to an example of 21st century lifelong learning. If you have a
need or desire to master algebra-based physics, you have found
the right place—provided you are willing to
work for it.
Here is a short FAQ to get you started:
- What is the academic level of this course? The
course outline looks much like a typical college-level
course in general physics. A good understanding of algebra,
but no calculus, is a prerequisite.
- How long does take to complete this course? This
is an example of 21st-century lifelong learning. Among other
things, this means your work with it does not necessarily
end. As far as the study program is concerned, time is not
an issue. Only you can determine how much time you can
devote to it. It could be anywhere between 6 months and
forever. That is up to you.
- Do I get a diploma for completing this course?
No. There are no diplomas or certificates of completion for
several good reasons, both philosophical and practical. The
real proof of your participation is the influence the work
has on your life and career.
- Do I have a teacher or mentor to help me? No, but
you have access to the best possible source of help: others
who are doing the same thing as you. Be sure to join the
Live Help group.
- Do I need a textbook? No. Textbooks are certainly
helpful, but they aren't required for this course. You
already have access to the sum of human knowledge by way of
the Internet. In fact, one of the objectives of this course is to
help direct your online learning experiences.
- Where do I send my quizzes and exams for grading?
Many of the quizzes offered in this course use a form that
allows you to e-mail your results to a teacher. Feel free to
send your test results to yourself or a study buddy, but not
to the publisher or Free-Ed.Net.
Using the List of Terms and Concepts
Every lesson in this course opens with a list of terms and
concepts. Their purpose is to help guide the direction and depth
of your online studies. It can be very instructive to
cut-and-paste each of the items into the search box; but be
aware of the temptation to follow undirected search paths that
lead only to confusion.
The lists of terms and concepts for this course are taken
almost verbatim from Giambattista's College
Physics,4/e; published by McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
We certainly appreciate the use of this material in the
spirit of fair use and exposure of the text in a new
Management of Equations
One of the vital keys to success with this course depends on
how you manage the equations. College-level physics courses rely
heavily upon mathematical equations, and your perspective on
those equations and how you use them determines how much real
physics you learn. Ideally, math equations in physics courses
provide a way to describe a physical phenomenon. Too often in
today's physics classrooms, the equations are viewed as recipes
for solving specific problem. When that happens, the students
get plenty of exercise solving equations, but learn little about
the fundamental concepts they are supposed to portray.
In this particular course, the primary learning resource
shows all the necessary equations, but does not define the
terms. This is where you have an opportunity to do some
research, and use the Web to uncover the definitions for the
terms in the equations. You should maintain a list of these
equations, complete with the definitions you find, in your
Forever a Work in Progress
Finally, just as your education is always a work in progress,
so is this program of study. The Web is a dynamic place where
new learning features can appear and old ones disappear at any
time. When we uncover compelling new resources on the Web,
we will integrate them into your study guide. Likewise, when
resource we have been supporting suddenly disappear from the Web
(and that does happen occasionally) we will strive to replace
them for you as soon as we can. And there may be instances where
we find a learning resource on the Web that is far better than
the one we are using here. In that case, we will add the better
resource and archive the older.