Physical Science: A Smorgasbord of Knowledge

After a long time in the works, I’m happy to announce the first installments in my middle school physical science textbook named Physical Science:  A Smorgasbord of Knowledge. Though it’s still a work in progress, new chapters will appear as fast as I can write them.  If you’re looking for a high school chemistry text instead, try my other text Chemistry: The Awesomest Science.

As always, if you find mistakes in any of these chapters, please email me at so I can fix them.  Enjoy the book! (Updated 10/4/16)

  • Introduction:  (.odt format)(.pdf format)
  • Chapter 1:  What is Science? (odt format)(.pdf format) What is science? Scientific disciplines, scientific method, SI units, data collection and presentation, graphing.
  • Chapter 2:  The Care and Feeding of Matter (.odt format)(.pdf format). Elements, compounds, mixtures, chemical/physical properties and changes.
  • Chapter 3:  Solids, Liquids, and Gases (.odt format)(.pdf format) Intro to the states of matter, intermolecular forces, phase changes, and gas laws.
  • Chapter 4:  Atoms:  Our Very Tiny Friends (.odt format)(.pdf format)  Models of the atom from the earliest Greek models through quantum mechanics.
  • Chapter 5:  The Periodic table (.odt format)(.pdf format)  Everything you want to know about the periodic table, metals/nonmetals/metalloids, and so forth.
  • Chapter 6:  Chemical Bonding (.odt format)(.pdf format)  Ionic, covalent, and metallic bonding.  Naming compounds.
  • Chapter 7:  The Magic of Chemical Reactions (.odt format)(.pdf format) Equations, moles, stoichiometry, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibria.
  • Chapter 8:  Solutions, Acids, and Bases (.odt format)(.pdf format) Definitions of each, concentration, pH, neutralization reactions.
  • Chapter 9:  Organic Chemistry (.odt format)(.pdf format)  Definitions, some common organic compounds, intro to biochemistry, food labeling.
  • Chapter 10:  Nukes (.odt format)(.pdf format)  Radiation, half-life, carbon dating, fission and fusion.

For those of you interested in seeing what’s on the way, here’s the status of the rest of the book as of 10/4/16:

  • Chapter 11:  Moving around.  Introduction to speed/velocity/acceleration.  Status: Written, awaits editing.
  • Chapter 12:  Force and Newton’s Laws.  Newton’s laws, forces.  Status:  Written, awaits editing.
  • Chapter 13:  Fluids.  Forces in air and water.  Status:  Planning stage.
  • Chapter 14:  Work and power.  Work, power, machines, mechanical advantage. Status:  Planning stage.
  • Chapter 15:  Energy (again).  More complete discussion of energy conversion and law of conservation of energy than in chapter 7.  Status:  Planning stage.
  • Chapter 16:  Getting Hot in Here!  Heat in thermodynamics.  Status:  Planning stage.
  • Chapter 17:  Ride the Wave.  Mechanical and sound waves.  Status:  Planning Stage.
  • Chapter 18:  Electromagnetic Fun!  EM waves, light, color.  Status:  Planning Stage.
  • Chapter 19:  Taking a Look at Optics.  Optics.  Status:  Planning stage.
  • Chapter 20:  Zap!  Electricity in action!  Electricity and circuits.  Status:  Planning stage.
  • Chapter 21:  The Magic of Magnets.  Electromagnetism.  Status:  Planning.
  • Chapter 22:  I Am Earth’s Guts.  The stuff under the earth.  Status:  Planning.
  • Chapter 23:  I Am Earth’s Skin.  The geology of the surface of earth.  Status: Planning.
  • Chapter 24:  The Weather Blows.  Climate, seasons, water cycle, etc. Status: Planning.
  • Chapter 25:  Earth’s Neighborhood.  The solar system.  Status:  Planning.
  • Chapter 26:  Taking a Long Trip.  The Universe.  Status:  Planning.

Other information:  The book, like most things I’ve written lately, is licensed via Creative Commons CC-BY-NA 4.0 license.  Feel free to use it without asking, but don’t sell it!

4 thoughts on “Physical Science: A Smorgasbord of Knowledge

  1. Pingback: Chemistry: The Awesomest Science

  2. Hi,
    I notice that this post was last updated in 2016. Any chance that you have more chapters available? I love the combination of humor and information that you have going!

    • Hi Deoxy,
      I’ve got so many projects going at any one time that I haven’t been good at all about keeping up. There are some chapters that have been languishing in the pipeline, and I hope to put them out sometime in the future. Sorry to be vague, but I can’t really guarantee anytime in particular given my schedule.e

  3. I’m stumbling through my first year as a physical science teacher, and I’m discovering that this book is laid out much better than the textbook I was given by the school! The chemistry sections are laid out very well. I love the informal tone and use of humor.

    I’m a little concerned about the occasional drug reference, profanity, or random national stereotype. My students would tend to dwell on those over the actual content.

    Nevertheless, this is solid work, and I look forward to adapting your labs for my classes.


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