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Halliday/Resnick vs. Young/Freedman (Also, Cramster?)

  1. Feb 22, 2011 #1
    I posted here a while ago asking for recommendations for a physics textbook in order for my mother and I to teach ourselves physics - thank you so much for all your help!!! - and after much internet research and discussion, we've narrowed it down basically to either:

    Fundamentals of Physics by David Halliday, Robert Resnick, Jearl Walker
    University Physics with Modern Physics by Hugh D. Young, Roger A. Freedman

    For every site/person I've found that recommends one, I find another recommending the other. I'd love to hear pros, cons, likes, and dislikes!

    (Re: MIT online thing - I did look into it and it does look promising, but it was eventually vetoed as a main guide due to the fact that here in rural Kentucky the internet and cable can go down for days or weeks at a time.)

    ALSO, we were looking at that site Cramster.com as a source of answers if we need more than just the book's own answer key. Has anyone here used it? It is worth signing up for? Is the free account enough, or is it really worth paying for whatever it is paid accounts get?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2011 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    I have 5 different 'standard' intro texts on my shelf- they are all the same. Same topics, same order of presentation, totally interchangeable.
  4. Feb 22, 2011 #3
    I think the best thing is to just go with one, and stop stressing and losing time over which to choose.
  5. Feb 26, 2011 #4
    You don't need continuous access for the MIT site -- most of their courses have a link that lets you download everything but the video lectures in one zip package, then you just unzip it on your PC. I would at least get it as a supplement.

    As for the texts, why not get both? Then if you don't understand something in one, you may find that the other explains it better. And you may find that a very tough problem in one is a worked example in the other.

    Instead of spending $200 on the latest edition of one or the other, go on Ebay or Amazon's used book store and get both for a combined total of 30 bucks or so, for editions ten or so years old. For somebody studying at home, there will be no difference at all between a book ten years old, and next year's edition. I have a copy of Halliday from 1975, and it would work just fine. You will be studying classical physics, which was pretty much set by 1900.
  6. Feb 26, 2011 #5
    As far as MIT OCW goes, you can also download all of the videos off of iTunes U, so you don't need a constant internet connection at all!
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