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!


Chemistry: The Awesomest Science

So often, introductory chemistry textbooks aren’t helpful.  They’re boring, they’re confusing, and they contain a lot of extra bonus “features” that distract and annoy the reader.  This textbook, Chemistry: The Awesomest Science, is designed as a replacement for these textbooks.  Whether or not you end up using it with your class, hopefully it will give them an alternative to the usual corporate textbook nonsense.

If you’ve got middle school students, you may prefer the in-progress textbook Physical Science:  A Smorgasbord of Knowledge, which can be accessed HERE.

Chemistry:  The Awesomest Science:   (updated 4/28/17)

I don’t claim that this book is perfect.  It is very much a work in progress, so if you find errors or mistakes, email me at and I’ll make any necessary changes. With your help, I can expand and improve this book for a long time to come.

Happy reading!

Ian Guch