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College Physics: Putting It All Together

Ron Hellings Montana State University
Jeff Adams Pennsylvania State University
Greg Francis Montana State University

This algebra-based first-year physics textbook is a ground-breaking iconoclast in this market, answering a clear demand from physics instructors for a clearer, shorter, more readable and less expensive introductory textbook.

Print Book, ISBN 978-1-938787-93-5, US $98.50
eBook, eISBN 978-1-938787-95-9, US $75
Publish Date: 2018
640 pages, Casebound
Original Two-Color Illustrations Throughout


College Physics: Putting It All Together is an algebra-based physics text designed for the first year, non-calculus college course. Although it covers the traditional topics in the traditional order, this book is very different from its over-inflated and overpriced competitors. College Physics: Putting It All Together:

  • features a clear and streamlined narrative. When the authors break away to introduce a worked example, it is introduced in the text and is directly related to the subject preceding it.
  • tells the students what they need to know to solve the homework and test problems without a lot of unnecessary puffery.
  • keeps students engaged with a friendly and even occasionally humorous writing style, and droll illustrations.
  • handles common student misconceptions in difficult topics by weaving them into the narrative.
  • retains key textbook elements that are truly useful, such as worked examples, summaries and plenty of chapter-ending problems.
  • is prices affordably for your students
  • features optional online homework from WebAssign.

This textbook is a ground-breaking iconoclast in this market, answering a clear demand from physics instructors for a clearer, shorter, more readable and less expensive introductory textbook.


List of Adoptions
Sample Chapter
Errata, first printing
Errata, second printing

Table of Contents

Preface xi
1. Introduction 1
2. One-Dimensional Kinematics 11
3. Vectors 37
4. Two-Dimensional Kinematics 55
5. Newton’s Laws 79
6. Forces 97
7. Energy 121
8. Momentum 147
9. Rotational Dynamics 167
10. Pressure and Fluids 191
11. Simple Harmonic Motion 207
12. Pulses and Waves 227
13. Standing Waves 251
14. Thermal Physics 269
15. Thermodynamics 283
16. Electric Forces and Fields 301
17. Voltage 333
18. Circuits 355
19. Magnetic Forces and Fields 385
20. Induction 411
21. Light and Electromagnetic Waves 435
22. Geometrical Optics 455
23. Wave Optics 483
24. Special Relativity 511
25. Atomic Physics and Quantum Mechanics 543
26. Nuclear and Particle Physics 563
Appendices 583
Answers to Odd-Numbered Problems 599
Photo and Figure Credits 609
Index 611


“A briefer, less detailed, and more affordable textbook is keenly needed for the introductory, algebra-based physics course. I applaud Hellings & co. for undertaking this important challenge.”
-John R. Taylor, University of Colorado

“College Physics has been an outstanding text overall. It has been perfect for the needs of my students, providing succinct and clear explanations of all necessary concepts without either skimping on derivations or getting lost on pointless rabbit trails. I could not be more pleased with the content of this text.”
-Josh Edgren, Augustine School

“This is a stream-lined and cost-effective college physics book that is very well-written. The strong narrative text coupled with effective examples and problems provides an excellent resource for college physics students at my institution.”
-Michael Dunham, SUNY Fredonia

“This text is great. I’ve also found the solutions manual to be very helpful, and the notes to the instructor and suggested lecture breakdowns are a phenomenal tool….There is no reason that this book shouldn’t become the face of algebra-based physics going forward!”
-Matthew Srnec, Franciscan University of Steubenville

“I love this book. It is concise and to the point. Kudos for not having too much unnecessary entertainment, side panels, activities and the like. I would adopt it for my course with no reservations.”
-Svetlana Gladycheva, Towson University

Ron Hellings

Ron Hellings Montana State University

Ron Hellings is emeritus Professor of Physics at Montana State University.  He completed a BS in Physics at BYU, an MS at UCLA, and a PhD at Montana State University-Bozeman. He has taught Physics at Cal Poly-Pomona, Harvey Mudd College, and Pomona College. Ron spent twenty-five years as a Research Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory before moving back to Bozeman in 2001 to work as a Research Professor in the Physics Department at Montana State University. For a period of three years during his time at Montana State University, he was on loan to NASA Headquarters in Washington DC to act as Program Scientist for the Astrophysics Theory Program. 

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Jeff Adams

Jeff Adams Pennsylvania State University

Jeff Adams is Associate Vice President at Pennsylvania State University. He received his B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where he also earned his Ph.D. in Physics (1991) and his Bachelor of Education. In 1996, Adams joined Montana State University in the field of physics education research where he co-founded the Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) team. From 2001 to 2011 he served as MSU's Assistant Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs.

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Greg Francis

Greg Francis Montana State University

Greg Francis is Professor of Physics at Montana State University.  He did his undergraduate work at Brigham Young University, and studied plasma physics as a graduate student at MIT.  After finishing his doctorate in 1987, he served as a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.  In 1990 Greg joined the Physics Education Research Group at the University of Washington in Seattle. Since 1992, Greg has experimented with active learning approaches in large introductory classes at Montana State University.  Greg is also co-author of “Physics:  A Conceptual World View,” one of the best-selling textbooks used in introductory physics courses.

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