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3.2 out of 5 stars
Fundamentals of Physics
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2010
The book is written well and gives some real-life scenarios in the problem examples; at times there is a bit of humor involved. However, working on the end-of-chapter problems, you really have to figure out how to work them out on your own. So far, I've seen that very few of the problems can be worked out by following an example in the text. It can be kind of frustrating at times, you will really need outside instruction on working most of them, ie from a college professor...
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49 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2010
I'm studying to go back to med school. I've survived organic chem and other tough classes, so it's pretty much just physics standing between me and my goal. If there is anything I know how to do, it's study. So when I glanced through the text, saw the short (very short) chapters, I thought, "Hey, Physics isn't going to be too bad- this looks easy enough." Boy was I dead wrong.

The chapters and in text examples--if they can even be called that-- fall far short of explaining how to approach problems. I found myself having to buy other physics books to learn how to do basic problems that this text should have demonstrated. The WileyPlus (publisher) website promises lots of online examples, but I have been disappointed by that too. The online problems are slightly more thorough than the text, but that's not saying much. If this is your assigned text, I would be looking for a supplement asap. It does such a remarkably poor job of teaching the concepts. I get that you have to learn to apply your knowledge to new types of problems, but this text doesn't even give you the basic foundation with which to approach a new problem. I don't think physics needs to be as hard and frustrating as this book makes it. There have been far too many nights I have just wanted to smack my head against the wall out of frustration and utter shock that any publisher would publish such a crappy (there is no other word for it) book. And this is the ninth edition- you'd think it would be at least somewhat decent by now!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2012
This textbook is for calculus based physics. As such the goal of the book is to introduce the concepts, the equations for the concepts and to some extent show how the equations are derived. It actually does not go into nearly as much derivation as it could. It is easier to follow if you have had more math, especially Calculus II and III. It introduces the topics one at a time, and in the examples throughout the chapter it tends not to combine the various concepts like the problems at the end of the chapter do. I think this is why many of the people who say this book is horrible feel that way.

The reality of physics problems is that there are so many ways to ask for the same thing, and because they are word problems they give you helpful information buried within useless information. Many times you need to solve for something the problem does not even give you, then use that and the information the problem does give you to solve for what you need. Many times there is more than one way to solve a problem, which can make the problems even harder if you cannot figure out the easiest path. Part of what you ultimately have to do is extract the useful information out of the problem, draw a picture of what is going on, then determine which formulas to apply, and the easiest way to get from point A to point B. The book could be twice as long (and hence twice as expensive) and provide more examples, but even so there would still be problems that you cannot intuitively solve (or even always know how to start) just by looking at them.

Ultimately it is the book's job to introduce you to the concepts (which this book does a fine job of) and your teacher's job (or tutor or study aid if you are stuck with a bad teacher) to help you apply the concepts by doing problems. The book does not spoon feed you and hold your hand through everything, but no textbook that you get for any college class does that. Especially not a class of this level. If you are looking for good supplements that will hold your hand through the problems some good ones are The Ultimate Physics Tutor - 11 Hour Course! - 2 DVD Set! - Learn By Examples!,Ultimate Physics 2 Tutor: Thermodynamics - Vol. One ( Three Disk Edition),Ultimate Physics 2 Tutor Vol. 2 - Oscillations and Waves),Ultimate Physics 3 Tutor - Electricity and Magnetism Series - Volume 1 - 4 DVD Set! - 13 Hour Course!,Ultimate Physics 3 Tutor - Electricity and Magnetism Series - Volume 2 - 3 DVDs - 10 Hours!,How to Solve Physics Problems (College Course),Homework Helpers: Physics, Revised Edition, and Schaum's 3,000 Solved Problems in Physics (Schaum's Outline Series).

Is the book perfect? No. I have yet to see a textbook that is perfect however. As is the case with math books, I am sure physics textbooks vary by how good or bad they are. Let's face it you are not going to get a choice in which book your instructor picks, so whether you like this or hate it you are going to be stuck with it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
I've had to study from this book for an entire year at my university and man, let me tell you, what a worthless piece of junk. The explanations are horrible and I found myself reading other textbooks to actually learn the material. As for the problems, they aren't necessarily "difficult and promoting real science/engineering thinking" so much as simply not giving you all the tools necessary to solve problems. For example, I once had a problem where the equation you need to solve it is in a later chapter than the chapter I got the problem from. I've used all sorts of physics textbooks and this ranks up there for one of the worst.
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30 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2011
i bought this text new assuming since it was roughly the same price as in the college bookstore it would come with wileyplus, which was required for course i was taking. it has ads for the wileyplus, but the registration code has to be purchased separately($89). so if you need the wileyplus, then do not buy this text new thinking it will come with it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
I found this book to be moderately helpful, however I can understand the many poor reviews. I personally have a strong background in math and physics, I merely took the class because it is required of me. When checking the book on equations or certain derivations I was usually able to understand and follow - but only because I had a pretty good grasp on the concepts that were involved. It doesn't do a very good job of providing useful examples or of showing how to connect the different ideas. If you have a good instructor or help outside of this book then it should work great for you but otherwise I wish you luck. Learning primarily from this book would not be a pleasant experience but it would be doable.

Good luck to all of you and I hope your intro physics class doesn't deter you from physics or the sciences in general!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2014
I'm taking Mechanics based calculus right now, which supposed to me the easiest physics class in the series of 3 classes. Since I have zero background in physics, this book makes me very miserable. There is a solution manual with all the answers (even and odd) flying over Google (probably aimed to instructors), so get this and solve zillion problems to succeed in this class.

P.S my instructor is useless, so YMMV.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2014
I bought another physics textbook although this one is required. This book is absolute junk. Do yourself a favor and explore other options.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2014
This book was written so that you have to purchase access to the publishers website in order to use the book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2010
I'd say it's a good physics book. It has short concise summaries and some examples that help. It's the Binder Ready version what I like the most. With a 1000+ pages the book is very bulky and heavy. This binder version lets me take out just what I need to carry. Although you have to be careful not to rip the page perforations.
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