Physics education research (PER) over the past several decades has shown that in order to effectively teach both problem-solving skills and broad physical concepts, the student must be in an environment that encourages interactive engagement. Many students have difficulty learning from their textbooks because they are not engaging sources. Eric Mazur’s new calculus-based textbook aims to change this; Principles & Practice of Physics is decidedly a huge improvement over traditional introductory physics textbooks in our view.

The main aspect of Mazur’s book that sets it apart from older, commonly used physics textbooks is its architecture—there is a distinct separation between the presentation of conceptual knowledge and its application. In fact, the work is organized into two separate books: Principles, which is devoted to teaching concepts and providing worked-out examples followed by mathematical applications; and Practice, which is entirely devoted to practice problems. This architecture stems from leading educational...

AAPT members receive access to The Physics Teacher and the American Journal of Physics as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.