Best Math Books For Self Study In A Fun Way Review of Fundamentals of Physics Extended by Halliday, Resnick and Walker

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Review of Fundamentals of Physics Extended by Halliday, Resnick and Walker

Expanded Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker is an introductory college-level physics textbook.

It covers the basic concepts of mechanics and electromagnetism, covering the typical two-course introductory university sequence in Physics. A few later chapters deal with relativity and nuclear physics, but the book falls short of a comprehensive introduction to modern physics (the stuff most universities include as a third year course).

Target audience

According to the book’s preface, the target audience is students preparing for careers in science and engineering. The book is typically used in introductory college freshman classes, less frequently by sophomores and upperclassmen.

The book is not intended for (and would generally not be suitable for) more general audience classes

Prerequisites

The text makes use of calculus, and I think you would need a solid understanding of introductory calculus to get the most out of it. A particularly ambitious or gifted student can work through this book concurrently with calculus, but I would recommend that any student has mastered the basics of calculus before using this book or taking a class centered around it.

No background in physics is assumed, but I think this book would be a bit complicated or advanced for a student who had never really encountered the ideas in it.

My experience with the book

I used this book in undergrad and kept it as a reference. I think it is well written and provides a good amount of detail and explanation of the math in the conceptual exposition sections of each chapter. I especially like the way the book handles equations during exposition: instead of a bunch of math manipulation, there’s an extensive verbal explanation of what’s going on, which helps you connect the equations to the concepts.

I think this book is not as good at preparing people to solve the problems and apply the concepts as it could be. The sample problems have explanations that seem clear, but I find that there is something missing in the philosophy or abstract approach to problem solving that made me feel inadequate when setting up the problems. For me, this was no problem because I had access to competent teachers and a community of peer students who addressed my issues. But I think this shortcoming could make this book a bit difficult for someone trying to use it for self-study.

Crepe editing

Like many mainstream and popular textbooks, this text suffers from what I call “edition creep,” a process whereby more editions of the book are released and releases are more frequent than would be optimal for corrections and improvements alone. . The heat of publishing is driven by a profit motive in publishing.

This book is currently in its 10th edition, published in 2013. I think buying the latest edition is unnecessary. If you’re willing to buy an older edition, like 5th, or even newer ones, you can save a huge amount of money. Even going back just one edit can save you a substantial amount.

Another way to save money is to buy a bound or loose-leaf copy instead of the usual hardcover. These copies are still quite expensive, about $145 for the most recent edition, in contrast to nearly $300 for the new book.

To sum up

This is a solid textbook suitable for the first two courses of introductory physics at the university level for engineers or science graduates with a background in calculus. It would not be suitable for a more general audience of people without a calculus background, and the level of depth is greater than necessary for students who do not intend to pursue a science career. It also suffers from an edition change, and it would probably make sense to buy (or design a course around) earlier editions to save money.

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