University Physics Volume 2
Jeff Sanny, Loyola Marymount University
Samuel Ling, Truman State University
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN 13: 978-1-9381681-6-1
Conditions of Use
The text provides good coverage of the standard material covered in the second semester (of three) of the typical calculus based physics sequence. I read more
The text provides good coverage of the standard material covered in the second semester (of three) of the typical calculus based physics sequence. I am in the last week of the semester using the text for the Electricity and Magnetism topics. The text also has good chapters on Temperature, Kinetic Theory, etc. that will be part the third semester’s materials in the calculus based physics sequence. Each chapter’s coverage is complete at an appropriate level of a University Physics Course. Derivations are clear, artwork (diagrams, illustrations, etc.) are of professional quality, and there are an abundance of examples to help with the scaffolding that can facilitate student learning. There are also a good collection of conceptual questions, exercises and problems at the end of each chapter.
The content is accurate, and aside from minutia, error free. Formulas and notation follow standard practice.
The subject material is extremely stable, so it is quite natural that the text be up to date on the content. The text covers the standard topics nicely, so it is certainly relevant to its target audience. I had been looking for an appropriate open textbook for the calculus based physics sequence and I was glad to discover this text. The additional resources that the text includes, such as links to external web accessible resources such as PhETs make the book more current as a complete resource for students and teachers.
The book uses standard notation and terminology for the subject at this level. From the student’s perspective, the plethora of examples provides sufficient scaffolding to develop understanding and expertise with the material.
The book follows standard notation throughout. It is consistent in the level of difficulty across material.
Within the context of the typical physics course sequence, the subject material itself does not lend itself to being modular. The chapters on thermodynamics (usually covered in the third semester) could be used in any order relative to primary coverage topics in Electricity and Magnetism, but within that set of topics the coverage must necessarily continuously build upon earlier material. I would not say that this book is modular, but for this material, this is a good thing. There are sections within each chapter that might be considered option and omitted, but the sequence of material is essentially set by topic development and context.
The topics are presented in the usual sequence of the material. Within the chapters, the topics are developed at good pace, with a good selection of examples.
I’ve primarily used the books pdf format, and I have found it easy to navigate using the bookmark functions. The book’s content (prose, equations, figures and tables) are well formatted in both pdf and web formats. Although figures are provided to instructors in the form of images within PowerPoint files, I’ve found it more convenient to copy and paste directly from the text when creating supplementary materials for the students.
I did not come across any glaring grammatical errors. The book is well written and well edited.
As an introductory text for rather dry topics like Electricity and Magnetism and Thermodynamics, there’s not much opportunity for cultural relevance. I did not notice any points of insensitivity and in the (rare) illustrations and examples that involved a human being there seemed to be some diversity of race, gender and ethnicity. For a physics text, I suppose it is as culturally relevant as possible. There is, when appropriate, some mention of relevant societal topics (greenhouse effect in the context of heat transfer, power grid efficiency in the context of transformers and AC circuits).
This review is of the second volume of a three volume set and is reviewed in the context of my current Electricity and Magnetism Course. A quick glance at the version history shows that the authors have the ability to make minor incremental changes and corrections without waiting for print edition cycles. Thus minor improvements, corrections and improvements can be made quickly. I am delighted to see a good open education resource text for the introductory calculus based physics sequence.
Overall, the text comprehensiveness is comparable to other books designed for the Calculus based 200-level physics course. For example, I was read more
Overall, the text comprehensiveness is comparable to other books designed for the Calculus based 200-level physics course. For example, I was disappointed in the treatment of convection, which was almost entirely qualitative, with one oversimplified quantitative example. However, this is common among similar texts. Considering many of these students are future engineers and physicists, this concept could be given more depth. However, the inclusion/explanation of the Van der Waals Equation of State, and behavior and phase diagrams of real gasses was a nice addition. Previously I have pulled this information from a text different from the main course text.
Conceptually, yes. I did not check example problems or end of chapter problems.
The book uses up-to-date terminology and descriptions of topics. There are links to resources outside of the OpenStax system, such as links to Java simulations, which may become broken or give students trouble as the resources move or become out of date. For example, students working on campus computers will know how/not have privileges to add sites to exceptions lists to get around in-house security apps from blocking sites with out of date Java simulations.
The book typically uses careful, up-to-date language, with special care taken for concepts that are non-intuitive and/or commonly lead to misconceptions. For example, the description of the zeroth law is similar to other texts, but puts emphasis on a lack of net energy exchange, which puts the student in the right mindset for understanding equilibrium and for examination of the remaining thermodynamics concepts. The in-text links to simulations are useful, for example the Maxwell speeds distribution simulation (the Brownian motion option is especially illustrative). Some links to additional resources led to unfinished pages, which might frustrate students and instructors, for example the link to additional information about the ultraviolet catastrophe: http://cnx.org/contents/_dS0E2kQ@2/Introduction
As is typical, looking at the chapter organization, you find that capacitance appears on equal footing to Electric Charges and Fields in terms of each getting a chapter. It would be nice to see an organizational structure that is more consistent with the hierarchy of "fundamentalness" but I don't have an immediate solution to offer on this point, so this is more a comment than a critique.
The level of modularity seems appropriate and is similar to other texts for this course. Volume II appears less modular than volume I, which is a good think in my opinion, because Volume I was modular almost to the point of being distracting. Students like that the problem solving strategies are broken out and highlighted, however this may encourage students to avoid reading the text and only search for the specific information they need to solve HW problems. This is an issue with all texts, however.
Follows the standard organization/structure/flow found in most textbooks for this course.
Some graphics appear to be relatively low quality in the ascetic sense, but not sufficiently low to hinder understanding. The links to additional content, especially simulations, are a fantastic resource and these should be touted and brought to the "front" of the interface in order to capture students and draw them into investigating the simulations. Some links lead to unfinished resources, hopefully those will be updated.
Does not appear to be culturally insensitive or offensive. The microscopic nature of the majority of the content in this volume offers relatively fewer opportunities for depiction of people, compared to Volume I on mechanics for example. The majority of photographs depicted white individuals, however a few other cultures were represented. Considering the current political climate, conscious care might be taken to make language specifically inclusive, for example instead of using "desert dwellers" to refer to people who live in the desert, "people who live in the desert" might be used instead. The word "she" appears roughly 4 times in the text, 3 of these in one problem. The word "her" appears roughly 3 times in the text, one of these in the same problem. The word "he" appears many more times, the large majority of these are in a historical context. With these removed, "he" and "his" appear roughly the same number of times as "she" and "her".
Table of Contents
Unit 1: Thermodynamics
- Chapter 1: Temperature and Heat
- Chapter 2: The Kinetic Theory of Gases
- Chapter 3: The First Law of Thermodynamics
- Chapter 4: The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Unit 2: Electricity and Magnetism
- Chapter 5: Electric Charges and Fields
- Chapter 6: Gauss’s Law
- Chapter 7: Electric Potential
- Chapter 8: Capacitance
- Chapter 9: Current and Resistance
- Chapter 10: Direct-Current Circuits
- Chapter 11: Magnetic Forces and Fields
- Chapter 12: Sources of Magnetic Fields
- Chapter 13: Electromagnetic Induction
- Chapter 14: Inductance
- Chapter 15: Alternating-Current Circuits
- Chapter 16: Electromagnetic Waves
About the Book
University Physics is a three-volume collection that meets the scope and sequence requirements for two- and three-semester calculus-based physics courses. Volume 1 covers mechanics, sound, oscillations, and waves. Volume 2 covers thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, and Volume 3 covers optics and modern physics. This textbook emphasizes connections between between theory and application, making physics concepts interesting and accessible to students while maintaining the mathematical rigor inherent in the subject. Frequent, strong examples focus on how to approach a problem, how to work with the equations, and how to check and generalize the result.
About the Contributors
Dr. Jeff Sanny earned a BS in Physics from Harvey Mudd College in 1974 and a PhD in Solid State Physics from the University of California–Los Angeles in 1980. He joined the faculty at Loyola Marymount University in the fall of 1980. During his tenure, he has served as department Chair as well as Associate Dean. Dr. Sanny enjoys teaching introductory physics in particular. He is also passionate about providing students with research experience and has directed an active undergraduate student research group in space physics for many years.
Dr. Samuel Ling has taught introductory and advanced physics for over 25 years at Truman State University, where he is currently Professor of Physics and the Department Chair. Dr. Ling has two PhDs from Boston University, one in Chemistry and the other in Physics, and he was a Research Fellow at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, before joining Truman. Dr. Ling is also an author of A First Course in Vibrations and Waves, published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Ling has considerable experience with research in Physics Education and has published research on collaborative learning methods in physics teaching. He was awarded a Truman Fellow and a Jepson fellow in recognition of his innovative teaching methods. Dr. Ling’s research publications have spanned Cosmology, Solid State Physics, and Nonlinear Optics.