Difference Between 3rd and 10th Editions of Halliday/Resnick?

  • #1
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Hi,

So I'm trying to self-study AP Physics C and found the first volume of Halliday/Resnick's Fundamentals of Physics on my parent's shelf, 3rd edition (from 1988). They also have the 2nd edition of University Physics, volume 2 (E&M). I do, however, have a copy online of the extended 10th edition of Halliday/Resnick (very recent) that covers Mechanics and E&M. Would there be a big difference in content learned or convenience from using the 3rd edition of H/R Volume 1 and 2nd Edition of University Physics, Volume 2 vs 10th edition of Halliday/Resnick, extended?

Thanks,
Kurt
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
symbolipoint
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I'm not familiar with those books editions although one course I had so many years ago did use one of the E&M editions.
Students and professors find a few deficiencies in some items from the books, they send in written descriptions of their complaints, the authors reexamine those complained items or features; and then the authors correct mistakes or sometimes reorganize the book contents, and then publish a new edition (revision).
 
  • #3
Wrichik Basu
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If you've got the latest edition of Resnick-Halliday, I'll ask you to use that. In most cases, recent edition books are better (though not all), and for Resnick-Halliday, the newest editions are surely better than the old ones. However, I am not familiar with University Physics and can't compare it to Halliday.
 
  • #4
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The 3rd edition should be fine. The reason there are so many editions of these college textbooks is to reduce competition from the used textbook market, not that there need to be constant updates to this material. I don't know on what basis Wrichik Basu asks you to use the latest edition. Perhaps he can explain.
 
  • #5
jtbell
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The reason there are so many editions of these college textbooks is to reduce competition from the used textbook market
Bingo. They do usually tweak the material a bit, but the main point is to change the page and exercise numbers so students have to buy the latest edition from the publisher instead of an old edition from previous students, if they want to be able to follow the instructor's reading and homework assignments.

This happens mainly with introductory-level textbooks because the market is much larger for them than for upper-level textbooks like Griffiths's E&M and QM, which are revised much less often.
 
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I couldn't tell you the exact differences but I'm certain they are minor enough that you will not be missing out on anything by going with the older edition. You will, however, save yourself a good chunk of change. The newest edition is what, $200? What a ripoff.
 
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The 3rd edition should be fine. The reason there are so many editions of these college textbooks is to reduce competition from the used textbook market, not that there need to be constant updates to this material. I don't know on what basis Wrichik Basu asks you to use the latest edition. Perhaps he can explain.

If you are not in a class setting, a situation where you have to read specific pages and work particular problems, then in almost all cases the older books will be just as good as the newer editions.

One big difference you will find is color. Older books tend to be all just black and white, but there has been a push toward the use of color in newer books. Personally, I think that this is a waste of money; a good black and while figure can communicate every bit as well as a color figure. Along with the use of more color, there is a push for more actual photographs, but again, this only adds a tiny bit if anything at all.
 
  • #8
symbolipoint
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Not sure if this has been done in Mathematics books or not:
Newer textbooks are now fitted with resource websites, included CD's or DVD's, and maybe some extra workbook, and all of this stuff raises the textbook "package" price.
 
  • #9
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Some sections have been expanded. I believe the older edition 2 and 3, cover material that was taken out of new editions. I do not have the newer edition on hand, I gave it away. For some reason I kept the old 2 and 3, and not the new one.

I think you can still find the older editions for less than 3 dollars. Now, you may need to purchase an online access code, so you would have to do some price calculations on that...

If cost is an issue, you can always take pictures with a tablet or smartphone, of exercises or sections of the newer edition from classmates.
I do this all the time. I have never purchased the required edition for a class. Instead, I used the extra money I saved buying a second reference of my choosing.
 
  • #10
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If you do have money to spare, I suggest getting all 3 volumes of Alonso and Finn: Fundamental University Physics. These are books I still read for pleasure, and supplements to higher physics courses.
 
  • #11
mathwonk
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one difference would be that the named authors were probably both alive for the 3rd edition. but died in 2010 and 2014 respectively. (the 10th edition seems to be dated 2013.)
 
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