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When I first began college, I thought I wanted to teach history, and while there is nothing wrong with history, it was when I took my first physics course that I had an "aha" moment. Studying physics gave me a glimpse of why our world works the way it does.
It is my goal to give you every opportunity to have the same kind of "aha" moment that I had. When you have completed this course, you will have a working knowledge of motion, speed, acceleration, momentum, gravity, and even relativity. You should be able to answer questions like: "How fast does a 5000 pound satellite need to be going in order to stay in orbit?" Have you heard the urban legend that "if you drop a penny off the Seattle Needle, it will be going fast enough to give someone a concussion when it lands?" Is that true? You should know when you finish this course.
It is important that you know a couple of things about this course. First, we will not be killing you with math. We want you to leave with a solid conceptual understanding of the most important physics principles. Is there math involved? Do we use equations? Of course, but Paul Hewitt, the author of your textbook, has done an exceptional job of presenting just the math you really need in order to understand the concepts. After all, an equation is just another way of showing what the concept means under specific conditions. Without understanding the physics behind the equation, it does you no good.