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Physics: Home

A guide to useful resources for Physics students.

Physics Books, eBooks and Resources

What is Physics?

Physics, which comes from the Greek phúsis, meaning “nature,” is concerned with describing the interactions of energy, matter, space, and time to uncover the fundamental mechanisms that underlie every phenomenon.  (From: University Physics Volume 1. Senior Contributing Authors: Moebs, Ling, and Sanny)

Physics is the study of the laws that determine the structure of the universe with reference to the matter and energy of which it consists. The physics of astronomical bodies and their interactions is known as astrophysics, the physics of the earth is known as geophysics, and the study of the physical aspects of biology is called biophysics.  (From Oxford Dictionary of Physics, 8th Edition. Law and Rennie, Eds.)

Physics Courses at TCC

PHYS 1114 - General Physics I
General Physics I is an algebra based course with a laboratory. This course includes classical mechanics in one and two dimensions.  This course may also include thermodynamics, fluids, oscillations, and/or waves.

PHYS 1214 - General Physics II 
General Physics II is an algebra based course with a laboratory. This course is a continuation of PHYS 1114 and includes electricity, magnetism, circuits, and optics.  This course may also include thermodynamics, fluids, modern physics, oscillations, and/or waves. 

PHYS 2034 - Physics I with Calculus 
Physics for engineering and science students. Calculus-based course covering Newtonian mechanics. 

PHYS 2124 - Physics II with Calculus 
Physics for engineering and science students. A continuation of PHYS 2034 dealing with magnetism, electricity, and light. 


University Physics (the textbook for Physics 1 and 2 with Calculus) has been developed to meet the scope and sequence of most university physics courses and provides a foundation for a career in mathematics, science, or engineering. The book provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of physics and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and to the world around them. 


Volume 1 covers mechanics, sound, oscillations, and waves.                 
Volume 2 covers thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism.

Interactive Resources, News, and Educational Resources

Khan Academy's Introduction to Physics: An overview of Physics and its relationships with math and the other sciences.

PhET: Free interactive math and science simulations.

Physics World: Published by the Institute of Physics, Physics World communicates world-class research and innovation to the widest possible audience. 

MERLOT Physics Portal: A collection of educational resources for instructors and students of physics, focusing on open access and open source content that improves conceptual understanding and problem solving.

Professional Associations

The American Institute of Physics: AIP is committed to the preservation of physics for future generations, the success of physics students both in the classroom and professionally and the promotion of a more scientifically literate society.

The American Physical Society:  a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. 

The Institute of Physics: The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics in the UK and Ireland, with an active role in promoting co-operation in physics around the world. 

The Society of Physics Students: The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association explicitly designed for students and their advisers.

Recommended Reading

Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Raymond A Serway and John W Jewett :
From the Preface: "This introductory Physics textbook has two main objectives: to provide the student with a clear and logical presentation of the basic concepts and principles of physics, and to strengthen an understanding of the concepts and principles through a broad range of interesting applications to the real world."

Sears and Zemansky's University Physics: With Modern Physics Technology Update:
From the Preface: "When the first edition of University Physics by Francis W. Sears and Mark W. Zemansky was published in 1949, it was revolutionary among calculus-based physics textbooks in its emphasis on the fundamental principles of physics and how to apply them."

The Feynman Lectures on Physics
From the Preface: "Feynman’s lectures are as powerful today as when first published, thanks to Feynman’s unique physics insights and pedagogy. Perhaps no other set of physics books has had such wide impact, for so long."

Walter Lewin's Lectures

Walter Lewin's Lectures:
"Walter Lewin is best known for his captivating lectures on elementary physics, which he delivered as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for several years." (From Gale in Context - Biography)

Lectures by Walter Lewin: This channel contains the complete Physics I: Classical Mechanics, Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism, and Physics III: Vibrations and Waves lectures as presented by Walter Lewin in the fall of 1999, spring of 2002 and fall of 2004.

In this video, Lewin puts his life on the line to demonstrate the conservation of energy. He explains why the sky is blue, why clouds are white and why sunsets are red.

Ramamurti Shankar's Lectures

"Ramamurti Shankar is the Josiah Willard Gibbs professor of Physics at Yale University. His research is in theoretical condensed matter physics, although he is also known for his earlier work in theoretical particle physics." (From Gale in Context - Biography and Wikipedia)

YouTube Channels:
Fundamentals of Physics with Ramamurti Shankar
Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism

In this video, Shankar gives an overview of Newtonian mechanics and explains its two components: kinematics and dynamics. 


Veritasium is a channel of science and engineering videos featuring experiments, expert interviews, demos, and discussions with the public about everything science. Dr. Derek Muller is its creator. He completed a degree in Engineering Physics from Queen's University in Canada, and a PhD in physics education research at the University of Sydney.

In this video, Muller explains the physics of how trees absorb water from their roots to their topmost branches.

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