Light and Matter

Light and Matter

This free physics book  is an introductory text intended for a one-year introductory course of the type typically taken by biology majors. Algebra and trig are used, and there are optional calculus-based sections.


If you drop your shoe and a coin side by side, they hit the ground at the same time. Why doesn’t the shoe get there first, since gravity is pulling harder on it? How does the lens of your eye work, and why do your eye’s muscles need to squash its lens into different shapes in order to focus on objects nearby or far away? These are the kinds of questions that physics tries to answer about the behavior of light and matter, the two things that the universe is made of.

Table of Contents

  • Scaling and estimation
  • Velocity and relative motion
  • Acceleration and free fall
  • Force and motion
  • Analysis of forces
  • Newton’s laws in three dimensions
  • Vectors
  • Vectors and motion
  • Circular motion
  • Gravity
  • Conservation of energy
  • Simplifying the energy zoo
  • Work: the transfer of mechanical energy
  • Conservation of momentum
  • Conservation of angular momentum
  • Thermodynamics
  • Vibrations
  • Resonance
  • Free waves
  • Bounded waves
  • Electricity and circuits
  • The nonmechanical universe
  • Relativity and magnetism
  • Electromagnetism
  • Capacitance and inductance
  • The atom and E=mc$^2$
  • General relativity
  • The ray model of light
  • Images by reflection
  • Images, quantitatively
  • Refraction
  • Wave optics
  • Rules of randomness
  • Light as a particle
  • Matter as a wave
  • The atom

Book Details

Author(s): Benjamin Crowell
Format(s): PDF, HTML
File size: 80.18 MB
Number of pages: 1032
Link: Download or read online.

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