# Serway's book physics for scientist and engineers

1. Dec 1, 2004

### ambuj123

Hello
Well i am living in india where serway's book physics for scientist and engineers is not availible locally it costs a bomb to buy from the amazon.com
similarly there are many books which are just out of reach.
now recently i discovered this software emule which is a p2p network.
it has a huge array of good physics books including serway's book.
Now i want to ask how legal or illegal will it be to download this book from emule.
Thanx

2. Dec 1, 2004

### Tide

If you're downloading copyrighted material without the permission of the author or without paying for it then you (and emule) are violating copyright laws and you are using someone else's intellectual property against their wishes. Without copyright protection there is little incentive for people to publish and we would all be deprived of great resources. Don't you think Serway deserves compensation for his substantial effort?

3. Dec 1, 2004

### mikej_45

I think you should just go ahead and download the book, then with the knowledge you gain from it you could devise a worm hole to transport yourself directly to serway's home where you could pay him in person...thus saving on shipping costs.

4. Dec 1, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
It is technically illegal, ambuj123. Tide, I think you may be missing a point here -- he lives in India. He doesn't have expensive US currency in his pockets.

I feel it represents an ethical dilemma. If you can afford to pay full-price for a textbook (which are often USD $100 or more), you ought to, of course. On the other hand, it seems unethical to deny a student education simply because he/she honestly cannot afford to pay that price -- say, because he/she lives in a second- or third-world country where USD$100 is a month's salary.

If I were you ambuj, I honestly would download the book. If you'd like to have good karma, I suggest you send his publisher a letter with a cashier's check for whatever amount you can reasonably afford -- $10,$20, whatever -- and ask that the author be compensated. Explain that this sum is all that you can reasonably afford to spend on a textbook. You might also want to explain to the publisher that their books are financially out of reach in many parts of the world, and that it is an injustice. (Don't include any identifying information about yourself, just in case.)

Tide, you have to realize that many educators are actually trying very hard to give the public greater access to their work. The arxiv, MIT's open courseware program, and the many people who contribute to wikipedia are examples. Serway may or may not be part of this movement, but I doubt he'd disagree with the sentiment that education should be available for all people, not just rich Americans.

The bottom line is that ambuj cannot afford the book, and is not going to pay full price for it either way. Given the two options:

1) Making no money from ambuj, and letting him remain uneducated
2) Making no money from ambuj, but letting him become educated

I would hope Serway would choose the second.

- Warren

5. Dec 1, 2004

### jcsd

I'm not saying anyhting on the copyright issue, it's up to you.

Persnally I prefer a book taht you cna hold in your hand and if you shop around you can get a baragin, for example Bookfinder.com is a great wayto get the cheapest price:

http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl&st=sl&qi=.3UyUc1Ulc1lkeXdT5VohxoUDR0_4870510520_2:13:35

Of course the shipping costs could be quite expenisve to India, tho' I see Amazon do a soft cover version for quite a reasonable price.

6. Dec 1, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
ambuj, why are you particular about Serway ? There are other good books available in the Indian market, like the paperback version of Resnick and Halliday (it used to be published by Wiley) which was very resonably priced 10 years ago.

7. Dec 1, 2004

### Tide

Warren,

Thank you for your comments. I fully understand the situation and am very sympathetic to the arguments. Here are a few points to consider:

India is a signatory to both the Berne and Universal Copyright Protection Conventions. They also have strict laws against copyright infringement including the mere importation (in any form) of intellectual property, i.e. it would be treated as a violation just as if the material had been produced in India in violation of their own laws. I think one is on shaky ground when suggesting it's acceptable to violate their own laws. (http://www.singhania.com/ip/page01_03.html#1.11)

As to "denial of education," that might be a compelling argument if it came down to "either or" but that is not the case. Serway is not the only source of knowledge and even if a particular work were sufficiently important then, at the very least, one could easily convince one's own college or public library to acquire copies legally.

Finally, with regard to any implied assumptions concerning Professor Serway's altruism, generosity or desire to spread knowledge gratis, he is the person who negotiated royalty terms with his publisher and arrived at a list price of $143.95 for the book (I absolutely agree it's excessive). However, amazon.com informs me that you can get a USED copy for$7.99 though shipment to India might add somewhat to the total cost.

8. Dec 1, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Tide,

Perhaps you're right. I just remember feeling stifled by the cost of educational materials when I was younger, and I'm a comparatively wealthy American citizen. I can't even imagine what things must be like in developing countries.

- Warren

9. Dec 2, 2004

### WORLD-HEN

Ambuj123, where do you live in India? maybe i know a place to search for books. I live in India too and most of the internationally respected books are available in India at a lower prce. A good example of this is the "Cambridge low price editions". You could get order these from any book store by quoting its name. I shoud also mention that they are available at VERY VERY low prices. I bought " A Survey of Modern Algebra " by Garret Birkhoff and Saunders Maclane for Rs. 285. The original cost of the book was $59. Rs. 285 is like$6...

10. Dec 2, 2004

### ambuj123

Hello
i Live in New Delhi.
Well i have Halliday/Resnick ( Two editions Walker one and two volume one) but i got intrested in that book as one of my friend who lives in US suggested me that book saying that it's one of the best there.
Though a number of good foreign physics book are available in indian market as low priced cheap verson costing approx 10-13 US $(Though Without colours ) Like recently i purchased solomons organic chemistry for 11.62$. But the bottomline is most good books are not available in low priced editions which substantialy increases the price of education. Further considering that an avergae indian middle class home earns about 400-600 US $per month You just cannot Spend 150$ on a single book considering other expenses.
I have this genral view that education anywhere(not being particular to developed or developing country) especially at the undergraduate level when the students are not expected to earn their living should not be expensive which includes the price of book.
Thanx

11. Dec 2, 2004

Why , why do you want to buy a book, In Delhi there are libraries from where you can read the suitbale content. There are thousands of Physics Text available in the market , u need not hunt down each book. Personally, I find books published by russian authors ( MIR publishers ) are far far much better than by any American author at your level, and it is good to see those title on the Indian bookstore( CBS is collabrated with MIR) and to your surprise you will find the books at damn very reasonable price i belive JUST 1 or 2 $. 12. Dec 2, 2004 ### WORLD-HEN Yeah, you get really good science books from MIR publishers. I got a hard bound two volume mathematics book for Rs 64 which is$ 1.5

13. Dec 2, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
I'm not familiar with Serway. But looking at the contents of the book, I don't see anything in it that is not covered in Resnick. In my opinion, Resnick is a very good book at this level, and it may just be that the person who recommended Serway had not used any other book.

Is there anyone here familiar with Serway as well as Resnick ? Do you think an owner of the latter would need the former too ?

14. Dec 3, 2004

### franznietzsche

I'mnot familiar with Serway but I will say this:

In high school i never had much spare cash, so i mostly learned out of Dover paperbacks. Now, fromwhat i've heard, most people think the Dover books are atrocious, but they worked for me, and allof them were under $15 US. I just looked at Serway's book at amazon, and looking over the table of contents it isnothing special. Any introductory college textbook will cover that material, and there is little difference between them. And they are all over priced for the material that isin there. its ironic that the first-year physics books cost that much, but QED is somethinglike$12.

I would not even bother with the book, unless you needed it for a class, which does not seem to be your case. You could jsut as easily learn all of that material out of the Cliff Notes summary of Physics (I have it fromwhen i has 13 or so, and it covers all of the exact same stuff.),or even Schaum's. Like i said, unless you need that bookfor a class, i would not bother. its not worth the money, nor is it worth the risk of being caught for copyright infringement.

15. Dec 3, 2004

### Chronos

Why not try a more direct route? Ask the publisher straight up for a goodwill or greatly discounted copy of the book. If you give an honest and legitimate reason, you might be surprised. It's good advertising for them to do that sort of thing and promotes their product in markets that they might not otherwise have a presence. Choice 2, ask the author directly. That is a lower probability, but, who is to say you may not find a sympathetic ear. Point is, there is a system and the system is not your enemy. Display a willingness to play by the rules and you might be surprised how flexible the system can be. You will also retain your integrity. As a scientist, your integrity is your most precious asset.

16. Dec 3, 2004

### Nereid

Staff Emeritus
Not to take this interesting thread OT, a few factoids about sending money internationally might be of interest.

US members may choose to comment on the charges which US financial institutions levy on any kind of international transfer (wire, cheque, ...), both for sender and receiver.

Those in euroland may remember a test which an EU entity did around the time € coins and notes were introduced ... they sent €100 from one euroland country to another, by a variety of means ... the results were both astonishing and depressing. IIRC, some significant % of the transactions didn't succeed ('the money never arrived'), many took months (for what supposedly was just a 'few business days'), and almost all ended up 'costing' a large % of the total (low was 'just' ~5%, high nearly 60%!).

One of the reasons why the informal (or grey) \$ transfer institutions have grown so large - as many in the US discovered, post 9/11 - is that the formal institutions operate as a cartel, and extract charges that are wildly in excess of the marginal costs.

17. Dec 3, 2004

### jcsd

My understanding is that Dover just reprint old textbooks on the cheap,in my experince some of them are quite good, some of them are not that good (I've got about 3 or 4).

18. Dec 3, 2004

### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
Mattuck's book on Feynman diagram in many-body physics that is published by Dover is the BEST text on the subject. Furthermore, Harrison has at least a couple of Solid State texts by Dover that are considered classics in that field. One of them has the best discussion on Boltzmann transport equation that I've seen anywhere for a solid-state text.

So you are correct. Just because it is published by Dover, it certainly doesn't mean these books are crap.

Zz.

19. Dec 3, 2004

### franznietzsche

Well i've had no complaints about them, i have books on tensor calculus, theoretical physics, quantum theory, and 'mathematicsof classicaland quantum physics'. I've found themall tobe fine, i'vejust been toldthat the reputation of Dover texts was bad.

20. Dec 3, 2004

### jcsd

Yep I've never nherad anyone say anyone say anything but good things about Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics Volumes I&II by Byron and Fuller, but on the other hand there certainly some not-so-great texts.

Dover are also quite good for historic texts, I've got Heisenberg's The Mathematical Principles of Quantum Mechanics which they publish.