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An Introduction to Physical Science 13th Edition

An Introduction to Physical Science 13th Edition PDF

Author: James Shipman, Jerry D. Wilson, et a

Publisher: Cengage Learning


Publish Date: January 1, 2012

ISBN-10: 1133109098

Pages: 792

File Type: File Type

Language: English

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Book Preface

Science and technology are the driving forces of change in our world today. They have created a revolution in all aspects of our lives, including communication, transportation, medical care, the environment, and education. Because the world is rapidly being transformed, it is important that today’s students advance their knowledge of science. While increasing their understanding of the principles of science, students must also know how science is conducted, and when, where, and to what it is applied. Equipped with this knowledge, they can better adapt to their environment and make informed decisions that ultimately affect their lives and the lives of others.

The primary goal of the thirteenth edition of An Introduction to Physical Science is in keeping with that of previous editions: to stimulate students’ interest in science and to build a solid foundation of general knowledge in the physical sciences. Additionally, we continue to present the content in such a way that students develop the critical reasoning and problem- solving skills that are needed in our ever-changing technological world.

An Introduction to Physical Science, Thirteenth Edition, as for previous editions, is intended for an introductory course for college nonscience majors. The five divisions of physical science are covered: physics, chemistry, astronomy, meteorology, and geology. Each division of physical science is discussed in the context of real-world examples. The textbook is readily adaptable to either a one- or two-semester course, or a two- to three-quarter course, allowing the instructor to select topics of his or her choice.


One of the outstanding features of this textbook continues to be its emphasis on fundamental concepts. These concepts are built on as we progress through the chapters. For example, Chapter 1, which introduces the concepts of measurement, is followed by chapters on the basic topics of physics: motion, force, energy, heat, wave motion, electricity and magnetism, atomic physics, and nuclear physics. This foundation in physics is useful in developing the principles of chemistry, astronomy, meteorology, and geology in the chapters that follow. We hope that this will lead to more students choosing careers in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

Organizational Updates in the Thirteenth Edition

The thirteenth edition of An Introduction to Physical Science retains its 24-chapter format. There have been several organizational changes in chapter order and title. Each chapter has several new Conceptual Questions and Answers features. These highlight not only important material but important nonmathematical concepts as well. A short section,

Chapter 10.8, Elementary Particles, has been added so students may be familiar with items often heard in the news, such as quarks, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the Higgs boson (the God particle), and antimatter.

Chapter 13.5 has been expanded slightly, incorporating an example and exercises to emphasize the importance of Avogadro’s number. Chapter 14 is reorganized slightly by adding section 14.6, Biochemistry, which groups all the information about biological materials together as they relate to chemistry.

Chapters 16 and 17 have updated sections because of the 2006 reorganization of solar system bodies by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), as well as new discoveries and classifications of objects beyond Neptune. These are section 16.6, The Dwarf Planets, and section 17.5, Moons of the Dwarf Planets. Also, the title of section 17.6 has been changed to Small Solar-System Bodies to conform to the new definition. Section 18.7, Cosmology, has been reorganized and updated slightly to incorporate the new findings regarding dark matter and dark energy. Chapters 16, 17, and 18 each have several new photos from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Chapters 19 and 20 have been updated to include recent tornado outbreaks, hurricanes, pollution, and global warming.

Chapters 21 and 22 retain their organization to provide a top-down discussion of geologic processes. The largest scale processes are presented first and work towards smaller ones. For example, the Earth’s interior, continental drift, and plate tectonics are introduced in Chapter 21, and smaller-scale rock and mineral formations are discussed in Chapter 22. Finally, Chapter 24 retains its emphasis on the use of the scientific method to define the absolute geologic time scale and the age of the Earth.

Math Coverage and Support
Each discipline is treated both descriptively and quantitatively. To make the thirteenth edition user-friendly for students who are not mathematically inclined, we continue to introduce concepts to be treated mathematically as follows. First, the concept is defined, as briefly as possible, using words. The definition is then presented, where applicable, as an equation in word form. And, finally, the concept is expressed in symbolic notation.

The level of mathematics in the textbook continues to be no greater than that of general high school math. Appendixes I though VII provide a review of the math skills needed to deal with the mathematical exercises in this textbook. It may be helpful for students to begin their study by reading through these seven appendixes. This will help identify and remediate any mathematical weaknesses and thereby build confidence and ability for working the mathematical exercises in the textbook. Practice Exercises for mathematical concepts and skills appear in Cengage Learning’s CourseMate.

Assistance is also offered to students by means of in-text worked Examples and follow-up Confidence Exercises (with answers at the end of the book). However, the relative emphasis, whether descriptive or quantitative, is left to the discretion of the instructor. To those who wish to emphasize a descriptive approach, the Exercises may be omitted, and the other end-of-chapter sections may be used for assignments.

Outstanding Pedagogical Features in the Thirteenth Edition

◗ New to the thirteenth edition are chapter Conceptual Questions and Answers. Conceptual in nature (no mathematics), the questions are designed to pique student interest in associated chapter material—and answers are given. A few example questions (see text for answers):
• At night, a glass windowpane acts as a mirror when viewed from inside a lighted room. Why isn’t it a mirror during the day?
• Why do wet clothes or water spots on clothes appear to be a darker color? Does the color change?
• Microwave glass oven doors have a metal mesh with holes. What is the purpose of this?
• We have a periodic table of elements. Why not a periodic table of compounds?
• Why do onions make you cry?
• Why is NO2 called “laughing gas”?
• Does it ever get too cold to snow?
• Will the Sun turn into a black hole?
• What is one global Earth process we have studied that drives the rock cycle?
◗ Each chapter begins with a list of Facts—a brief description of interesting, pertinent, and user-friendly items regarding concepts and topics to be covered in the chapter.
◗ Each section begins with Preview Questions that ask about principles and concepts that should be learned in studying the section. The questions are also designed to introduce important topics to pique the curiosity of the student.

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