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Physics, its methods and meanings
Physics, its methods and meanings
by Alexander Taffel
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from $0.17

3.0 out of 5 stars an average, middle-of-the-road physics textbook, March 3, 2015
This was my later high school textbook.

It's a simple, basic book but does have some nice qualitative explanations to help ground you for more advanced books.

It's weak in nuclear physics. It doesn't cover coefficient of friction problems or circular motion. Teachers will probably want to supplement the problems with a wider range of their own. Overall, a very average, middle-of-the-road textbook. Best to use it as a supplement.

One good thing: presents some equation derivations for honors students. Now out of print.


Introductory Physics : A Problem-Solving Approach, 2nd Edition
Introductory Physics : A Problem-Solving Approach, 2nd Edition
by Jesse David Wall
Edition: Hardcover
41 used & new from $0.74

5.0 out of 5 stars suitable for both intro college physics and high school, February 19, 2015
This is a very good textbook. It's meant for college students who didn't take high school physics so it ramps up quickly to cover the key elements. It's not a heavily theoretical book.

I particularly like its emphasis on problem solving. All end-of-chapter problem sets start with 'example problems' with appropriate background commentary to help give context. And each example problem has a fully worked sample solution plus a useful discussion.

The we get `Essential problems' which all students need to be able to solve. These have answers but no worked solutions. Finally we get `more interesting problems' which help stretch students to see if they really understand or can apply their knowledge. This last set only has answers to odd numbered questions.

The problems are nicely spaced on the page. I also like that students are expected to attempt all problems since they are limited in number to no more than ~30. That way, they get enough practice and can feel a sense of accomplishment when done. Really, there's no need for pages and pages of problems like in other textbooks.

The illustrations by Paul Hewitt are very good at demonstrating the physics involved. Especially good for engaging people in the material.

This algebra and trig-based book could be used in high school but probably doesn't have the full range of topics for a typical 2-year high school physics sequence.


Practical Electronics for Inventors
Practical Electronics for Inventors
by Paul Scherz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $23.73
66 used & new from $17.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a five star book, however......, February 27, 2014
I agree with the other reviewers that this is a 5-star book. But potential buyers should be aware that it's not a good book for absolute beginners. It's also not a teaching book (if you want that look at my 2 listmania's: basic electronics for hobbyists and basic electronics for scientists).

This book really is a broad and comprehensive survey of the entire field of electronics. It's very impressive at 1000 pages. If you're in a course you should use it to supplement or enrich your knowledge of those key areas that are of interest. Don't try and read or understand it all in one semester. Just too big for that.

One part where the editors really fell down was the 2nd chapter on basic theory. Are you kidding me? A single chapter consisting of 250 pages of material? I've never seen such a thing in my entire life ! This should have been broken down into maybe 10 or 12 individual chapters of reasonable size.

This book is most useful for the hobbyist or non-engineer interested in electronics. Although, given its size and scope, I'm sure engineers would also find some nuggets in there as well.


Jolida Audio - FX 10 Integrated Tube Amp Black
Jolida Audio - FX 10 Integrated Tube Amp Black
Offered by HiDEF Lifestyle
Price: $649.00
4 used & new from $525.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good in theory, bad in practice, February 4, 2014
This Jolida FX10 amp is a good idea - get people interested in tubes at a significantly lower price than most other "entry level" vacuum tube-based amps. I won't comment on its sonic properties since others have already done that. I'll just say I like the way this amp sounds, too.

But this amp has a big problem: it runs WAY TOO HOT! The glass cover traps heat and it doesn't have nearly enough ventilation space from underneath to provide good airflow and cooling. Too much heat for any amp, but especially a tube amp, is a killer - you get failure due to shortened life for things like capacitors and power supplies. They just don't respond well to heat. I would recommend any potential purchaser remove the cover and find proper feet to rest it on. I'm using 1 inch sorbothane spacers. Make sure it's in an open area so that hot air can escape.

Because it runs so hot I've had it serviced twice within the past two-and-a-half years both times for the same problem - noisy sound on the right channel due to heat-caused oxidation of various internal connectors and tube pins. Plus a fried ribbon cable the 2nd time. Once the clean-up is done it goes back to sounding good. The second service was after I removed the cover and added the spacers.

I'm considering adding an external fan or putting a fan underneath but will this save the product from the scrap heap? Time will tell.

I'm guessing all this heat is due to its compact design. With chassis dimensions of only 8 x 7 x 5 inches the heat is easily absorbed and then transmitted down to the internal components. The number and size of the vent holes are just not enough. With an internal circuit board plus all the other components jammed into such a small space, air cannot circulate properly through the unit.

I'm glad I only paid $370 for my unit and not the standard $500-600.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 15, 2014 7:30 AM PST


Jolida Audio - FX 10 Integrated Tube Amp Silver
Jolida Audio - FX 10 Integrated Tube Amp Silver
Offered by HiDEF Lifestyle
Price: $649.00
2 used & new from $525.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good in theory, bad in practice, February 4, 2014
This Jolida FX10 amp is a good idea - get people interested in tubes at a significantly lower price than most other "entry level" vacuum tube-based amps. I won't comment on its sonic properties since others have already done that. I'll just say I like the way this amp sounds, too.

But this amp has a big problem: it runs WAY TOO HOT! The glass cover traps heat and it doesn't have nearly enough ventilation space from underneath to provide good airflow and cooling. Too much heat for any amp, but especially a tube amp, is a killer - you get failure due to shortened life for things like capacitors and power supplies. They just don't respond well to heat. I would recommend any potential purchaser remove the cover and find proper feet to rest it on. I'm using 1 inch sorbothane spacers. Make sure it's in an open area so that hot air can escape.

Because it runs so hot I've had it serviced twice within the past two-and-a-half years both times for the same problem - noisy sound on the right channel due to heat-caused oxidation of various internal connectors and tube pins. Plus a fried ribbon cable the 2nd time. Once the clean-up is done it goes back to sounding good. The second service was after I removed the cover and added the spacers.

I'm considering adding an external fan or putting a fan underneath but will this save the product from the scrap heap? Time will tell.

I'm guessing all this heat is due to its compact design. With chassis dimensions of only 8 x 7 x 5 inches the heat is easily absorbed and then transmitted down to the internal components. The number and size of the vent holes are just not enough. With an internal circuit board plus all the other components jammed into such a small space, air cannot circulate properly through the unit.

I'm glad I only paid $370 for my unit and not the standard $500-600.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 24, 2015 4:40 PM PST


Mathematics of Physics, Fourth Edition
Mathematics of Physics, Fourth Edition
by J.H. Avery
Edition: Paperback
5 used & new from $13.77

4.0 out of 5 stars summary of high school math for physics, October 31, 2013
This book is useful for high school. Provides a concise summary of the relevant math needed for physics. Includes some simple problems for application. In-depth derivations or rigorous theoretical treatment is not provided.

Contents:
An Intro to SI Units / Indices / Formulae and Equations / Graphs / Basic Trig / Further Trig / The Circle / Differential Calculus / Further Differential Calculus / Integral Calculus / Further Integral Calculus / Intro Differential Equations / Linear Motion / Motion in a Circle, Gravitation, Rotation / Oscillations and Waves / Charges in Electric and Magnetic Fields, Electric Circuits / Statistics and Probability


Beyond the Mechanical Universe: From Electricity to Modern Physics
Beyond the Mechanical Universe: From Electricity to Modern Physics
by Richard P. Olenick
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from $80.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good for 2nd semester freshman physics (calculus-based), September 20, 2013
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Like its younger brother ("The Mechanical Universe") this "Beyond The Mechanical Universe" book is excellent. It's intended for first year university physics courses which use calculus. It covers the typical second semester topics. However, it's more advanced than the first book and could have used a chapter or two on line and surface integrals.

It does have one major shortcoming - only 1 chapter is devoted to light & optics. Neither this book nor its predecessor covers sound at all.

Another excellent book is "Understanding Physics", 2nd edition by Michael Mansfield & Colm O'Sullivan. See my review. It covers more topics than these Mechanical Universe books by Olenick et al.


The Physics Toolbox: A Survival Guide for Introductory Physics
The Physics Toolbox: A Survival Guide for Introductory Physics
by Kirsten A. Hubbard
Edition: Paperback
Price: $67.95
89 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit unusual, March 15, 2013
This book is a supplement for first year university physics courses, be it algebra/trigonometry based or calculus based.

This book is not too bad but is a bit unusual. It's broken up into 3 sections: one part on background info on how to study physics along with helpful pointers, one part consisting of a technical overview and application to various physics topics and a third part which is a math supplement & review.

The first part consisting of 4 chapters is the strangest part of the book. Here the authors explain about science, physics, the scientific method & study skills in general. They spend some time comparing how physics courses are structured vis-à-vis humanities courses. I'm not sure why the authors are doing this. After all, by the time students have completed high school they should already be familiar with differences in how various subjects are taught and what skills are needed for different courses.

As I read this material I got the impression the authors are giving guidance to students who've never encountered physics before. To me that would be bizarre. If you're taking physics in university you should've been exposed to lots of math and science in high school. You should have already taken 2 years of physics and chemistry in high school and then university would build on that knowledge.

I agree with the authors that problem solving in physics is key. But there are better books out there for that:(a) How to Solve Physics Problems by Robert and Daniel Oman (college level);(b) Physics for the Utterly Confused by Robert and Daniel Oman (high school level);(c) Introductory Physics with Calculus: Mastering Problem-Solving by Thomas E. Barrett (college level).

Some parts of the book are clearly geared for calculus-based physics courses which might put off the algebra based physics students.


The TAB Guide to Vacuum Tube Audio: Understanding and Building Tube Amps (TAB Electronics)
The TAB Guide to Vacuum Tube Audio: Understanding and Building Tube Amps (TAB Electronics)
by Jerry C. Whitaker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $31.38
70 used & new from $7.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not appropriate for hobbyists, February 14, 2013
I'll have to agree with the 2 other reviewers on this book. It's quite strange and, overall, not that useful. There's a fair bit of technical information presented but much of it is irrelevant to the topic at hand and/or not used later in the book. This statement applies to much of the first 3 chapters.

The author says "If, on the other hand, you have an interest in vacuum tube audio amplifiers and want to build a system as hobby, this book is probably for you." It's difficult to believe this book was written with the hobbyist in mind. Many of the sentences are too complex and do not help with understanding of tube amps (as suggested by the subtitle); lots of technical terms are introduced without proper definition. It does not lead anyone step-by-step through basic design or understanding of tube amps.

Like so many books published by TAB, it seems only useful if you already possess much pre-existing knowledge of electronics or amplifiers in general. And then, it only summarizes info.

Fortunately, there are other good books out there the most prominent of which are the 2 books by Morgan Jones. You can also look at "Tubes and Circuits" by Bruce Rozenblit or "Inside the Vacuum Tube" by John Rider or "Mullard Tube Circuits for Audio Amplifiers".

My personal favorite is Basic Electronics, volumes 1-6, paperback set, by Van Valkenburgh, Nooger and Neville, aka the Rider books, first published in the 1950's. Volume 2 is on vacuum tubes and has a simple push-pull amp. No construction details, though.

Glad I borrowed Whitaker's book from the library and didn't shell out any cash for it.


Mathematics for College Physics
Mathematics for College Physics
by Biman Das
Edition: Paperback
Price: $55.00
57 used & new from $1.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars too much filler; not enough physics application, February 5, 2013
This book is a 200 page summary of the physics-related math you should have already learned in high school.

It has many tables and figures where it lists things like symbols, base and derived SI units, geometric shapes and mathematical equations. There are spots where this info is applied to simple physics concepts but not enough IMO to justify the price tag (>$25). I'd say this book is worth about 5 bucks or less given the content.

Couple of useful items - explains the importance of choosing a co-ordinate system in physics; how to approach problem solving in general.

A similar book to this one but of more utility is "The Physics Toolbox" by Hubbard and Katz.
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