College Physics: Explore and Apply 2nd Edition, AP® Edition © 2019

College Physics: Explore and Apply encourages taking an active role in the learning process through a user-friendly approach.

  • This is the first text to use an investigative learning approach to teach physics. 
  • Allows students to practice scientific skills such as observing, analyzing, and testing, and to build scientific habits of mind. 
  • Prepares students for success in the AP® course and on the AP® exam. 
  • Consistent with the goals of the Next Generation Science Standards and the AP® curriculum. 
  • This program is accompanied by Pearson's Mastering® Physics with eText.

AP Physics Curriculum with Digital Integration

Build strong conceptual foundations in physics through observation, analysis, and testing that strengthens student confidence.


Pedagogically Driven Design and Content

A fresh and modern design with a more transparent hierarchy of features and navigation structure, as well as an engaging chapter opener page and streamlined chapter summary, result in a more user-friendly resource, both for learning and for reference.


Active Learning Approach to College Physics

Observational Experiment Tables and Testing Experiment Tables offer clarity around complex data and topics so students can better engage with and understand the materials.


Practical and Consistent Problem Solving

Through the use of Sketch & Translate, Simplify & Diagram, Represent Mathematically, and Solve & Evaluate modalities, the authors teach multiple ways to reach a solution for complicated problems.


Broad Accessibility

The Mastering Platform by Pearson offers a robust toolkit for students to deepen their understanding at their own pace while teachers can use it to individualize learning.

College Physics: Explore & Apply Key Features

  • Revisions and Expansions to Improve the Learning Experience
  • Opportunities to Practice & Develop Confidence and Higher-Reasoning Skills
  • Flexible Learning System for any Method of Instruction
  • Online Educational Support
  • Improved Design
    The freshened and modernized design provides greater transparency and navigation for reference and learning.
  • Expanded Introduction
    Expanded introductory chapter helps students understand how to use the book.
  • Real-Life Applications
    Real-life applications of what students are learning appear throughout the text.
  • Multiple Revisions
    Revisions and streamlining of text, layout, and figures focus attention on important themes and topics. The book has reduced in size without losing its impact.
  • Build Scientific Proficiencies
    Expanded and new Worked Examples, Conceptual Exercises, and Qualitative Exercises develop proficiency in analysis, synthesis, evaluation, experimental design, and argumentation.
  • Test Critical Thinking Skills
    New questions and problems include test evaluative and critical thinking skills in the face of ambiguity and goal-oriented thinking.
  • Ready-to-Go Teaching Modules
    Our Ready-to-Go Teaching Modules combine best practices for using the textbook, Learning Catalytics, and Mastering Physics based on actual teachers’ experiences in the classroom.
  • Active Learning Guide
    We revised the Active Learning Guide to follow and supplement the text with more observations, tests, sketching, and analysis that can be assigned individually or in groups.
  • Physics Primer
    The Physics Primer helps to catch students back up on the math skills they will need to work through the physics curriculum
  • Direct Measurement Videos
    Direct Measurement Videos visualize word problems and connect lecture content to the work done in the lab.
  • Interactive Animated Videos
    Interactive Animated Videos offer engaging overviews along with embedded assessments to gauge students’ understanding and identify areas where support is needed.

Take a Deeper Look at College Physics: Explore and Apply


Mastering® Physics from Pearson


Mastering® Physics with Pearson eText places every student’s education within reach, using a rich array of online tools and resources.

Correlation for AP®

Our solutions for AP® are designed to support and correlate the College Board's Course and Exam Descriptions for each corresponding course.

Physics 1 Correlation   Physics 2 Correlation

More About College Physics: Explore and Apply

  • Eugenia Etkina Author Bio
    Eugenia Etkina is a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She holds a PhD in physics education from Moscow State Pedagogical University and has more than 35 years experience teaching physics. She is a recipient of 2014 Millikan Medal awarded to educators who made significant contributions to teaching physics, and a fellow of the AAPT. Professor Etkina designed and now coordinates one of the largest programs in physics teacher preparation in the United States, conducts professional development for high school and university physics instructors, and participates in reforms to the undergraduate physics courses. In 1993 she developed a system in which students learn physics using processes that mirror scientific practice. That system, called Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) serves as the basis for this textbook. Since 2000, Professors Etkina has conducted over 100 workshops for physics instructors and co-authored the first edition of College Physics and the Active Learning Guide. Professor Etkina is a dedicated teacher and an active researcher who has published over 60 peer-refereed articles.
  • Gorazd Planinsic Author Bio
    Gorazd Planinsic is a Professor of Physics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has a PhD in physics from the University of Ljubljana. Since 2000 he has been leading the Physics Education program that prepares almost all high-school physics teachers for the country of Slovenia. He started his career in MRI physics and later switched to Physics Education Research. During the last ten years, his work has mostly focused on the research of new experiments and how to use them more productively in teaching and learning physics. He is co-founder of the Slovenian hands-on science center House of Experiments. Professor Planinsic is co-author of more than 80 peer-refereed research articles, more than 20 popular science articles, and is the author of a university textbook for future physics teachers. In 2013 he received the Science Communicator of the Year award from the Slovenian Science Foundation.
  • Alan Van Heuvelen Author Bio
    Alan Van Heuvelen holds a PhD in physics from the University of Colorado. He has been a pioneer in physics education research for several decades. He taught physics for 28 years at New Mexico State University where he developed active learning materials including the Active Learning Problem Sheets (the ALPS Kits) and the ActivPhysics multimedia product. Materials such as these have improved student achievement on standardized qualitative and problem-solving tests. In 1993 he joined Ohio State University to help develop a physics education research group. He moved to Rutgers University in 2000 and retired in 2008. For his contributions to national physics education reform, he won the 1999 AAPT Millikan Medal and was selected a fellow of the American Physical Society. Over the span of his career he has led over 100 workshops on physics education reform. He has worked with Professor Etkina in the development of the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) and co-authored the first edition of College Physics and the Active Learning Guide.
  • Table of Contents


    1. Introducing physics
    2. Kinematics: Motion in one dimension
    3. Newtonian mechanics
    4. Applying Newton’s laws
    5. Circular motion
    6. Impulse and linear momentum
    7. Work and energy
    8. Extended bodies at rest
    9. Rotational motion
    10. Vibrational motion
    11. Waves
    12. Gases
    13. Static fluids
    14. Fluids in motion
    15. First law of thermodynamics
    16. Second law of thermodynamics
    17. Electric charge, force, and energy
    18. The electric field
    19. DC circuits
    20. Magnetism
    21. Electromagnetic induction
    22. Reflection and refraction
    23. Mirrors and lenses
    24. Wave optics
    25. Electromagnetic waves
    26. Special relativity
    27. Quantum optics
    28. Atomic physics
    29. Nuclear physics
    30. Particle physics

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