Main Handout: Required Purchases

Physics 121, Fall 2010

Prof. E. F. Redish

Required Purchases:

You are required to purchase three items for this class:

Note that you are NOT required to purchase a textbook. The class is not built on the assumption that you will be reading a text, but rather that you will be attending all lectures, tutorials, and doing the homework carefully. The online HW service also provides a set of tutorials that you may find useful.


I tend to discourage the use of a text in this class as too many students use a physics text incorrectly -- trying to memorize large blocks of information -- and this leads them badly astray. This class in NOT about memorizing but about LEARNING TO THINK. Understanding and learning to reason from a small number of fundamental principles will suffice.

But if you do like reading a text, and think you can do it as a way to help you make sense of physics rather than as a source of a lot of meaningless memorized glop, some options are listed below. You may purchase any used physics text but then will have to find the relevant sections yourself. You may also look up things on the web, but BE CAREFUL! There is a lot of introductory physics information on the web, but a lot of it is either misleading or just plain WRONG. "But I read it on the web", is not a valid excuse for a wrong answer on a quiz, exam, or homework.

Problems will not be assigned from the text (they will all be given on the web).

The recommended texts are:

Some chapters of my text (a calculus-based text, but more in line with my approach) will be made available online on the our Blackboard page.

Relevant readings from the recommended texts are listed on the schedule page. The readings listed are NOT meant to be assignments; they cover more material than you will be responsible for. The indicated chapters include some of the material discussed in lecture and tutorial and provide another angle on the material.


University of Maryland Physics Department Physics 121 Home

This page prepared by

Edward F. Redish
Department of Physics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405-6120

Last revision 28 August, 2010.