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Conceptual Dynamics is an innovative textbook designed to provide students with a solid understanding of the underlying concepts required to master complex dynamics problems. This textbook uses a variety of problem types including, conceptual, traditional dynamics, computer based and design problems. Use of these diverse problems strengthens students understanding of core concepts and encourages them to become more active in the learning process. Conceptual Dynamics has an extensive companion website (ConceptualDynamics.com) containing interactive quizzes and animations for students. At a net price of only $55 Conceptual Dynamics is the most affordable dynamics textbook available.
Throughout this book, sets of “conceptual” problems are included that are meant to test the understanding of fundamental ideas presented in the text without requiring significant calculation. These problems can be assigned as homework or can be employed in class as exercises that more actively involve the students in lecture. When employed in class, these problems can provide the instructor with real-time feedback on how well the students are grasping the presented material.
In order to assist the instructor, PowerPoint lecture slides are provided to accompany the book. Boxes are included throughout the text leaving places where students can record important definitions and the correct responses to the conceptual questions presented within the PowerPoint slides. In this sense, the book is meant to be used as a tool by which students can come to learn and appreciate the subject of dynamics.
Students are further encouraged to be active participants in their learning through activities presented at the end of each chapter. These activities can be performed in class involving the students or as demonstrations, or can be assigned to the students to perform outside of class. These activities help the students build physical intuition for the sometimes abstract theoretical concepts presented in the book and in lecture.
Along with the standard dynamics problems that are assigned as part of a student's homework, this book also includes computer based and design problems. The computer based problems in this book require the student to derive the equation of motion and to sometimes solve the resulting differential equation. The computer problems range from problems that may be completed using a spreadsheet to problems that require coding or a specialized software package (such as Mathematica, Maple, or MATLAB/Simulink).
Design problems are included in each chapter in order to emphasize the importance of the material for students, as well as to get the students to think about real world considerations. The application of the fundamental subject material to various design problems helps students see the material from a different perspective. It will also help them solidify their understanding of the material.
This textbook may be used as a standalone text or in conjunction with on-line lectures and effectively assist an instructor in “inverting the classroom”.