UNDERSTANDING PHYSICS is an innovative introductory course designed for students preparing to enter careers in fields outside of science or engineering, including students planning to teach, or already teaching, in K-12 classrooms. It is inspired by the famous Project Physics Course, which became known for its success in inspiring students with the excitement of physics by placing its concepts within a broader humanistic context. UNDERSTANDING PHYSICS enables students to gain a full appreciation of physics both as a discipline and as a body of knowledge: a sense of what the concepts mean, where they came from, and why we think we know what we know. The course is among the first to accommodate recommendations of the "National Science Education Standards" from the National Academy of Sciences and the "Benchmarks for Science Literacy" from Project 2061 at the college level. Understanding Physics also incorporates the most recent advances in understanding how students learn physics and where they encounter difficulties, and it offers great flexibility to instructors to adapt the course to the needs of their students and to their own needs and interests. The course components - textbook, student guide, instructor guide - all work together to provide students with an integrated experience in physics. ·The text provides a conceptual framework and connecting narrative for the course that promotes an active engagement with the material. ·Each chapter contains questions designed to help students confirm what they have learned as well as questions to encourage them to go beyond the reading, in individual study, laboratory work, and group discussion. ·The student guide provides both written and hands-on activities for enhancing understanding ·The suggested laboratory work includes in-depth explorations, student-designed inquiries, and text-related mini-explorations that may be used as hands-on activities or as demonstrations with student participation.