For the past ten years we have been modernizing our calculus-level introductory physics course. The first term is now organized around the theme of atoms: Why do we believe in them? How do we learn about them? The course traces the progress of our understanding of inner space, from the origins of the atomic hypothesis to present day quantum physics. The second term illustrates how physics extends our range of understanding to outer space by applying the principles of classical mechanics to large-scale structures such as stars, galaxies, and the entire Universe. In our approach the three conservation laws receive more emphasis than they do in the traditional course. We believe that this allows a simpler exposition of classical mechanics. Our goals are to convey the excitement and challenge of contemporary physics to our first year students, and at the same time, to build their mathematical skills.

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