University Physics

The University Physics Course is designed with physics, engineering, and other physical science majors in mind. It expects students to be fluent in the strands of Elementary Mathematics, to be knowledgeable of Calculus, and to be open to brief excursions into Vector Calculus, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra.

Students usually worry about their knowledge of advanced mathematics. It is my experience, however, that gaps in their Elementary Mathematics preparation is what drags them down rather than some advanced concept from Calculus. So brush on your geometry, algebra, and trigonometry before signing for your physics class. A good physics professor will always be able to walk you through some calculus and beyond but will not have much time or opportunity to help you with gaps in your Elementary Mathematics.

Student Resources


Here are the workbooks I use for my classes at NOVA. They provide a gentle introduction to the art of solving problems and can be used separately from my class as long as you have a textbook and are familiar with the physics concepts in the Introductory Physics Course.


This is a collection of videos that fall loosely into three categories: Summaries, Solved Problems, and Lectures.

Physics Rules

My latest creation is a Podcast series with short 5-minute episodes on conceptual subtleties over which students usually stumble in their Introductory Physics Courses. Check it out – these are all concepts that I love putting on my tests in class. I bet my physics colleagues like to do it, too!