helps reinforce the basics, which, at times can get a little lost in pages of formula derivations. The language is very direct and personable and lacks the overly formal tone that limits the usefulness of many other science texts.

I often find myself just looking through the book recreationally because it's more interesting than books intended to entertain! What are the real primary colors? How does a light bulb really work? What's the difference between incandescence, phosphorescence and fluorescence?

I believe any book should be judged on the author's stated purpose, not on the reader's intended use. The author clearly states that if you are interested physics math, this book is not for you. Conceptual Physics helps you understand what's going on before you start deriving equations.
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By A Customer on May 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The fourth edition of this text is what started me on the path to a masters degree in physics (achieved ten years ago). Now I am preparing to teach basic physics to remedial-level adult students and non-science majors and so am buying an updated copy of the book.
This is a GREAT way to learn concepts for those who don't have the math skills for a standard course (as I didn't when I started all those years ago). I found it a great jumping off point, and I still return to my old text when I find I've forgotten my basics! I can't wait to read the new edition!
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