- Hardcover: 1128 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 6th Edition Enhanced Problems Version edition (24 June 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 047122863X
- ISBN-13: 978-0471228639
- Product Dimensions: 21 x 4.3 x 26.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
Fundamentals of Physics Hardcover – 24 Jun 2002
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
There are two facets of the book that really stand out in my opinion. First, if you simply open the book to a random page, you will encounter either a blend of textual material, pictures and diagrams, or problems, lots of problems. The instructive portion of the text looks more like a flashy High School physics text book rather than a dry but profound undergraduate text (sort of like comparing Giancoli with an older Sears, Zemansky, and Young text.) Don't let that distract you, the didactic text explanations are well thought out and focused. Additionally, text does assume that you can follow the math behind the physics and ties the theoretical concepts presented in the text with the necessary calculus based mathematics in lots of worked out examples. The concepts are then reinforced with problem for the student to work out, lots of problem that range from the simple to the more complex.
If there is one weakness, it would be the lack of mathematical rigor. As mentioned, it is assumed that can follow and understand the math. As a result, there are few areas were one can find a clear mathematical derivation from basic first principle relation to the more abstract expressions. Consider for example the presentation of the Doppler Effect; we go from a verbal explanation of what is happening physically directly to the equation that you need to know to calculate the Doppler shift for any case (moving or stationary, source or observer). For some subjects, this is fine, but is may require a secondary text if a more robust derivation is required. I suppose that it is assumed that by the time you reach those concepts you should 'see' the derivations as a matter of common sense.(ok, this is the role of the professor ;-)
Considering that the book itself is over 1200 pages in an 8.5 x 11 form factor (w/micro font)plus a number appendices, and has a fairly in depth treatment of modern physics too boot, the lack of mathematical rigor can be overlooked for the undergrad who needs to know how to solve physics problems and is not overly concerned with the finer details of why (which is the purview of the more specialized texts). Is this the standard physics text? Well perhaps not, but it comes close and is well worth the investment as either a reference text or a pedagogical text or both. This text has earned a permanent spot on my shelves.
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