Paul G. Hewitt's ability to communicate the concepts of physics through simple language, cartoon sketches, and thought-provoking demonstrations has made his courses at City College of San Francisco extremely popular. The American Association of Physics Teachers honored Professor Hewitt in 1982 with its Millikan Award for outstanding teaching, and the Exploratorium (San Francisco's innovative science museum) presented him with its Outstanding Educator Award in 2000.
Long before becoming a physicist, Paul at 17 years old was the New England Amateur Athletic Union silver-medalist flyweight boxing champion. He later became a uranium prospector in Colorado after a stint in the US Army, then a commercial artist and sign painter. He entered college at the age of 27, receiving a bachelor's degree in physics from Lowell Technological Institute. He earned two master's degrees from Utah State University, one in physics and another in science education. His 36-year teaching career was mainly at City College of San Francisco, where for a decade he taught physics evenings at the Exploratorium. He guest taught at various high schools and universities, including the University of California, both Berkeley and Santa Cruz campuses, and the University of Hawaii, both Manoa and Hilo campuses. He is now retired and enjoying the good life in Florida and California.
The teaching and writing of Conceptual Physics is my life's work. My aim is to share my passion for physics, to guide the reader to see physics as the rules of the physical world, and to teach how the equation of physics reveal the connections in nature. Whereas many physics courses emphasize the tools of physics, the focus here is on the physics concepts themselves, their similarities, and their differences. The tone of the book is friendly, illuminating rather than intimidating, and rich with analogies and clear explanations, with more qualitative questions than algebraic problems - all to help you discover that physics is fascinating, to provide a solid science foundation, and to see that a knowledge of physics is important to your overall education. The testimonials below are from some of the most prestigious professors of major universities in the United States - physicists who are familiar with this book and are willing to share their impressions of it.