Okay so I haven't done physics in high school, but am considering doing it in college. has anyone got any suggestions for good books for an introduction to physics?
Tom Mattson said:If your mathematical preparation only goes up through trigonometry, then Giancoli is a widely-used intro physics book for you. If you've taken calculus, then Halliday, Resnick and Walker is the standard text at your level. Runners-up are Tipler and Serway. Avoid Knight at all costs.
franznietzsche said:I had Knight as my professor. I'm surprised you even mentioned his book. I'm curious why you say to avoid it? I can't say that I liked it, but it didn't seem that bad.
Tom Mattson said:I can't recall specifics, but a couple of years ago I was tutoring some students who were taking Physics I from Knight's book. It seemed to confuse more than illuminate, and I often found myself telling the students to put that book down and read the equivalent sections in Halliday, Resnick, and Walker. I heard nothing but complaints about the book from students taking the subsequent courses.
*melinda* said:The first physics course I ever took used the 'pre-edition' of Knight's book. The text was free but it was AWFUL!
The next semester I was required to buy the 1st ed. of the Knight book. The stupid thing was still chock full of typos and unclear language.
And worse than typos; in the modern physics section, the author actually makes incorrect statements about quantum mechanics.
I got a copy of the Serway book to suplement the Knight book. I was quite satisfied with the Serway book and I still use it as a reference.
If you mean Serway's College Physics, I found that to be one of the most confusing physics books ever. (Can't judge Physics for Scientists and Engineers..)*melinda* said:I got a copy of the Serway book to suplement the Knight book. I was quite satisfied with the Serway book and I still use it as a reference.
Pseudo Statistic said:If you mean Serway's College Physics, I found that to be one of the most confusing physics books ever.
kuahji said:"Physics Demystified: A Self-Teaching Guide" by Stan Gibilisco
This is another decent book. It contains almost 600 pages & goes a bit deeper with the math. This book will prepare you much better for college, however I found the first book "Basic Physics" to be an easy read & a really good introduction to the basic concepts.
Are we talking about the same book? :\*melinda* said:Serway is calculus based, so if you were taking an algebra/trigonometry-based physics course, I could see how Serway would be confusing.
ranger said:Before Knight publishes his book, doesnt it have to be reviewed or something by other people in that field? Its hard to believe that a book could go on the market (and be used a text book) with such incorrect contents. Dont the professors even take a look at the book? Cant anything be done to prevent books like this from hitting the market?
In my opinion (as a student),franznietzsche said:You know, I would think so, and I found it very odd when I saw that. I have no idea why it was like that. That said, the guy is a bit too much in love with hhis book as well. In his lectures, if someone asks a question, about 50% of the time his answer will be along the lines of "I would explain it, but its already in the book."
robphy said:In my opinion (as a student),
I can sympathize with your sentiment.
In my opinion (as an instructor)...
it may very well be that his response for this particular question is the same as that he carefully wrote in the textbook... so, rather than spend the class time repeating what is in the book, it's suggested to read the book outside of class. It may also be suggesting that, for this question, the answer was right there in the textbook if only the student had read it before coming to class.
A new trend in physics education is to lecture less and not repeat what is already in the textbook (which they should be reading outside of class)... and instead spend the time helping the student to be less passive [i.e. just being given the answer to a question] and more interactive with other students in learning the important concepts through a guided activity.
For what it's worth [now], in my experience, it's this kind of struggle (however unpleasant) that leads to an eventual understanding of material. (I say eventual because it may take longer than a day when starting on the night before an exam.)franznietzsche said:Actually this is exactly why. The problem though, is when what was in the book just left the student confused, that response from him doesn't help. I've had a number of classmates, mostly engineering majors, who read the book, but still did not understand it. So when the professor responds like that, it kinda leaves them up a creek without a paddle, and keeps my room filled with people looking for homework help until midnight or later most nights.