• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products via PF Here!

Difference between Freedman and Halliday physics textbooks

I was wondering about the differences between the two text books "Fundamentals of Physics" and "University Physics:? Skimming a few pages of them on images on the internet, it seems University Physics has a lot of updated diagrams to help the reader understand but I couldn't tell much beyond that. I was wondering:

1. Which one is more comprehensive? (easier to grasp)

2. Which one is more in depth of the material (maybe harder to grasp, but more detailed and goes deeper into the concepts)

3. Which one generally contains more difficult practice problems?
 
181
3
1. Which one is more comprehensive? (easier to grasp)

2. Which one is more in depth of the material (maybe harder to grasp, but more detailed and goes deeper into the concepts)

3. Which one generally contains more difficult practice problems?
I have recent versions of both, and I'd say it really depends on you. Some people prefer more diagrams and examples, some prefer more text explanation. I like the styles of both of these texts. Other people may find that Serway is better than either, for them.

Both texts cover essentially the same material at essentially the same depth. Each might have more or less on a given topic, but it balances out. And both have problems ranging from easy to hard, so you can go as deep as you like, within the limits of freshman physics.

If you want to go beyond either book, it would be more efficient to take a more advanced class with a more advanced book, rather than waste time trying to find a different freshman text that goes just a little deeper. If you master the material in either book, you will be very well prepared for more advanced classes.

If you want an example of specific differences, I was attracted to Halliday because it was the only text I found that gave a calculus-based derivation of the v-squared over r formula for centripetal acceleration the first time it was mentioned. It seemed easy and straightforward to me. Every other text, even those that use calculus for everything else, tried to derive it geometrically, which ironically seemed much less convincing and much harder to understand to me.

On the other hand, Halliday did not go into tangential and radial acceleration as early as the other texts, and I wish it would have.

So there are pros and cons with everything.

Really, since freshman physics hasn't changed much for many years, I would get older editions of both. Go on Ebay, or the used book section of Amazon, and you can find older editions for about ten bucks. Heck, get Serway, too. All three for 30 bucks, and maybe ten years old, will give you a MUCH better resource than the 2011 edition of any of them for $200.

I have a ninth edition of Young and Freedman, and my friend has a 12th edition, and the only difference I can see is slightly different diagrams, and the order of the problems. It's really kind of a racket that they rearrange a few things, add a few problems, and call it a new edition.
 

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top