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Physics Text

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Initial post: Apr 10, 2012 5:39:49 PM PDT
M. Stepaniak says:
I'm looking for a textbook that I can use to re-learn physics on my own. The last physics course I took was years ago, an AP course in high school. I also haven't taken Calculus in the same length of time. I'd be interested in trying to relearn both simultaneously. Is there a physics text that people would recommend?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2012 10:14:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2012 10:14:48 PM PDT
Whatever you settle on, pick up a copy of Paul Hewitt's Conceptual Physics too. Work through a section in Hewitt and then tackle the corresponding section in whatever text you get (I had Giancolli for alg/trig physics and Halliday in calc-based physics). The problem most people have with physics is that they try to manipulate formulas before they understand the relationships they represent. Try Hewitt; it's fun and you'll learn a lot.

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 7:48:50 PM PDT
William Carr says:
I am about to start on "Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach (Second Edition) (Dover Books on Mathematics) Morris Kline"

It's teaching Calculus from a Physics perspective.

Let me give you a few tips.

I took Calculus twenty years ago and got an A. We learned how to take Integrals, Derivatives, etc.

I re-took Calculus last Summer to knock the rust off, and barely switched to Audit in time to avoid a disaster.

It's not being taught the same way today. If you get a chance, ask a teacher who's taught for more than twenty years and see if he remembers.

NOW, it's taught using "Rigor". You know, as in Rigor Mortis; "stiff".

The first month of the class was a very cursory Algebra review.

Then it was a crash introduction to Proofs, something you don't need until much later.

After that, instead of teaching Integrals or Derivatives, the book we used tried to make introductory Calculus students re-invent Calculus by studying how Newton/Liebnitz did it.

This is "Rigor". As in stupid.

The right way to teach Math is by doing problems over and over until they become routine.

Let the third-year Calc students explore the origins of Calculus, and second year students tackle Proofs, not in a single assignment, but a full semester's worth.

I purchased the Morris book because a) it's about actually solving real-world problems, not the intricate math puzzles mathematicians gloat over; b) Morris has the same scathing opinion of "Rigor" and Proofs that I have developed, and c) it was written before Rigor became the defacto standard.

Somebody should tell today's math teachers that the point is learning to use it, not confounding the students with puzzles a year more advanced than they know how to solve.

The result is, many people turn away from Math in disgust, feeling like they're not smart enough. I think if teachers were using the Morris book, they'd engage the students better and graduate more people able to use Math.

Posted on May 2, 2012 9:54:13 AM PDT
David Ames says:
If you are r elearning the kinds of stuff discussed here, look at and get the free lectures.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 1:11:42 PM PDT
Mauser says:
But isn't the essence of math this rigor? I mean - and I might be wrong - it sounds like you want math without as much math as possible.

Posted on May 16, 2012 6:36:34 AM PDT
Halliday Resnick. I used Fundamentals of Physics in a correspondence course (over 2 semesters) and would recommend physics books from them. This one:
Physics, Parts I and II (Parts 1 & 2)
is under two dollars. I am assuming you could use and old edition.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 6:49:52 PM PST
teacher says:
One suggestion would be Physics of the Real World by a retired physics teacher. The text was taught for dozen years and is now available as an Ebook. Folksy and complete.
PHYSICS of the Real World: A High School Course
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Discussion in:  Textbook forum
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Initial post:  Apr 10, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 10, 2013

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