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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2005
I know physics is hard for all of us, but this book is very clear in explaining physics. It does not involve in calculus, so usually it is better for most students who never took physics. So if you did not take physics class before, I highly recommend this book because it does not use pompous or intricate words that most science textbook writers do. Not only is it an easy reading, but also it has awesome questions and problems that make you think and that check whether you know really physics.

Most my friends who were in engineering or math majors had easy physics teachers in high school. Some of them did not even take physics at all. Surprisingly, they dived into calculus based physics book and they found the subject to be incredibly hard. I understand their pain because I think this book can be a bridge that can connect high school physics(so easy ones) and calculus based physics.

I also read Serway's College Physics, and in my opinion, I think Giancoli wrote better job in explaining physics with more clear diagrams. The sentences that he uses grabs my attention. Serway confused me and I was stuck a lot from his book. Problems in examples are so much better in Giancoli as well and diagrams were better as well.

So before you read calculus based physics, read this one thoroughly and you will be able to breathe in higher physics class.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2009
Overall, this is a decent textbook. The authors cover everything that's needed to know for any general Physics course.
However, a major flaw and advantage is the amount of information compressed within 1000 pages. Providing dozens of explanations and examples in each chapter does help students to better relate to the meaning behind the formulas. But by doing this constantly, the book must be slowly read with a strong attention span.
The problem with this book is focus. There is too much design, text, and colors going on at any given page.
I recommend reading "Cracking the AP Physics" or "Basic Physics" before diving into this book. Mainly because those two books offer simple and clear design, text and color; reducing the stress that comes from learning Physics.

So, what is Torque?

"The angular acceleration, then, is proportional to the product of the force times the lever arm. This product is called the moment of the force about the axis, or more commonly, it is called the torque, and is represented by (Greek tau)..."
- Torque (page 204 - Physics 6th - Giancoli ):

"Intuitively, torque describes the effectiveness of a force in producing rotational acceleration."
- Torque (page 97 - Cracking the AP Physics B & C Exams 06-07 edition):
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2001
This book is maddening. Hundreds of physics problems, and no manual to show you how their solutions are derived. You can't learn physics unless you go over the solutions to problems -- so you can't learn physics with this book alone. You need 1.)a professor with the solutions manual 2.) the solutions manual (which a lowly student is not allowed to have) -- or 3.) a different book (my recommendation). I'm preparing on my own for the MCAT, and this book is driving me crazy. I'm able to get my hands on College Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biology texts, all with detailed answers to their problems. Trying to answer a problem, failing, reviewing the answer, coming back to it later and trying again -- that's how you learn. Reading five pages of text, one or two worked-out examples, and then tackling 30 problems of varying degrees of difficulty with no assistance from the text (or the absolutely useless student manual, what a waste of money) -- is no way to learn physics. If the authors published a student solutions manual with worked-out problems, this would be a good text. I wish the authors could read some of the comments on this site and realize WORKED-OUT PROBLEMS FOR STUDENTS OF PHYSICS ARE ESSENTIAL TO LEARNING PHYSICS. Perhaps in a classroom setting, with a good teacher, this is a helpful text. Trying to use it on your own as a resource for MCAT preparation, or any other solitary learning, however, is a complete waste of time. DON'T BUY IT.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2001
I used this book in my AP Physics B course in grade 12. The book, if you read JUST the text and examples, is not difficult at all. The examples are very straightforward, and the text is coherent. There are a few errors I have found, but in mathematics/physics books, this is a frequent thing. But the weakness in this book is the Problems--WAY WAY WAY too hard for an intro Physics class. Now I have a strong algebra and calculus/trig basis, and even for me this book is very diffucult. Too much time is spent rambling on about useless topics, and more time should be devoted to crafting a stronger exposition--explain the solutions to more of the problems. The only thing that saved us is the fact that we had the INSTRUCTOR'S SOLUTIONS MANUAL, by Irvin A Miller to guide us through these gruesome questions. Mr Giancoli, if you are reading this--you wrote a very good textbook. But in order to do problems, one must SEE visually how it is done out and be able to clearly follow the exposition. We are grateful to Mr Miller, the author of the solutions manual, for enabling us to get through the book. With the answer book to guide us, we all got 4's and a few 5's on the AP exam. The kids the year before who used just the Giancoli text got all 3's or less (most got 2's). A word of advise--get the answer book if you are studying this text. Without it the book is useless in understanding how to do the problems. ...
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2009
Having taught from the first volume of Giancoli at the two-year college level, I suggest that the emphasis is on the algebra and not on understanding the Physics. Understanding comes through solving the problems; the problems are not being solved as a result of understanding. The notation is unnecessarily complex and the language is overly formal. This screens the physics involved. A course with Giancoli becomes an exercise in algebra,(I call this equation slinging), and not a course in Physics.

If you want a real understanding of the physics, get Hewitt's Conceptual Physics. It is far more intellectually challenging than G., and gives the reader a real understanding of the laws and principles of physics. If you then want a mathematical treatment, that old standby Halliday and Resnick (or Resnick and Halliday depending upon the edition)is still hard to beat. A used Hewitt and H & R are more than adequate and far less expensive than Giancoli.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2004
The author starts chapters by giving simple (maybe too simple) introductions. Then he starts jumping from one aspect of the subject discussed to another, feels like a bad novel in a way. Then there's the humour, and lets not forget the colorful drawings, and the pictures, and all the tables. Then, a couple of simple examples that, in no way, go in depth or cover the scope of the subject discussed. Then, BOOM! Five or six pages of problems that you're supposed to somehow solve with the little understanding you are left with after going through the nursery rhymes and eye candy.
WARNING: Unless you have a great instructor, you will suffer, and I mean suffer trying to pass a physics course using this text.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2000
In this book, author covers too many applications in each subject and do not have enough room to explain them in details and thus lost most of beginners. Sure, for teachers, the book looks good because they know subjects so well. However,I think the applications to science and medicine are very interesting and fairly easy ( it depends on who the readers are). I am neither a teacher nor a student. The reason I ran into this book because my daugher took physics in high school using this book so I read it and helped out. Interestingly, My phone did ring quite often at night because many of her friends need to know homeworks' solution. Again, these phone rings support my statement "good for teachers, bad for students(beginners)" In all, the mechanics part ( chap 1 to 9) seems to be good. Fluid and heat and themodynamics are OK. Waves and electricity parts are lousy. I need to consult Halliday text book. Optics is good, but not enough support for problems solving.
By the way, the study guide to go with this book written by Joseph Boyle is useless.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 1999
I am a high school physics teacher with 20 years of experience. In this time span I have read and taught from over a dozen physics texts. Giancoli's text is the best written and most comprehensive textbook that I have encountered! I just wish I would have had such an interesting and well developed text to read when I was a student in introductory physics. I have used the text in standard physics courses, IBSL & IBHL courses and my students generally remark favorably about the style and level of difficulty of the text. Giancoli has tried to make the book assessible to less capable science students while retaining a challenging and comprehensive style for serious science students. His text, however, should not be used as an ancillary source for students struggling with physics.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2000
I used this book for an introductory physics course for two semesters. Students were very dissatisfied with the book. They claimed, explanations were not clear, there were no two similar problems at the end of the chapters, to practice solving problems with similar concepts.
I found some of the problems too difficult for this level course. Many texts have summary of the formulas at the end of the chapters, this one does not.This year we changed the text book for the incoming freshmen,however kept it for physics II to save money for the students who already had Giancoli.For the first time in my 21 years of teaching career, once the students saw the new book we adopted for the course, they wanted ...to buy the Wilson and Buffa's College Physics. When they did this, I realized the intensity of their frustrations.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2003
The way the information is presented is very poorly laid out. For example, many of the questions at the end of the chapters have absolutely no connection with the formulas or information given in the preceding chapter. Students are somehow expected to just "figure it out" by themselves, without any sort of explanation for a similar situation in the chapter. This results in frustration while trying to do the problems. Furthermore, the chapters don't explain what they're teaching very well, glossing over knowledge needed to solve problems.
I think the review by the college professor is spot on, because as a student I've never before have I been expected to learn with a textbook like this. I have the unfortunate luck of having to use this book during a condensed summer course, where everything moves at a fast pace. The fact that this book can't explain half the things I'm expected to do definitely makes it a lousy study aid.
I have placed an order for a used copy of the study guide, hopefully it has some explanations for the problems in the back of the chapters, because the textbook gives NOTHING to help you solve many of them.
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