10 High School Physics and Physical Science Text Books

10 High School Physics and Physical Science Text Books

Here are 10 excellent and well written high school Physics and Physical Science text books that teach and demonstrate many topics and areas. These all have nicely illustrated graphics and images, along with internet links to supplemental content. Physics is the study of the world around us. In a sense, we are more qualified to do physics than any other science. From the day we are born, we study the things around us in an effort to understand how they work and relate to each other. Learning how to catch or throw a ball is a physics undertaking, for example.

The best approach to physics is to relate everything you learn to things you have already noticed in your everyday life. We attempt to describe things through simple rules and mathematics, which is merely the language we use. You can start by asking a simple question like ”Why is the sky blue?” which could lead you to electromagnetic waves, which in turn could lead you to wave particle duality and to energy levels of atoms. Before long you are studying quantum mechanics or the structure of the universe. For more free physical science materials, also check out Free Physics Textbooks for Middle School, High School, and College and Over 200 Physics and Engineering Activities, Lessons, and Units (Grades 3-HS), and our other physical science learning pages on bestedlessons.

10 High School Physics Textbooks

The five similar OpenStax texts above teach with real-world examples to help students grasp fundamental physics concepts. Knowledge of algebra and some trigonometry is needed, but not calculus. They include learning objectives, concept questions, links to labs and simulations, and practice opportunities for traditional physics application problems.

AP Physics 1, OpenStax, with selected answers
College Physics For AP Courses, with selected answers

Topics Covered:

  • The Nature of Science and Physics
  • Kinematics
  • Two-Dimensional Kinematics
  • Dynamics: Force and Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Further Applications of Newton’s Laws: Friction, Drag, and Elasticity
  • Uniform Circular Motion and Gravitation
  • Work, Energy, and Energy Resources
  • Linear Momentum and Collisions
  • Statics and Torque
  • Rotational Motion and Angular Momentum
  • Fluid Statics
  • Fluid Dynamics and Its Biological and Medical Applications
  • Temperature, Kinetic Theory, and the Gas Laws
  • Heat and Heat Transfer Methods
  • Thermodynamics
  • Oscillatory Motion and Waves
  • Physics of Hearing
  • Electric Charge and Electric Field
  • Electric Potential and Electric Field
  • Electric Current, Resistance, and Ohm’s Law
  • Circuits and DC Instruments
  • Magnetism
  • Electromagnetic Induction, AC Circuits, and Electrical Technologies
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Geometric Optics
  • Vision and Optical Instruments
  • Wave Optics
  • Special Relativity
  • Introduction to Quantum Physics
  • Atomic Physics
  • Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics
  • Medical Applications of Nuclear Physics
  • Particle Physics
  • Frontiers of Physics

Physics Textbook, Grades 10-12 (700 pgs, 4.6mb)

Physics Textbook, Grades 10-12

  1. What is Physics – Grade 10
  2. Units – Grade 10
  3. Motion in One Dimension – Grade 10
  4. Gravity and Mechanical Energy – Grade 10
  5. Transverse Pulses – Grade 10
  6. Transverse Waves – Grade 10
  7. Geometrical Optics – Grade 10
  8. Magnetism – Grade 10
  9. Electrostatics – Grade 10
  10. Electric Circuits – Grade 10
  11. Vectors – Grade 11
  12. Force, Momentum and Impulse – Grade 11
  13. Geometrical Optics – Grade 11
  14. Longitudinal Waves – Grade 11
  15. Sound – Grade 11
  16. The Physics of Music – Grade 11
  17. Electromagnetism – Grade 11
  18. Electric Circuits – Grade 11
  19. Electronic Properties of Matter – Grade 11
  20. Motion in Two Dimensions – Grade 12
  21. Mechanical Properties of Matter – Grade 12
  22. Work, Energy and Power – Grade 12
  23. Doppler Effect – Grade 12
  24. Color – Grade 12
  25. 2D and 3D Wavefronts – Grade 12
  26. Wave Nature of Matter – Grade 12
  27. Electrodynamics – Grade 12
  28. Electronics – Grade 12
  29. EM Radiation – Grade 12
  30. Optical Phenomena and Properties of Matter – Grade 12

Physical Science Textbook, Grade 12 (396 pgs, 3mb)

Physical Science Textbook, Grade 12

  1. Organic Molecules
  2. Organic Macromolecules
  3. Reaction Rates
  4. Electrochemical Reactions
  5. The Chemical Industry
  6. Motion in Two Dimensions
  7. Mechanical Properties of Matter
  8. Work, Energy and Power
  9. Doppler Effect
  10. Color
  11. 2D and 3D Wavefronts
  12. Wave Nature of Matter
  13. Electrodynamics
  14. Electronics
  15. EM Radiation
  16. Optical Phenomena and Properties of Matter
Physical Sciences Grade 11 Learner, with solutions to exercises
Physical Sciences Grade 11 Learner, with solutions to exercises (525 pgs, 16.7mb)
Physical Sciences Grade 11 Teacher (367 pgs, 11.7mb)
  1. Vectors in two dimensions
  2. Newton’s laws
  3. Atomic combinations
  4. Intermolecular forces
  5. Geometrical optics
  6. 2D and 3D wavefronts
  7. Ideal gases
  8. Quantitative aspects of chemical change
  9. Electrostatics
  10. Electromagnetism
  11. Electric circuits
  12. Energy and chemical change
  13. Types of reactions
  14. The lithosphere
  15. Quantities used in the book
  16. Solutions to exercises

Physical Sciences Grade 12, with solutions to exercises (541 pgs, 9.9mb)
Physical Sciences Grade 12 Teacher (296 pgs, 5.2mb)

Physical Sciences Grade 12, Siyavula, with solutions to exercises

  1. Skills for science
  2. Momentum and impulse 20
  3. Organic molecules
  4. Work, energy and power
  5. Doppler effect
  6. Rate and Extent of Reaction
  7. Acids and bases
  8. Electric circuits
  9. Electrodynamics
  10. Optical phenomena and properties of matter
  11. Electrochemical reactions
  12. The chemical industry
  13. Solutions to exercises

Mechanics Textbook (581 pgs, 8.8mb)
Answer Key

Mechanics Textbook

  1. Introduction and review
  2. Scaling and estimation
  3. Velocity and relative motion
  4. Acceleration and free fall
  5. Force and motion
  6. Analysis of forces
  7. Newton’s laws in three dimensions
  8. Vectors
  9. Vectors and motion
  10. Circular motion
  11. Gravity
  12. Conservation of energy
  13. Simplifying the energy zoo
  14. Work: the transfer of mechanical energy
  15. Conservation of momentum
  16. Conservation of angular momentum
  17. Vibrations
  18. Resonance

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