Most helpful critical review
126 of 154 people found the following review helpful
Rudimentary and Generally Useless for Studying...
on March 19, 2004
I am currently enrolled in an entry-level physics course. There is no calculus involved in this course, nor is it a "math" based physics course: Rather, it is an introduction to most topics fundamental to physics. For the purposes of academicia, this book is essentially useless. Its coverage of topics attempts to be too many things at once: As a student, I got the impression that it was an attempt to cover everything, but with as little complexity as possible.
Thus, one is left with a sense of surface understanding, but very few abilities for application.
This book was purchased as a method by which I could introduce myself to topics covered in class. The theory behind this was that if i learned the basics from an outside source, then when we covered them (more in-depth and mechanical, less layman's-terms). This book provides an overly-simplified, dumbed-down portrayal of physics.
If you've never taken any physics courses and have - literally - no background in mechanics (and a weak background in algebra-based math), then this book may be perfect for you: It is a gentle, superficial introduction to the most basic concepts of physics. There basic discussion of Newton's laws of motion, some kinetic/potential energy discussion, etc: All topics common to most non-math physics courses. Additionally, while brief explanations of major laws and motions are given, there are very few practice problems and application instances. Thus, you've learned - in theory - say, Newton's Second Law. But the book, in no way, guides you through an application of said law.
Simply, it is a gentle introduction - and very gentle, at that - to the world of physics. The simple language is easy to follow, though topics are hardly covered thoroughly. But it is a good starting-off point if you are easing yourself into the study of physics (on your own). I highly recommend finding another, more thorough (and in-depth) book in order to further examine topics.