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Schaum's Outline of Applied Physics, 4ed (Schaum's Outlines)
Schaum's Outline of Applied Physics, 4ed (Schaum's Outlines)
by Arthur Beiser
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.00
59 used & new from $1.79

3.0 out of 5 stars optimal selection of cornerstone problems but some careless solutions and explanations, November 25, 2015
I am a community college physics instructor and am constantly searching for a simplified physics book. This one contains a wisely chosen selection of example problems that illustrate the essential scenarios occuring in the textbooks plus some problems at intermediate level. The solutions get a symbolic answer first, which I applaud, and then substitute numbers.
However, some of the solutions would confuse a beginner student.
One example is a problem of a woman on scales inside an elevator that is accelerating up. To find the normal force from the scales on the woman, you simply write Newton's second law: Fn - mg = ma, which gives Fn = mg + ma. The book writes Fn = mg + ma directly with the explanation that the normal force Fn is the sum of mg and the "accelerating force ma". Apparently, the author has in mind the fictitious inertial force ma that acts in the non-inertial frame attached to the elevator but students at that level are not aware of such treatment and calling ma "a force" will confuse them how to apply Newton's second law correctly.
Another example asks to find the recoil speed of a rifle shooting a bullet. The correct treatment is that Pinitial = 0 = Pfinal = m(bullet)v(bullet) - M(rifle)V(rifle). The book direclty states "conservation of momentum gives m(bullet)v(bullet) = M(rifle)V(rifle)". That would create the wrong impression in the student that the initial momentum is that of the bullet, and the final momentum is that of the rifle, which is a nonsense.
Because of such careless explanations, and some outdated approaches (eg. "work against friction" which is positive and reduces kinetic energy) and notations, I cannot fully recommend this book and would rather suggest Shaum's Outline of College Physics by Bueche.

Physics: A Problem Solving Approach
Physics: A Problem Solving Approach
by Matthew D. McCluskey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
4 used & new from $6.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well selected essential problems with some essential topics missing, November 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I teach general physics at a community college. The material to be covered is a lot (typically a chapter per week) and many instructors are forced to strip it down to the essential situations. This book provides exactly that. It breaks each chapter of a typical first semester physics course into sections consisting of 2-3 cornerstone example problems (algebra-based) with short solutions. Similar to the way most students solve, the solutions have a tendency to plug in numbers instead of getting a symbolic answer first. Most sections are followed by a Quiz of 4 problems, very similar to the example problems. A chapter concludes with about 7 end-of-chapter problems and 4 "challenge" problems that require thinking how to apply the principles in slightly different situations. All Quiz, end-of-chapter, and challenge problems have answers at the end but no solutions.

The advantage of this book over a regular textbook is the close correspondence between example problems and end of chapter problems. The students do not need to read anything extra. The disadvantage is that some topics are overly reduced or completely omitted to make it easier for the students:
- kinematics with constant acceleration does not exercise the formula without time at all: v^2(final) = v^2(initial) + 2 a dx
- no graphical problems involving slopes or areas under curve at all
- 1D dynamics is missing the scenario of two or more objects in a horizontal row interacting with action-reaction pairs (normal forces or tensions) and the essential scenario of an object on a horizontal ground slowing down to rest due to kinetic friction
- rotational kinematics of constant angular acceleration is not exercising most of the rotational formulas
- work/energy chapter does not consider problems with springs at all. Some of those are introduced later in the context of oscillations.
- there is no chapter on Gravity (Kepler's laws and orbits)
- no discussion of Doppler shift for waves
- no rolling without slipping and combined translational + rotational motion
- the book defines a time constant for the amplitude of a damped oscillator. The time constant is usually defined for the Energy, not the amplitude. The two time constants differ by a factor of 2 because Energy ~ A^2

A problem book with a wider selection of essential and standard problems is Schaum's Outline of College Physics by F. Bueche, although it is not as neatly organized.

Schaum's Outline of College Physics, 11th Edition (Schaum's Outlines)
Schaum's Outline of College Physics, 11th Edition (Schaum's Outlines)
by Frederick Bueche
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.17
117 used & new from $6.12

4.0 out of 5 stars well explained solutions of basic and standard problems, November 17, 2015
I teach Physics at Community Colleges. The class textbook is usually too verbose and deficient in basic example problems. Many students actually search internet for problem solutions but these are often badly explained. That includes Chegg, Yahoo Answers, and other sites with solutions posted by students.

I recommend this book to my students because it contains terse theoretical summaries and solutions of basic and standard problems done correctly and explained in detail.

There are some aspects of the book that I don't like:
- there is no separate chapter on Newtonian Gravitation (Kepler's Laws and planetary orbits). There are a few problems scattered throughout the book.
- the chapter of Work/Energy does not include springs which are covered way later in Simple Harmonic Motion. That is why, the Energy chapter left out problems involving springs.
- no problems for damped or driven oscillations
- the problem solutions always substitute numbers instead of getting a simple symbolic answer first. Many students indeed prefer to solve this way. Not obtaining the symbolic answer, means that they will not see the structure of the answer and connect it to a similar problem.
- the theoretical summaries often skip on essential formulas and just summarize vaguely with words. For example, the Energy chapter summary does not show the energy balance equation (dK + dU = Wfriction + Wother) and the reader has to infer it from the solutions later. The Physics Outline by Browne has way better theoretical summaries that even derive the formulas but has many typos, and problems that are often too hard or 'non standard' for college physics.

Schaum's Outline of Physics for Engineering and Science: 788 Solved Problems + 25 Videos (Schaum's Outlines)
Schaum's Outline of Physics for Engineering and Science: 788 Solved Problems + 25 Videos (Schaum's Outlines)
Price: $11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars succinct correct derivations, lots of typos, good example problems, often needs more adequate practice problems, November 6, 2015
I am a community college instructor and was looking for a succinct physics text that the students would be more willing to read than the 100-mile-long primary text.
- unlike many outline texts, Browne's shows short derivations of the formulas that makes the logical structure easy to trace
- the example problems with solutions often coincide with the essential problems I select for community college physics
- all practice problems have solutions, not only answers like other books
- many typos in the theoretical summary and the problem solutions that may confuse a beginner reader
- practice problems are interesting but sometimes too complicated or not similar to the typical problems in college physics textbooks. Most notable example are the practice problems in Newton's Laws section which are inadequate in number and difficulty variations.
- solutions are sometimes not clearly explained, which will leave the reader wonder
- some minor details are not entirely correct. For example, the book doesn't make a good conceptual distinction between static and kinetic coefficient of friction and the solutions are not clear that there is a difference at all
The Shaum's College Physics Outline by Bueche has problems better correlated with contemporary college textbooks with more carefully explained example solutions but the practice problems have no solutions and the formulas are just summarized, not derived as in the Browne's book.

ALCATEL OneTouch Idol 3 Global Unlocked 4G LTE Smartphone, 4.7 HD IPS Display, 16GB (GSM - US Warranty)
ALCATEL OneTouch Idol 3 Global Unlocked 4G LTE Smartphone, 4.7 HD IPS Display, 16GB (GSM - US Warranty)
Price: $178.72
11 used & new from $173.65

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All good except the sound enhancement for headphones, October 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had ZTE AWE, LG G2, iPhone 5s, Idol 3 5.5" and now Idol 3 4.7".
This phone is slim, light, and perfect size for the pocket and web browsing. The Idol 5.5" was too large to keep comfortably in my pocket without breaking it.
The screen has a yellower white, which I like better for reading. The screen of the Idol 5.5" had a bright bluish white, which often hurt my eyes. Both screens are very reflective - remedied by a MATTE screen protector by Mr. Shield.
The battery is 2000 mAh, which to my surprise is sufficient to stream Pandora on 4G the whole day. I always thought that I needed 3000 mAh for a whole day operation but the new version of Android is surprisingly battery efficient.
The sound from the phone speakers is loud and clear with some depth, but definitely not with super bass or "like from big speakers", as some reviews are claiming. Strangely, the ringing and notifications are decreased in volume when headphones are plugged in - definitely a software bug that Alcatel has to straighten out.

While the sound through the on-board speakers is good, JBL did an exceptionally poor job with the sound enhancement through headphones, for which I am removing one star. Most cheap earbuds (less than $20) that I tried with the Idol 3 sounded with weak bass. Turning on the JBL "audio effects" attempts to create surround sound by distancing/depressing the mid frequencies, corresponding to human voices. That results in decreased clarity and "muddy" sound. The included JBL earphones were the worst from the bunch I tried with no clear highs and a complete lack of bass. I would not pay even $5 for those. Only the earbuds that came with my iPhone 5s had crystal clarity and after I pumped the bass with the Bass Booster app, the sound became acceptable and listening to Pandora enjoyable.

Frankly speaking, I will most probably toss the Idol 3 for the ZTE Axon Mini, for its excellent HiFi sound.

A pleasant surprise was the back (13 Mpx) f/2.0 aperture camera, which is the same in the 4.7" and the 5.5" models. Its Automatic mode takes good pics in good light. The Automatic is not smart enough in low light so I turn on the Manual mode, set timer to 5s to avoid camera shake, and ISO to about 800. With these manual settings, I was able to get sharp selfies (can see my skin pores) without much noise even in very dim light (indoors, early in the morning on a cloudy day). In comparison, the iPhone 5s automatic mode rarely produced sharp pics in dim light (like indoors during the day), while LG G2 got them but smeared all fine details like eyelashes and skin pores due to agressive noise reduction. The pics that I get with the Idol 3 come out with colors close to what my eyes see with slight saturation of reds. In comparison, LG G2 had a tendency to produce washed out (bluer) pics.

In terms of everyday tasks, the 4.7" Idol 3 is just as fast as the 5.5" version, and is even faster in the animation when you close all open apps and they slide off the screen one by one. The 5.5" version stutters in that ?! The 4.7" Idol 3 has slower processor on specs but has to control fewer screen pixels or is better optimized. I rarely play games on phones so can't compare the two phones in that department. Both phones stutter when browsing the DESKTOP version of image-intensive web pages like Amazon but even my powerful desktop computer does that. It has more to do with downloading all the images and the site programming than with how fast the phone video processor is. The slight stutter sometimes does not defray from pleasant web browsing.

Mr Shield For Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7 Inch) Anti-Glare [Matte] Screen Protector [3-PACK] with Lifetime Replacement Warranty
Mr Shield For Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (4.7 Inch) Anti-Glare [Matte] Screen Protector [3-PACK] with Lifetime Replacement Warranty
Offered by Mr.Shield
Price: $21.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Reduces glare. Excellent instructions and tools for instalation, October 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The IDOL 3 screen is very shiny and this MATTE screen protector reduces glare effectively, making web browsing and reading more comfortable. The instructions were a link to a video which was very clear. The package even contains means to remove dust specks trapped between the screen and the protector. For the first time in my life I was able to apply a screen protector without any bubbles due to dust particles. The only slight negative is that the protector is about 1mm shorter and narrower than the screen but I can live with that.

Amazon Fire Phone, 32GB (AT&T)
Amazon Fire Phone, 32GB (AT&T)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Camera is really bad indoors in low light, September 11, 2015
I was naively thinking this phone would give me an iPone quality cam for $130. It took me less than a day to see the camera is really bad indoors. I took a few selfies indoors on a cloudy morning with the back camera - no artificial light and no flash. Selfies instantly tell if the camera is sharp, you just have to observe your eyelashes and skin pores. Unfortunately all of the selfies looked unfocused with smeared noisy details. The optical stabilization definitely wasn't doing a good job reducing the camera shake, nor is the fact that there is no timer option. The Fire phone takes 3 pics in low light and lets you choose the sharpest, but none was good. To be fair, iPhone 5s also has problems getting a sharp pic in such light but it takes 10 pics and half of the time gets a sharp one, without any optical stabilization. In the same conditions my Alcatel Idol 3 produces sharp selfies most of the time in its manual mode - ISO 800 and 5s timer. The Fire Phone also had problem with the color balance in artificial light. In the evening, under energy saving light bulbs it overemphasized the yellow cast to extreme.

The camera looks good on specs but the software controlling it seems rather dumb and cannot even begin to compare to the iPhone cams although it copied their simplistic interface without a lot of options. I find it rather strange that so many reviewers claim that the camera is good when it took me one morning to realize it simply won't work indoors in low light. The OS was up to date so that wasn't the problem.

OxyLuv Oxytocin Nasal Spray (No unnatural preservatives or fillers) 1oz.
OxyLuv Oxytocin Nasal Spray (No unnatural preservatives or fillers) 1oz.
Offered by PherLuv
Price: $32.95

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made orgasm possible again. No effect on social anxiety., August 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm a 40+ male and since 2013 it either takes me an enormous effort and time to get to orgasm or I don't get there at all. During sex, I simply do not feel the gradual biuld up of sexual pleasure/tension down there. Missing that bodily feedback, it is hard for me to get to orgasm. The condition is known as delayed ejaculation or anorgasmia and there is no official treatment - Viagra doesn't work on that. My doctor checked my testosterone and estrogens and they were "within norm", although the "normal ranges" are quite elastic... Some other hormones (prolactin, SHBG) are too high... By suggestion of my doctor, I tried Cabergoline (lowers prolactin) but it didn't do anything. On a whim, although my testosterone and estrogens are "normal", I also tried the aromatase inhibitor Arimidex (lowers estrogen, increases free testosterone) - 0.5mg on a sex day. To my surprise that worked but has side effects - makes me a little tired and depressive and my joints hurt slightly.

I am quite surprised that this Oxytocin spray works too!!! I spray in nostrils 4 pumps total, one hour before sex, and I am able to orgasm although the build up of pleasure down there is still not strong as before. No side effects unlike Arimidex.

I also have a little social anxiety - too shy and feeling uncorfortable communicating with strangers, even asking them a question. I have used the spray for a month so far, 2-3 times a week, and I haven't noticed it making me more relaxed or social, as Oxytocin is claimed to do.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Ewan McGregor
41 used & new from $11.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pathetic waste of special effects, April 22, 2015
I resently re-watched the Phantom Menace and I am shocked how bad it is on most accounts. Clearly, much more money was spent into special effects instead of plot development. The story line is schematic and juvenile like of a comic book. The acting by Liam Neeson is surprisingly unemotional and robotic. At places it looked as if he was laughing histerically inside at the idiotic lines he had to say. The goofy animated character with bad english is annoying beyond belief and a cheap attempt to endear the viewers. The movie is a joke compared to the original Star Wars. Was George Lukas going senile when he wrote and directed this?

Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Physics for Scientists and Engineers
by Raymond A. Serway
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $241.90
56 used & new from $149.04

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID that verbose chaotic mess, March 22, 2015
I am an instructor at a community college and have been unfortunate to have to use this text to teach "engineering physics" two semesters in a row. The text was selected by the physics department, probably based on its pretty pictures and reputation. If it depended on me, it would hit the trash bin faster than the speed of light!

I have never seen such a verbose chaotic mess of a textbook before. The language used is often inflated/convoluted and the conceptual development is not in a logical order at all, which severely impedes student learning. The ultimate logical fiasco are the Energy/Work chapters. There, you can read nonsenses such as "the work-kinetic energy theorem is of limited application, only to systems in which the only change in the system is in its speed", whatever that means. The reason it is "not always applicable" is that the authors fail to include the work of internal forces which can change the kinetic energy of a sytem, with zero work of external forces. Later, the neglected work of internal forces is used to "motivate" potential energy. At the end, the text does not derive the conservation of mechanical energy from Newton's Laws, as it should, but motivates it with semi-heuristic arguments. This is a prime example how clear-cut logic is turned into a complete mess in this textbook.

It's not enough the text doesn't have logical ordering but the onlne class slides often have a completely different order. Clearly they were written at once without much thought: too much text with no ability to separate important from unimportant, too many "rules to memorize", with weak logical structure and derivation. When I want to do a class presentation in a logical order, I have to do a "Brownian motion" through the slides. The online videos cannot be enlarged so can't be used in a classroom. In effect, I have to spend significant amount of time to write my own lectures to reorganize the logical mess of the textbook. The textbook is working AGAINST the instructor and the students, instead of supporting them!

In the spirit of the textbook, the end of the chapter problems are chaotic. I have to spend SEVERAL afternoons reading ALL 100 after-chapter problems to literally hunt for appropriate ones for homework and order them logically. Often, I find only 1-2 problems of a given type and very few conceptual-building problems solvable in 1-2 lines. I like the online Active Examples but often the follow up Master It section asks a question of completely different type so I have to go over them really carefully before assigning for homework. I also liked the Master It online tutorials but often the guided solution they present is discordant with the textbook so you have to be careful with those too. Due to lack of appropriate problems, I often had to give the same problem for homework, quiz, and exam or use problems from other textbooks. The online "test-bank" that comes with WebAssign contains low quality images (circa 1980's) and multiple-choice questions often discordant with the types found in the textbook. For the online quizzes and exams, I frequently have to re-program/modify questions or program my own on WebAssign. All that takes HUGE amount of time!

This textbook is a HUGE waste of time and effort for both instructors and students. Much better texts with clear logical organization are Randall Knight's and Jearl Walker's (known as Halliday/Resnick/Walker). Knight's textbook takes great care to build concepts visually and in detail, while Walker's textbook is more succinct.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 22, 2015 4:59 PM PST

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