Michael Fowler, UVa.
These lecture notes constitute the second semester of our former four-semester introductory course for physics majors. (The first semester was dynamics, the third electricity and magnetism, and the fourth modern physics, as covered in my notes.)
I've included brief accounts of how understanding of some of the central concepts in physics, such as energy, heat and entropy, evolved over time. These particular lectures are easy to read, and mirror to some extent a physicist's development from simply observing the natural world to accounting for what is observed in terms of these rather abstract concepts. The hope is that this will lead to deeper understanding of the concepts themselves.
The topic sections are pretty much independent of each other, each could be used singly in a course, except that the Oscillations and Waves lectures use complex numbers and the exponential function (covered in the math section before).
Each of the sections has a detailed index, which includes links to other course materials, including homework assignments and summary sheets.
The course uses several of my Applets, and more are currently under development.
Discovering Gravity: Galileo, Newton, Kepler
Visualizing Gravity: the Gravitational Field
Working with Gravity: Potential Energy
Elliptic Orbits: Paths to the Planets
Boyle’s Law and the Law of Atmospheres
Inertial Drag Force and the Reynolds Number
The One-Dimensional Random Walk
Detailed Oscillations and Waves Index
1. From Complex Numbers to the Simple Harmonic Oscillator
2. Heavily Damped Simple Harmonic Oscillator
3. Lightly and Critically Damped Oscillations
6. Introducing Waves: Strings and Springs
10. Waves in Two and Three Dimensions
Detailed Heat and Thermodynamics Index
Thermal Expansion and the Gas Law
Early Attempts to Understand Heat: The Caloric Fluid Theory, and Rumford's Experiment
The Discovery of Energy Conservation
Ideal Gas Thermodynamics: Isotherms, Adiabats, Specific Heats
The Laws of Thermodynamics and Limits on Engine Efficiency
Entropy and the Kinetic Theory: the Molecular Picture