Physics - for scientists and engineers vol. 2

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In summary, the conversation discussed the book "Physics for scientists and engineers; with modern physics volume 2 (4th edition)" by Raymond A. Serway. The book covers topics on electricity and magnetism, light and optics, and modern physics. It also includes appendices for tables and mathematics review. The book is praised for its comprehensive coverage of core concepts and its helpful examples and diagrams. However, it may be challenging for those without a strong background in calculus. Overall, the book is recommended for students in the fields of science, engineering, and physics.
  • #1
I warned all of you that I would return with another review of school texts...

Note: I only have the 2nd volume because I transferred from Cal. State Fullerton to Colorado State University between Physics I and Physics II. So this synopsis will only cover the 2nd half of the (typically) two semester course. This volume does not include topics found in physics I such as the introduction to vectors, gravity, inertia, projectile motion, etc...

Title: Physics for scientists and engineers; with modern physics volume 2 (4th edition)
Author: Raymond A. Serway
Publisher: Saunders College Publishing

Approximate price: I don't remember. I bought it used probably for ~$60.

I believe that there is a current edition but I am not certain on that. I took this course a couple years ago (like 3).

Part IV Electricity and Magnetism
23. Electric Fields
24. Gauss's Law
25. Electric Potential
26. Capacitance and Dielectrics
27. Current and Resistance
28. Direct Current Circuits
29. Magnetic Fields
30. Sources of the Magnetic Fields
31. Faraday's Law
32. Inductance
33. Alternating Current Circuits
34. Electromagnetic Waves
Part V Light and Optics
35. The Nature of Light and the Laws of Geometric Optics
36. Geometric Optics
37. Interference of Light Waves
38. Diffractions and Polarization
Part VI Modern Physics
39. Relativity
40. Introduction to Quantum Physics
41. Quantum Mechanics
42. Atomic Physics
43. Molecules and Solids
44. Superconductivity
45. Nuclear Structure
46. Fission and Fusion
47. Particle Physics and Cosmology
Appendix A Tables
Appendix B Mathematics Review

Pros: Covers virtually everything that a calculus-based physics book should. Adequately describes the core concepts for your understanding. Plenty of examples and diagrams as well as equation derivations.

Cons: Complex concepts may be difficult for those who have not studied past Calculus III (see my other textbook review on Calculus for what is needed!).

Benefits: The reader will develop stronger problem solving and critical thinking skills. Also gain a much better understanding of the events occurring in the physical world with the ability to describe what is happening.

Conclusion: I was a tutor for physics and math at CSU for 2 years and I like this book the best so far. I have lent it to my students for their research (homework) and they agree. This book is an excellent resource for the up and coming scientist, engineer, and physicist.

(sorry, I like this smiley!)
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  • #2
I agree I used this book over the course of 3 classes

Physics I - first third
Physics II - last Third Minus Modern
Physics I&1/2(A loving title because the engineers at my school don't have to take it) - middle section on wave, optics, and thermo

Overall a very nice book that address every major concern in beginning undergrad physics. I do however caution anyone buying it that it is not always clear on how to apply the mathematical definitions.
  • #3

Thank you for your thorough review of this textbook. It seems like it covers a wide range of important topics in physics and provides good examples and explanations for understanding them. I appreciate your honesty about the level of difficulty for those who have not taken higher level math courses. It's great to hear that you have found this book to be a valuable resource for your own studies and for tutoring others. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

1. What is the difference between classical and quantum mechanics?

Classical mechanics is based on the laws of motion and gravity, while quantum mechanics incorporates the principles of wave-particle duality and uncertainty. Classical mechanics can accurately describe the behavior of large objects, while quantum mechanics is necessary to understand the behavior of subatomic particles.

2. How does relativity impact our understanding of physics?

Einstein's theory of relativity revolutionized our understanding of physics by showing that time and space are relative concepts, and that the laws of physics are the same for all observers. It also explains phenomena such as gravity and the bending of light.

3. What is the role of mathematics in physics?

Mathematics is the language of physics, as it allows scientists to express and quantify physical phenomena. It is used to create models and equations that accurately describe and predict the behavior of the physical world.

4. Can you explain the concept of energy conservation?

Energy conservation is the principle that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only be transformed from one form to another. This means that in any physical process, the total amount of energy remains constant.

5. What is the importance of experimentation in physics?

Experimentation is essential in physics as it allows scientists to test and validate theories and models. It also helps to discover new phenomena and expand our understanding of the natural world.

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