The Physics Classroom


About the Tutorial || Copyright and Usage Policy || About the Author || About Study Works Online || Credits and Thanks || Future Plans || Contact, Questions and Feedback


About The Physics Classroom Tutorial

The Physics Classroom Tutorial is an online physics tutorial written for high school physics students. The tutorial was originally developed for Regular-level Physics studens at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois. These pages were once hosted on the Glenbrook South server. As the popularity of the pages grew, a decision was made to move them elsewhere in order to free up the burden placed upon the school's server by external traffic. Today the Tutorial pages and other original Glenbrook South resources are hosted by Study Works Online.

The Tutorial covers basic physics topics using informative graphics and an easy-to-understand language. Each unit is broken up into lessons and sub-lessons. Each lesson resembles the type and extent of coverage given to that physics topic in class. The sub-lessons are accompanied by Check Your Understanding sections, providing an opportunity to assess one's understanding of the lesson material.



Copyright and Usage Policy

The pages of The Physics Classroom tutorial (and other pages at this site) are made available as a service to physics students, physics teachers, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use the pages either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so.

The Physics Classroom is copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. For a variety of reasons, requests for permission to use such images on other web pages and CD projects is always denied. Lisencing of the content of The Physics Classroom for such projects may be considered in the near future.



About The Author

The Physics Classroom tutorial pages were written by Tom Henderson, science teacher at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois. Tom teaches physics and (during less fortunate years) chemistry. He is a graduate the University of Illinois where he received degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. Tom has been teaching physics since 1989.

In addition to teaching students, Tom has been involved in numerous projects working with companies and education groups to develop curriculum and web-based resources. Such groups include the Electronic Learning Long Distance Network (ELDN!), Fermi Lab Education Group, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Annenberg/Corporation of Public Broadcasting, NCS/Educational Structures, and Thinkronize/NetTrekker. Tom has played an assortment of roles for such groups, including editting a children's science novel, developing content for online exhibits, developing a grades 7-8 curriculum, producing authentic assessment projects, and finding and cataloging useful science web sites.

Tom is always willing to consider such independent work. He can be contacted at



About Study Works Online

Something from Study Works here.



Credits and Thanks

The Physics Classroom began as a volunteer project during the 1996-97 school year. The first five units were completed during that time; no special funding or release time was provided for that work. During the summer of 1998, a grant was received from The First in the World Consortium of Schools in order to complete some additional lessons on the topics of waves, sound, light, reflection and refraction. Thanks to the generosity and support of the Consortium, an additional five units were added to The Physics Classroom during the summer of 1998. Funds for the production of units on the topics of static and current electricity are presently being sought.

Many of the graphics used in these lessons were originally part of the "Hewitt DrewIt" clip art collection available through LaserPoint Educational Software (424 Quartz Street, Redwood City, CA 94062; Fax: 650-369-1220). The graphics were subsequently imported into a graphics program, edited, colorized, resized, and used in these Web documents. They are used with the permission of the original artist - Paul Hewitt.


Future Plans

Creating good and thorough web resources is a time-consuming task. As a classroom teacher, the daily preparation of lessons and labs, helping students, and (unfortunately) grading papers must come first. Nonetheless, my commitment to (and pleasure in) creating useful student resources remains high. Editting is an ongoing task which by itself can consume what remaining time I have. Summmer months provide additional time in a teacher's normally busy school schedule. During the coming summers, it is hoped that a series of "Advanced Topic" sections will be added to various units within The Physics Classroom. Such topics would include Young's Experiment, Thin Slit Interference Patterns, Ray Diagrams for Right Angle Mirrors, Acceleration-Time Graphs, etc.

With the generous help of the staff at Study Works Online, there are likely to be some much needed interface changes (rollovers, improved navigation bar, etc.) and facelift changes (removal of the red color in the navigation bar which is rendered as a very deep red on some PC monitors).

Currently, funds (in the form of a small grant) are being sought to fund the creation of some materials on the topics static electricity and current electricity. These units would assume a similar format and writing style as the currently existing units.

Plans for the distant future include making The Physics Classroom more interactive by incorporating the content into a Shockwave Flash format. By so doing, animation and Check Your Understanding sections can be seamlessly incorporated into the content. Furthermore, a method for checking (and recording) student progress through a module is possible. Such records can be kept on a web server database and used to hold students accountable for doing the reading.

Final plans include the production of a CD for sale at a low cost. Issues regarding images and copyright must first be resolved. Once resolved, much of the content of The Physics Classroom would be burned onto a CD, allowing users to utilize the resources without the need for an internet connection. There are no plans to ever prevent the files from being used online by other schools; nor are there plans to convert The Physics Classroom into a subscription service. It is only hoped that the sale of a CD will provide users the right to use the resources offline and to provide some money to justify further development.



Contact, Questions and Feedback

Your feedback concerning this resource is extremely valued. An effort is made to keep up with all user feedback via electronic mail. Suggestions and constructive criticism is pondered and evaluated and often leads to the revision of pages. Any corrections which need to be made are always eventually made.

I am frequently inundated with electronic mail from students from other schools seeking help concerning physics. I teach nearly 150 students and find it difficult keeping up with that load of students. As such, it is not possible for me to attend to student questions concerning physics, physics projects, and other resources on the web. There are likely answers to all these student questions (and in many instances, they can be found in the pages of The Physics Classroom), there just isn't enough time in a day for me to provide the answers.

On occassion, I receive email from teachers wanting to know more about this resource and its use in the physics classroom. I am always interested in sharing my experiences, though on occassion am limited in regards to time. I do respond to such requests and I am also able to direct such teachers to the Glenbrook South physics site to witness first hand how the internet is being effectively used in the physics classroom.




Other Physics Resources at The Physics Classroom




© Tom Henderson, 1996-2004