Cambridge International AS Level and A Level Physics Coursebook with CD-ROM (Cambridge International Examinations) Paperback – 1 Jul 2010
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Cambridge International AS and A Level Physics covers all the material required for the Cambridge syllabus and is now available in both print and e-book formats. The print book includes a Student CD-ROM of supplementary materials including additional questions linked to each chapter, advice on how to tackle the examinations, animations, a glossary and chapter summaries. These supplementary materials (with the exception of the animations) are also included in the e-book version. A Teacher's Resource CD-ROM is also available and includes answers to all questions in the Coursebook, together with worksheets describing practical work.
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I had bought the book with high expectations but it has been quite disappointing. I started reading the book from the
beginning, but have not gone beyond Chapter 5.
In a physics book, I look for concepts to be explained well and to a certain depth. I find both lacking in this book.
In chapter 4, while talking about center of gravity, a standard example of using a plumb line to find out the CG of a thin
laminar sheet is given. As the example goes, hang the laminar object from a point on its edge using a pin.
Hang the plumb line from
the same pin and then draw a line on the object just behind the plumb line. Repeat from a second point on the edge of the
object. The point where the two lines cross is where the CG lies. What the book says and I quote is that "A line is
drawn on the object along the vertical string of the plumb line. The centre of gravity must lie on this line." But it never
explains why it must. Are the authors expecting the student to just accept this, or expecting the students to
figure it out ? For an A level book, I guess one could argue that it is the latter. But the style of the book is in most
cases that meant for a beginner, hence I find it hard to believe that the authors could leave this critical piece of
argument out expecting the reader to figure it out.
Immediately after, they discuss the concept of moment of a force. They mention that it is proportional to the applied
force and the distance of the applied force from the pivot. A very common concept that is covered usually immediately
after the mentioned concept is that of work done. A 20 N force at a distance of 2.0 m from the pivot can balance a 40N
force at a distance which is 1m from the pivot (seems a bit like magic). What helps explain this magic largely is the
concept that the work that the 20 N force has to do move a load would be same (by having to move a larger distance) as the work that the 40 N force has to do (by moving a smaller distance). I do not see this concept discussed even in Chapter 5 which is on work.
A third example shows lack of proper ordering of the discussion. In chapter 3 force, mass and acceleration
are discussed. But even before discussing the concepts and units for force, an example is given of a train being pulled
by motors generating a force of 20000 N. Thats an example of putting the train before the motor.
In addition to all of the above, the level seems somewhat low for an A level text.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I want also the answers of the exams.
I hope you will send me the book that has the answers of this very usefull Physics book.