Thursday, May 22, 2008

Physics for Realists

Looks like Anthony Rizzi's new book is out. You can order your copy for just shy of $100 plus shipping at the IAP Store.

This first of its kind in 300 years textbook will enlighten you and your students. For advanced high school students and college freshmen.

"Physics for Realists is a landmark textbook that uses our common sense to discover and clarify modern physical theory. The resulting pedagogical approach makes physics more accessible and its beauty more evident. This book will revolutionize our understanding of physics and the way it is taught." -Murray Daw, Bowen Prof. of Physics

This textbook presents the fundamentals of Newtonian Mechanics to the college undergraduate or the advanced high school student in a way that taps the student's common sense. Starting with things we see directly, it leads the student to a deep understanding of the best in modern theory. Each chapter builds on the previous one in a simple way to the crescendo of special relativity, drawing the student at each step into the excitement of physics. This profound unity of principle is complemented by a unity of practice through the challenge of a manned mission to Mars by AD 2030, which is the current commitment of the US.

Real world problems and examples salt the text, helping the student to ground his thinking and see the importance of physics to everyday life. It is the hope of the IAP that this approach will make the rigorous, scientific content at once engaging and challenging to both those interested in careers in the hard sciences and also those not traditionally attracted to mathematics and the hard sciences. (Prerequisite: Calculus) (The book will begin shipping May 20, 2008.) [I've cleaned up some of the formatting here for readability.]

(That the advertisement fails to mention that Dr. Daw helped Dr. Rizzi with the textbook, and is hardly a disinterested evaluator, is a bit disingenuous. But then I guess one gets endorsements where one can find them.)

Not having seen the published text, I myself should refrain from saying anything substantive about it. But I will express my fervent hope that Dr. Rizzi has made the effort to weave final causality into substance of the text. As you may know, final causality is in fact the heart of Aristotelian natural philosophy, and what is so desperately missing from modern science. Integral purpose is the way that Aristotle's conception of nature is far superior to that of modern science.

If you'd like to hear Dr. Rizzi himself speak on his new book, he'll be appearing on EWTN LIVE with Fr. Pacwa on May 28th at 8:00pm ET. I wish Dr. Rizzi the best with his new book.


Anonymous said...

Will you be reviewing the book at a later time? I have a homeschooled highschooler that is very interested in Math and Sciences, and if he continues his progress, he will take an advanced physics course. Iit would be valuable to have a text-book that does address "first causes"

Jeffrey Wilson

Jennifer said...

I wonder how this will compare with Apologia physics. Thanks for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer and or Mr. Gage- Are you familiar with Apologia text books? If so, can you advise if they will prepare a student for College level Physics/Chemistry? I have heard that while they are good, they fall just short of being a solid college prep textbook- and that if a student wants to be prepared for college level work in the hard sciences/engineering, then he must use the advanced chemistry, and advanced physics in the series, respectively.

While I was a bio-chem major in College, and the books seemed to be extensive enough, that was over 25 years ago. I keep being told that the standards are higher now?

Any insight would be appreciated.

Jeffrey Wilson

Jennifer said...


I'm sorry I have no idea. My eldest is 13 and she has just begun the first in the high school series with Apologia. I do have a friend though, who's daughter is using the advanced books, with labs, at a co-op and feels well prepared for college.

Perhaps Dr. Wile will be willing to look at this book and offer his own critique? The aspect of Apologia that has been wonderful for us is the catering to the home school situation.

Many good hopes for your son's future in physics and finding a method that will prepare him well!