Post a composite review
Unpost a composite review
Search all MERLOT
Select to go to your profile
Select to go to your workspace
Select to go to your Dashboard Report
Select to go to your Content Builder
Select to log out
Search Terms
Enter username
Enter password
Please give at least one keyword of at least three characters for the search to work with. The more keywords you give, the better the search will work for you.
Select OK to launch help window
Cancel help


Advanced Search


Peer Review

HyperPhysics Mechanics

by Rod Nave


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: May 31, 2005 by Physics
Overview: Hyperphysics Mechanics is a collection of topic modules covering mechanics. It is a subset of the full Hyperphysics site that includes 10 modules covering major subdivisions of physics. Modules include extensive hyperlinks to facilitate navigation between topics; and hyperlinked graphical concept maps are used to show the overall relationships between topics. Interactive examples created with Javascript are extensively employed.
Type of Material: Reference and supplement to textbooks.
Recommended Uses: An on-line reference for both instructors and students. Instructors who place homework assignments on the Web may find that links to the topic modules from within their problems are a useful instructional aid.
Technical Requirements: Browser must support JavaScript
Identify Major Learning Goals: This site is a comprehensive reference archive covering the topics seen in introductory mechanics courses.
Target Student Population: High school and lower-division undergraduate.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: High school algebra and trigonometry.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The overall coverage is quite comprehensive, systematic and illustrative. Numerous interactive examples are provided. Particularly noteworthy are those provided as illustrations for Newton's second law.
Concerns: A few modules take give somewhat non-traditional explanations:

  • The discussion of variable acceleration includes a detailed module on the case where the acceleration can be expressed as a polynomial in time. This is not of great importance as most physicals systems do not behave in this way.
  • The discussion of Newton's second law states the law as F = ma and that the expression F = dp/dt is a special case of this. Most physicists view the latter equation as Newton's second law, and F = ma the special case.
  • This module states that F = ma does not work in the relativistic case where the mass of the object varies while elsewhere the author states (correctly) that relativistic mass is a concept that has limited utility and should probably be avoided in favor of relativistic equations for energy and momentum.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The Hyperphysics site should be a highly useful supplement to any course. Both instructor and student can derive benefits from the site.
Concerns: None noted.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The user interface is excellent. The concept maps are highly effective aids for finding topics quickly.
Concerns: None noted.