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A question about "College Physics" for self-studying physics -- Algebra or Calculus based?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi, my name is "Bob" I have a particular question about a specific book.

Preface...
It has been a while since I formally studied Physics. The type of Physics book I remember using last was I believe, Algebra-based. This was in high school. Based on my degree, I studied Algebra and Trigonometry.

Since I was being cheap, I asked a friend for her physics book She gave me...

"College Physics (7th Edition)Sears, Francis W.; Zemansky, Mark W.; Young, Hugh D. "

which to me seems like an outdated book and I think it is Algebra-based.

My question...
Do I continue with this book, or should I get one specifically Calculus-Based? If so what one?

Because I really like the challenge questions it asks at the end of every concept it covers per chapter.

Also a note: I have not taken Calculus. However, I plan on doing Calculus alongside a Calculus-based Physics book. This is also not for any school but purely for my knowledge. However, just in case I take some accredited class I would like to be well informed.

EDIT:

I think I should have made it clear.

I do not know if this book IS Algebra-based.
It seems to be using delta change. However, it also uses none linear motion. I don't remember any none linear motion equations used in Physics I took in high school. Which I think was Algebra-based.

So my question is not "algebra or calculus" based physics. My question was does anyone know ANYTHING about this book?

That is why I said "Specific" book. I think it was written in 1992-97.

Should I use this book based on this date? Is it outdated?
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
990
57
SZY is a very well known text. I wouldn't worry about the book being outdated. There have been no great advances in Freshman Physics in the past 60 years. In fact, I have some of Sears books from the 1950s that are great. If you like the book, stick with it.
 
  • #3
SZY is a very well known text. I wouldn't worry about the book being outdated. There have been no great advances in Freshman Physics in the past 60 years. In fact, I have some of Sears books from the 1950s that are great. If you like the book, stick with it.
Hey Davez, thanks for the reply.

Yeah, the more I am reading it the more it is becoming interesting. Oddly enough they are using trigonometry and algebra in this but I suppose that is basic for an intro to physics. Which is a plus to me because I don't remember that much of trigonometry. This helps me review a lot of it. I did not think I would understand it, but I am understanding it just fine. I really like the examples they give.

I am tempted to start calculus alongside it. I might just do an equation in algebra and calculus. But I would have to modify the question to fit calculus style problem. Well, we will see how this goes.

EDIT:
I also want to point out that the title question for this thread is incorrect.

I am not asking about college physics. I am asking about a specific book. It so happens that the title of the books was "College Physics"

This is also not a question for if "should do algebra or calculus based". I just wanted to know if anyone knew anything about the specific book I mentioned and if so, what is it based on?

Unfortunately, I do not know if I can edit it.
 
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  • #4
vanhees71
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No matter what, you should definitely use a calculus based textbook. It's not by chance that Newton discovered calculus before he made is great discoveries in physics (although for him these were only side subjects, and Haley had to beat him to publish his master piece, the Principia). It's much better to learn calculus with a little effort than trying to understand physics without it since this is impossible anyway!
 
  • #5
No matter what, you should definitely use a calculus-based textbook. It's not by chance that Newton discovered calculus before he made is great discoveries in physics (although for him these were only side subjects, and Haley had to beat him to publish his master piece, the Principia). It's much better to learn calculus with a little effort than trying to understand physics without it since this is impossible anyway!
Yeah, I know where you are coming from.

However, I am sure there were great discoveries before calculus. I am not disagreeing, but I have this book here and now so I might as well use it. Besides, it was free.

I still plan on doing calculus-based physics for more precision.

Thanks for the comment Van.
 

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