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Algebra/Trignometry based Physics textbooks

  1. Aug 8, 2008 #1
    Hello, I've been looking through several posts, but its hard to get a consensus answer. I will be taking General Physics I and II next year. I don't know yet whether I will be taking it in the calculus-based or non-calculus based version.

    I am looking for a textbook in which I can truly rely on with respect to learning concepts and being able to solve chapter problems through independent study as the professors at my university are, unfortunately, not interested in teaching.

    In looking at many textbooks, the main issue I have is that the chapter is not helpful in solving the end-of-chapter problems. For example, many times I notice the chapter has quite easy example problems in demonstrating points, yet at the end of the chapter, I notice the sudden high difficulty in the problem sets that by using the chapter alone would be extremely difficult to solve. I understand that Physics is not just a plug-and-chug science, yet even in looking at Amazon reviews, I notice the same complaint.

    My first question is: Can a person truly understand physics and apply equations to problems without using calculus or is algebra and trigonometry suffice to learn it? I hear the reason why calculus is needed is to know how the formula is derived, with the other option being memorizing it and accepting it as true.

    My second question is what textbook below is best with respect to independent study alone. Here is a listing below that I could find on Amazon. If you know of any other textbook that is good for independent study, please let me know thanks.

    Algebra/Trignometry based Physics:
    • College Physics by Alan Giambattista, Betty Richardson, Robert C. Richardson
    • Physics: Principles with Applications by Douglas C. Giancoli
    • College Physics: A Strategic Approach by Randall D. Knight, Brian Jones, Stuart Field
    • Physics by James S. Walker
    • College Physics by Hugh D. Young, Robert Geller
    • College Physics by Jerry D Wilson, Anthony J Buffa, Bo Lou
    • College Physics by Raymond A. Serway, Jerry S. Faughn, and Chris Vuille
    • Physics by John D. Cutnell and Kenneth W. Johnson
    • Conceptual Physics by Paul G. Hewitt
    Calculus based Physics:
    • Physics for Scientists & Engineers by Douglas C. Giancoli
    • University Physics with Modern Physics by Hugh D. Young, Roger A. Freedman
    • Essential University Physics by Richard Wolfson
    • The Feynman Lectures on Physics, The Definitive and Extended Edition, 2nd Edition by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, Matthew Sands
    • Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Paul Fishbane, Stephen Gasiorowicz, Steve Thornton
    • Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Paul A. Tipler
    • Principles of Physics: A Calculus-Based Text by Raymond A. Serway, John W. Jewett
    • University Physics by Francis W. Sears, Mark W. Zemansky, and Hugh D. Young
    • College Physics by Francis W. Sears, Mark W. Zemansky, Hugh D. Young
    • Physics, 5th Edition, by David Halliday, Robert Resnick, Kenneth S. Krane
    • Fundamentals of Physics by David Halliday, Robert Resnick, Jearl Walker
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2008 #2

    nicksauce

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    I think most people on these forums will agree that Halliday, Resnick, Walker is the way to go for calc-based general physics.

    "My first question is: Can a person truly understand physics and apply equations to problems without using calculus or is algebra and trigonometry suffice to learn it? I hear the reason why calculus is needed is to know how the formula is derived, with the other option being memorizing it and accepting it as true."

    No, in my opinion, a person cannot truly understand physics without calculus. Calculus-less physics is just artificial problems for those who don't know calculus.
     
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