Customer Reviews: Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Chapters 1-39 (Available 2010 Titles Enhanced Web Assign)
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on October 20, 2010
This book is just plain awful. The chapter text and examples are woefully inadequate to prepare you for the end of chapter problems. These are REALLY HARD PROBLEMS. Now, I don't mind hard work and I also understand that learning this stuff isn't easy , but come on! I believe that the author could have much more effectively taught these concepts without throwing the students into the deep end right off the bat. I've lost a good deal of hair to this book...

I wish I could give this a negative star review... Skip this book if at all possible or hope you have a really good instructor.
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on November 30, 2010
The horribleness of this book is exacerbated by its inflated price. The descriptions are cryptic and the problems are unclear. I have a suspicion that professors use this book to discourage students who aren't serious about engineering. Don't do the problems in this book, they will just leave you scratching your head and wanting to get out of engineering. If you can even solve the problem (some of them require unjustified assumptions, and I'm sure quite a few of them, as in previous editions, contain typos and diagrammatic errors that render them unsolvable).

Unfortunately I can't recommend another source for problems. I spent so much time on the problems in this book that I had no time to find other sources for more clear, cogent, and helpful problems.
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on December 22, 2009
I agree with other reviews, the book "Physics for Scientists and Engineers" is a LOUSY book at explaining concepts, not only that but also some fundamental algebra steps are missing (author thinks you already know the algebra steps).

Overral, is a good book, very organize, explains good how to derive the equations and formulas, and their exercises are very nice to work with, but not good at explaining the concepts and mathematical approach.

I'm a student at City College of New York (Mechanical Engineering), I found this book very good if you previously know the chapters before reading this book. So, in order to do that I read the "University Physics by Young and Freedman" ISBN# 0805391797. And believe me the average grade for Physics 207 was a 50 something; and I got a B grade also a friend of mine got an A grade with the hardest professor by reading the "University Physics" first, then the "Physics for Scientists and Engineers".

My remarks is, if you want to learn physics and you are an AVERAGE JOE like me, then read 2 books:

1st) "University Physics" by Young and Freedman ISBN# 0805391797 cost around [... is a bargain] in amazon(just read the concepts and do examples).

2nd) "Physics for Scientists and Engineers" by Serway (read the concepts again, do examples again, use their equations, and DO THEIR EXERCISES).
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on September 6, 2011
This book doesn't even deserve one star! If I could rate it, you would have to go down to the planck length scale to see the fraction of the star that I would rate this book.

When you try to apply the content in the book to the problems in the book and the problems on the online learning system, you realize how pathetic the book is at preparing you to work the problems.

Q: What's worse?
A: When you professor doesn't even follow the book, burns an entire hour of lecture deriving equations on the
board without working any examples, and is so lazy that they assign an online homework system instead of
written homework.

This isn't a book for students.

This book is for sadistic show off professors and egotistical scientists that take pleasure in telling students how much they don't know instead of relating the material in the book to the problems in the book.

The authors have terrible skills at relating the material to the audience (college students). All the formulas are presented in derivations and proofs which is completely ridiculous as problems are deductions from generalizations. Sure, its necessary to have a formula, but there is not enough applications within the in chapter text to apply those formulas to the varieties of problems you are faced in the online homework system.

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on August 21, 2013
This is a great book. It helped me allot in calculus 1,2, and I am currently using it right now in calc 3. The thing that I found interesting is that I took calculus based physics 1 and allot of the calc 3 lessons on vectors are in my physics book, but this calc book explained it better and therefore this book helped me in two classes. Overall I recommend this book.
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on March 12, 2012
If your university is making you buy this book, they are doing you a horrible disservice.

The bulk of physics is understanding physical concepts, and then using math to describe and relate these concepts. Unfortunately, Serway and Jewett see it otherwise. This book does very little to explain physical concepts, and it instead pukes math all over you and expects you to make heads or tails of it. Hopefully, you have a decent professor who can make up for this deficit in the readings, but it is very clear that the text assumes the readers have taken general physics I/II (or equivalent) prior to upgrading to university physics.

I still have an A in the class, but I attribute that to being a physics buff- I tutor half of the class, because let's face it: I have to, due to the dismal book we are forced to read.

Absolutely awful, schools need to stop using this garbage, and I wish I could give it zero stars- it's just about as worthless as worthless can get.

EDIT: I would like to edit my review, and give it a well earned "one" star, up from its hypothetical "zero" stars that I wish I could have given it before.

I just completed University Physics II: Electromagnetism/Electricity, and I will confess that these topics are covered much better than kinematics. However, it seems that there is a general disconnect with the level of math most students are at, and the level of math in this book: if you have taken three semesters of calculus (so you know surface integrals, double or triple integrals and vectors like the back of your hand) then this book is MUCH easier to comprehend. If I hadn't taken Calc III over the summer, I would have struggled in physics II. At lot more of the kinematics problems also make more sense, having taken Calc III.

So I stand by my previous review, with a very specific caveat: this book is junk for its intended purpose of exposing engineering majors to physics. It's really mathy, but doesn't explain the math in depth, and it tends to skimp on practice exercises and explaining concepts. It appears from that aspect to be a tome designed to introduce people VERY familiar with concepts and calculus to the gritty math aspects of physics. In that light, I'm not sure what the authors were trying to accomplish. Still had to tutor 60/118 students in the class for this semester. This book simply does not make the associated material accessible for its intended audience (or rather, the audience universities intend it for), and for that... One, single, solitary, well-earned star. :)
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on June 11, 2014
The explanations of concepts can be hard to follow, and the example problems are inadequate and poorly explained. If it has been a few years since you have had calculus (like me) then know nothing will feel intuitive. It feel as though this texbook is giving me a summary of concepts, rather than teaching me concepts and giving me tools to apply them. My professor is not great, and I am fining it impossible to teach myself the material using this textbook.
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on May 25, 2015
Common used text, decent explanations of concepts. The problems at the end are difficult without more detailed walk thrus, which makes doing the work take much longer than it should and reduces the amount of material retention. Worse, the student will spend a lot of time rooting through Chegg instead of thinking because of the unnatural progression and haphazard arrangement of the chapter problems, rather than focusing on the things that will lead to master of the material.
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on July 2, 2012
I've used this text for two semesters of physics and will be using it again for a third. It's basically just very well written and has great examples and homework problems. I also like how it explains common misconceptions and I like that it doesn't separate the explanation of the topic from the derivation of the actual formula. The only thing I don't like is what my instructor mentioned at the beginning of the first physics course which is that the authors seem to update it every couple years so you might end up having the buy the next edition before you're done with all three semesters of physics.
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on November 3, 2013
I used this book for the first semester of calculus based physics. The most important thing to know about this book is that this book is designed for advanced math students who already have an understanding of Algebra and Calculus before taking this course. With the prerequisites taken and understood, the concepts and examples in this book work, although they can be hard to follow sometimes.
The organization of the chapters in this book follows the natural learning process. Concepts learned earlier are referenced in the later sections, and the basic concepts of physics are explained in the first few chapters. These concepts are linked with the general form of the mathematical formulas and each part of the equation is explained. Images are shown that highlight a given concept, while matching it up to a known event or activity. The race car driving around the banked turn demonstrated angular momentum, while a car being lifted using a hydraulic piston demonstrated pressure.
The main difficulty in the book is when linking the concepts taught with the concrete examples that are given for practice. The examples listed the formula used, but sometimes did not explain why each specific formula was arranged like it was. The way the examples were written also was hard to follow occasionally. Working a problem required constant rechecking of old formulas and examples, attempting to compare the given answer to a previous problem with the answer of the new problem. Sometimes I would complete an example question, only to realize that I had no concept of why I had come to that conclusion besides the fact that I had followed the precedent given from the previous page.
The book came with a subscription to an online homework program called Webassign. Webassign made homework problems out of the examples in the book and automatically graded them for the instructor. Using Webassign was very frustrating at times. The software had a tendency to require absolute precision and too many significant figures for some answer fields, while other answer fields had large ranges of acceptable answers. When the two ranges of answers were combined into one question, the first part of the question could be answered correctly, and at the same time the final answer could be too far off variance to be accepted. Since the problems came from the text mostly, the Webassign problems also suffered from the same failings as the text examples.
For mathematically advanced students who are looking for a source to learn physics, this book can be an asset assuming that conceptual understanding is the goal. Students with instructors that have required this text, there is no need for additional texts as long as the student has taken all math courses up to calculus.
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