Multiple Authors, Openstax College
Pub Date: 2012
ISBN 13: 978-1-9381680-0-0
Conditions of Use
The textbook covers all the content you would expect from an introductory algebra-based physics course. I didn’t find any gaps in content. All the read more
The textbook covers all the content you would expect from an introductory algebra-based physics course. I didn’t find any gaps in content. All the topics i cover in my course are included in this textbook.
The text appears to be accurate throughout. I did not find any mistakes.
This textbook seems up to date and able to be used for the foreseeable future. Since any updates to the curriculum can be adjusted once you download the text, it’s a perfect template for any course.
Although the text can be confusing at times, I didn’t find it any less clear than similar textbooks. It’s not the best textbook I’ve ever read, but it’s certainly adequate for the price. The formulas can be confusing at times, it seems like they should have used a better editor for the mathematical components.
The format of equations and numbers throughout seems to vary a bit. The formulas can be confusing at times, it seems like they should have used a better editor for the mathematical components.
This text can be easily implemented into any algebra-based physics course. It’s extremely comprehensive and can be edited to an individual instructors taste. The text is an excellent template.
I enjoyed the flow of the text. Mainly I thought the questions at the bottom of every section were useful for student comprehension. It’s more difficult to view this once downloading the PDF, but the online version is wonderful.
As I mentioned above, I prefer the online version of the text. If you download the PDF the format changes slightly, though the text is still very useful.
I found no grammatical errors.
I didn’t find many cultural references in the textbook. I didn’t find the textbook outdated or inappropriate in any way, although, I did not find a variety of cultural specific questions.
The coverage in the book is similar to others such as Cutnell Physics or Knight. The chapter topics and order are virtually the same.I found the read more
The coverage in the book is similar to others such as Cutnell Physics or Knight. The chapter topics and order are virtually the same.I found the index to be more straightforward and organized in a way that "'students would think" to find information in the text. The human body application problems are very good, particularly the torque problems in Chapter 9 There should be a handy reference for math and trigonometric identities in the Appendix. My students use them frequently.
The information that I was able to review in most detail from Chapters 1 - 28 which our main coverages, was surprisingly accurate. No major errors were noticed. There are a good number of typos though throughout. The eariy chapters 1-8 were spot on. Chapters 18 - 24 could use a little tuning up as the chapters seem disconnected in reading.
The Electricity and Magnetism chapters will probably need changes sooner than later. The hard drive example in a few years will probably be as useful as a vinyl record example. Some eariler introduction of solid state examples may be prudent.
The reading level is uneven throughout the text, but reads at a level that should be in the community college students' comfort zone. Some textbooks seam to read as if they were written by PhDs for PhDs. This book was a good read for students that are transitioning from developmental courses.
The structure of the text is fairly consistent with the usage of terms, examples, chapter and subchapter heading and divisions.
Again, this text falls in line with similar texts and there are always different ways to structure the material. The separation of fulid mechanics into statics and dynamics with applications is a good touch.
There is an unevenness in the text after Fluids, but that seems typical of all of the trig-based level texts. The flow of the book is no better or worse that any other book on the market. No one has published a text yet that doesn't turn into a selected topics in Physics after fluids. The question I always have from students in the later chapters is how does this relate to the earlier chapters. I think later chapters should have small "Making the connection / Tying it together" passages that relate/contrast the later topics to the foundational topics.
The linking and navigation components function fine in TOC and index as do the links to the figure within the chapters and the topic links in the examples. Some linking feature should be left out of the PDF. For example, the use of links to previous chapters in problem examples without a way to get back to what you were reading can be a bit annoying especially if you weren't keeping track of the page or example you were looking at.
There are a few error scattered throughout the text. Minor error at best.
No problems here at all.
I was surprised at the how well this book comparer to what we are currently using. I plan to recommend a pilot of this text in the upcoming spring 2018 semester. Since, it is a good equivalent, the price is an advantage.
The book covers what’s to be expected in college-level physics, with some sections being rather bare, yet factual. For example, the book didn’t seem read more
The book covers what’s to be expected in college-level physics, with some sections being rather bare, yet factual. For example, the book didn’t seem to introduce dot and cross products, which I feel could be introduced at an appropriate math level for this course.
The book seems accurate with given information, but sometimes the information is incomplete. For example, the fundamental SI units are not all listed at the beginning.
With ease of making improvements, the book can last forever. Being an OER, constant changes would bring this text to life with current events and relevance to student lives.
It’s explanations are often brief, to the point, and dry. Often it feels like I’m reading a more pedagogically-inclined Wikipedia article.
Some concepts were emphasized more than I would emphasize in lecture, and some parts were glossed over where I wouldn’t have done so. For example, in calculating uncertainties in the first chapter, I would have spent more time talking about how adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing values with uncertainties can affect the uncertainties of the answers.
The organization of the table of contents (and thus, the chapters) seems well done. I realize the pedagogical methods of the text values discovery---bringing up concepts as they are needed---versus topic-based organization---providing all mathematical information at the beginning and using them throughout the book. I think that has more weight of acceptance today.
Some “pages” of the text were short and some were rather long. I find it a little misleading in the TOC because I was to assign the right amount of reading assignments, and I can’t do that by looking at the TOC. Also, as a small side issue, the solutions for each HW problem are given nearer to the next HW problem, which could be confusing to some.
I enjoy the text’s interface, in that you can easily search for key topics and terms. The only thing I saw as an issue was that each link title was just “figure” or “table”, or the like, and it didn’t have the associated number after it to differentiate it from all the others.
I saw no grammatical errors during the usage of the text.
I think the HW problems are great assets to the text. Problems such as “Integrated Concepts” or “Professional Application” or “Construct your own problem” are creative ideas for student engagement. Props for that great idea!
This book is an excellent comprehensive text for a 200-level algebra-based physics course. It explains all relevant physics concepts in a clear and read more
This book is an excellent comprehensive text for a 200-level algebra-based physics course. It explains all relevant physics concepts in a clear and consistent manner. The book also has a chapter on the “Frontiers” of physics which distinguishes it from other texts on the market. The authors provide many biological and medical examples which makes it an ideal textbook for pre-med and bio-oriented students. In most 200-level physics courses the majority of students are interested in pursuing a medical career. Using this book as a course textbook will most likely motivate many pre-med and biology students to be more interested in understanding the basic concepts of physics. Each chapter has its own glossary of terms which makes it easier for students to read the chapter before attending a lecture. End of chapter problems include integrated concept and unreasonable results problems. In “integrated concept problems”, students are tasked to apply several concepts to find a solution. In “unreasonable results problems”, students need to analyze the solution and evaluate how likely the result is. For the instructor a manual is provided which contains both problems and solutions. This makes it easy to integrate examples into a lecture. More than 4,000 end-of chapter problems are available in WebAssign, an affordable online homework system. A student solutions manual is also available. The book has very good appendices and is equivalent to other college physics text books.
In general, the contents can be considered accurate and unbiased. An exception to this statement is the title of chapter 32:”Medical Applications of Nuclear Physics.” In addition to medical applications, the contents of this chapter also includes food irradiation, fusion, fission, and nuclear weapons. These topics have nothing to do with medical applications of nuclear physics; therefore the title is not accurate. A more appropriate title would be “Applications of Nuclear Physics.”
The concepts described in the book will not change. Applications as well as links to external websites will need to be updated and kept current.
Concepts are explained in a logical and consistent manner. All relevant terms are defined briefly in the glossary at the end of each chapter. The text contains many examples. Solutions to problems are well explained and follow a coherent step-by-step approach throughout the book. The book is well written and easy to read.
The chapters are organized in a consistent manner.
Each chapter is divided into several sections. The modular version of the web view of the book allows to re-organize the chapters, create new modules, and add images. This is only possible on the legacy site of Connexions. A personal work-space is provided in which the user can create a collection of modules that match the instructor’s needs. A PDF file of each chapter can also be created. Unfortunately, this has not yet been implemented for the new online version of the book at the time of this review.
The book follows the traditional approach used in most college physics text books.The topics are presented in a logical and clear fashion. Each chapter starts with the learning objectives followed by an introduction to the basic concepts with examples, and ends with applications.
The user interface with the browser version of the book is easy to navigate and well designed. The font is sans serif and very small. This is not a problem, if the user reads the book online or downloads the PDF file and reads it on a computer screen. All browsers and Acrobat Reader offer the possibility to zoom in on the text. However, the printed version of the book is difficult to read.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
As this is a physics text book, the text is culturally unbiased. Images are inclusive of different ethnicities and show a mix of gender.
I highly recommend OpenStax's College Physics book to all instructors of introductory physics courses. I will use it in my summer courses.
I have been in the business of teaching Freshman physics courses for more than 20 years. In that time, I’ve had to work with half-a-dozen mainstream read more
I have been in the business of teaching Freshman physics courses for more than 20 years. In that time, I’ve had to work with half-a-dozen mainstream texts from publishing houses like Pearson and Wiley. As regards comprehensiveness, Openstax’s College Physics compares favourably with these texts. In fact, an attractive feature of College Physics is that it contains significantly more material spelling out the implications for the life and allied health sciences, integrated seamlessly into the body of the text. Despite the considerable size of the book, it should be easy to use as a reference work: in addition to an adequate index (at the end of the book), each chapter ends with a glossary and a detailed summary.
Any book of this size cannot be entirely error free, but I cannot say I found any (although I have yet to teach from the book). There is no discernible bias. I have some minor quibbles here and there about statements made in College Physics, but most of these have more to do with nuances of interpretation than inaccuracies, and do not impact on the utility of the book as an introductory text.
All of the core material covered by College Physics is well established, but the text is remarkable for its consistent attention to recent developments. In almost all cases, these are dealt with in such a way that frequent updating will not be required. The various sections which discuss the search for the Higgs boson and gravitational waves, now both discovered, are most clearly in need of revision, but the changes will be easy to implement.
The writing style is certainly accessible without being too informal. There is an unfortunate tendency to use technical terms in the introductions to chapters or sections before they have been defined. However, in all the instances I am aware of, it was possible to find the term defined not long thereafter, making this an irritating but, hopefully, not debilitating feature of the book for the neophyte. Of more concern is that many sections could do with an overhaul to improve their conciseness and clarity. Often, I was reminded of Blaise Pascal’s wry comment “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time”. Sometimes, even when it is clear that an especial effort has been made with the composition of some section, the writing distracts from the point that is being made. Perhaps, the most egregious instance occurs in section 4.4 which opens with an appeal to humor no doubt intended to enliven the presentation: “There is a passage in the musical Man of la Mancha that relates to Newton’s third law of motion. Sancho, in describing a fight with his wife to Don Quixote, says, `Of course I hit her back, Your Grace, but she’s a lot harder than me and you know what they say, ‘Whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone, it’s going to be bad for the pitcher’.” The reader is left with the subliminal impression of asymmetry (whatever the interaction, “it’s going to be bad for the pitcher”), whereas the point the authors want to make in section 4.4 is that the third law demands a certain symmetry of physical interactions or forces.
There are no obvious problems with internal consistency, either of terminology, notation or the book’s framework.
The text has been suitably modularized. It will be straightforward to use it in conjunction with any course which covers only a small portion of the material in College Physics. It is also of considerable help that all the end of chapter conceptual questions and exercises/problems have been classified according to the section to which they refer.
The organisation of the topics within the text is, by and large, standard. One departure from the norm is the inclusion of elasticity under a discussion of forces within the Newtonian paradigm. Usually, this material is deferred to a chapter dealing with the static equilibrium of structures, which then serves to motivate the phenomenological description of the response of materials to applied forces. However, I don’t mind this innovation. It permits one to introduce a number of concepts and parameters (stress, strain, Young’s modulus, etc), which arise in contexts other than static equilibrium, and thereby increases the flexibility (no pun intended) that one has in the presentation of subsequent material.
There are some formatting issues but none are serious. Some of the Chapter Outlines, which appear right at the beginning of each chapter, spill over to the next page (see, for example, chapters 2, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13), which makes it difficult to take in the content of a chapter at a glance (surely one purpose of these outlines?). Couldn't the pictures which appear above these outlines be cropped accordingly? They add colour but have limited information content. Many of the worked examples in the text are spread over more than one page. Sometimes this seems justified, but at others it’s an irritant. It would possibly be an improvement if the glossaries appeared at the beginnings of chapters, immediately after the outline and before the text starts. Then readers can gauge if they are already familiar with the key concepts to be introduced in the chapter, and the authors would be less constrained in their prose by the need to carefully introduce terminology before they use it.
I am sure that the authors have been careful to eliminate as many grammatical errors as humanly possible. Nevertheless, there is one that has escaped their attention which appears at a rather prominent place in the text. The second paragraph of chapter 4 opens with the sentence “Isaac Newton’s (1642–1727) laws of motion were just one part of the monumental work that has made him legendary.” I would say that it would be preferable to rewrite this sentence as follows: “The laws of motion formulated by Newton (1642-1727) were just one …”.
College Physics deals with the fruits of the scientific method. As such, the book should be and is culturally neutral. The illustrations which accompany the text do not display a predilection for any gender, ethnicity or race.
I would like to congratulate the authors on their selfless achievement. I hope that they will be able to summon up the motivation to continue the never-ending task of improving upon their already useful pedagogic tool.
The contents of this book are complete, and it is done in an orderly manner. The chapter titles are easily matched to the contents of the chapters. read more
The contents of this book are complete, and it is done in an orderly manner. The chapter titles are easily matched to the contents of the chapters. At the back of the book there is a glossary, but no index except for the electronic index. Finding material presented in one section, then used in problems later can be handled with the search feature which is called index.
The content is accurate. The book is well thought out and care has been taken in working the examples. There is no bias in the material. The book does not use names in the problems, since the problems are based on objects, such as electrons. Therefore, the book is cultural and gender neutral. This is typical of a physics book.
Most of physics is constant over time, so being up to date is not an issue. The physics of fifty years ago is still valid. As time goes on we are continuing to add to the base of knowledge, and these current advances are usually placed in the later chapters. This book is rich in up to date material in those later chapters. As to soon being obsolete, that is not likely. As more is learned from physics, some, but not much, can be added at this level. And such additions can be done easily, often by adding a late chapter or two, or adding to an existing chapter. Since the later material is not gotten to in most classes, whether additions are made in the future or not will not impact the usability of the book.
The book in extremely clear. The book is written with material of a section focusing on a single topic, or a few related topics, and the work is easily understood without clouding the material with too many new concepts. The wording is such that a college student should understand the book by reading, and the technical words needed to understand the material are adequately defined.
The book maintains the same style throughout, and the terms used in one section do not vary when used in a future section. The sections are comparable in length, and all sections have a narrow focus. Chapters combine appropriate sections in the proper order.
The text is essentially modular, in that each section contains a small bit of information with subsections properly labeled within them. However, there is a need for former material, so jumping about or skipping material can be a difficulty. This is actually a positive in physics, since compound problems bringing multiple concepts together is the proper level and approach for a course taught using this material.
In physics there is a natural flow of material, and this book follows such a flow. At times there are two topics that can interact with each other. One must be presented first, and the second tie things together. This book follows the standard flow of material that works well in physics, and material is properly tied together..
The interface is for the most part well handled. However, the text used interactives and videos. The videos are long, and likely to be abandoned by students. The interactives are not easily used. Aside fro the videos and interactives, the interfacing of material within the book is fine.
The grammar is excellent, and the word choices are such that a freshman college student should not struggle. The book has been well edited for grammatical issues, and is devoid of errors, including punctuation.
Since the examples and exercises do not involve people, names and settings that might cause cultural issues are avoided. The book essentially has avoiding this issue by referring to objects, not people.
The book is well written, and viable for a course. There is no end of chapter material, so this would be a minor flaw, however the questions can be assigned as a group after the chapter is completed.
This book has an exhaustive list of all introductory physics topics. It has pretty much everything i need (and then some!) to teach a 2-semester read more
This book has an exhaustive list of all introductory physics topics. It has pretty much everything i need (and then some!) to teach a 2-semester course for non-science majors.
Of the 12/34 chapters I have used, I have not found any conceptual or mathematical error.
This is an introductory physics book. The content here is not expected to change rapidly at all. This book is a great alternative to the multitude of expensive textbooks which keep repeating pretty much the same content.
It took me some time to get used to the style in which this book is written. But this could simply be a manifestation of the fact that as a student I used hardbound texts. My students seemed comfortable reading it online. However, many of them performed badly in the course. I don't think it is the textbook's fault, but I will reserve my judgement till I have tried this book in future semesters.
I have used only 1/3rd of the book (mechanics) and the terminology and notation was consistent.
I have used only 1/3rd of the book (mechanics) and it is pretty modular. Of course in physics, concepts build off of each other. A certain amount of dependency is unavoidable.
The order in which physics topics are introduced seem to be consistent among most of the texts available in the market. This text pretty much follows the same order. Some rearrangement might be needed to suit a specific course/audience.
I personally like printed copies of physics texts because I can focus on the text and not get distracted by the side navigation bar. Also, I find it difficult to scroll up and down while working out problems and exercises. However, all these issues can be solved by printing this out as a pdf. So, I wouldn't hold this against this book.
Next time I adopt this book, I would make a "sub textbook" by collating and printing only the pages I need. The major mistake I made was to assign online readings: the students got confused and side tracked by extraneous concepts which were not relevant to what I was trying to say in the class. With this modification, I believe that OpenStax Physics can be a great book to teach algebra based science to non-majors.
At 34 chapters and 1400 words, this introductory textbook covers a myriad of topics. While obviously not a text intended to read cover-to-cover, the read more
At 34 chapters and 1400 words, this introductory textbook covers a myriad of topics. While obviously not a text intended to read cover-to-cover, the depth and breadth of content allows an instructor to choose the topics most appropriate for their course outline. The index and glossary are appropriate and error free.
To-date, I have not noticed any errors (aside from a rare typo) and find the content to be diverse and unbiased.
The content should maintain it's relevance for years to come...I find this to be true of most introductory physics texts I have reviewed.
The examples and explanations of basic concepts can become wordy at time but overall, the language is approachable for students.
This text maintains a consistent structure throughout.
For my hybrid courses, I often divide the sections up to match video explanations and have found this to be consistently easy.
The organization and structure match what I have come to expect from other introductory textbooks. The structure is coherent, the examples are effective, and the links to outside materials are useful.
I have not encountered any issues with compatibility- especially considering the various formats available. This being said, I have personally used the text and supporting materials on Apple devices.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
Aside from it's preference towards American audiences, the text appears to be culturally non-biased.
I plan to continue using this text in the near future and hope to see it more widely adopted by neighboring institutions. I am impressed with both the textbook and supplemental content available through Openstax.
The OpenStax textbook coverage of content for a one-year algebra-based physics course exceeds standard textbooks that I have recently used. Because I read more
The OpenStax textbook coverage of content for a one-year algebra-based physics course exceeds standard textbooks that I have recently used. Because I have many biology majors in my physics course that are headed into medical or physical therapy careers, I always use books that include reasonable coverage of atomic and nuclear physics to support their understanding of imaging processes. This text has even more detail in those areas than other texts that I have been using. In addition to the textbook, I have been evaluating other instructor resources provided by OpenStax. I will provide feedback about two that I have explored. I am very pleased with the Concept Trailers. These short videos are well done and can easily augment class presentations and may be viewed by students outside of class as well. PowerPoint slides are provided. They are primarily images from the textbook, and that is exactly what I like to have available as I plan presentations and sample problems. Furthermore, I am very pleased that I can edit these slides. In addition to the free resources listed above, OpenStax has various partner resources listed on the website. I am interested in utilizing web-based homework systems. I am currently evaluating WebAssign and Expert TA. Both systems provide access to all the problems in the OpenStax Physics textbook.
The content accuracy is satisfactory for the chapters that I have read.
I am very pleased with the clear, classic diagrams. Some medical examples may become dated. The atomic and nuclear physics portions are most prone to needing updating.
The clarity of the text is satisfactory.
Internal consistency seems satisfactory. For the sections that I have carefully read, and for other sections that I have casually considered, I am pleased with the “standard” notation utilized. One feature that I really like is Appendix D: Glossary of Key Symbols and Notation. For example, the list shows that the Greek letter alpha can represent angular acceleration, alpha decay, or temperature coefficients of resistivity. I think students will find this list of variables very helpful. It is also a quick way for me to check on the notation as I am adapting to this textbook.
I like the idea that I can create a customized version, but plan to use the materials “as is” for the implementation. Even with prior textbooks, I would “omit” certain sections due to time limitations. I am considering using portions of the OpenStax Physics text for my general education conceptual physics course. I may create a customized version for that course.
The organization structure is satisfactory. I am pleased that images are provided in PowerPoint slides that are customizable.
I am very pleased that the textbook is available as a Web version, a downloadable pdf version, and in print. The print copy is very heavy! I do not plan to carry it around much, but will use it as a “desk copy.” So far I have been reading both the web version and the pdf version. On the web version, the glossary and problems are at the end of each section. On the pdf version and the print version the glossary and problems are at the end of each chapter. Since the problems in the web version are not numbered, it will be easier to work from the pdf version to provide references for the students as we complete sample problems. I am thankful for all three versions and will survey my students for feedback about these options as well. It is my hope that I can reference the textbook often enough so that the student will use it often as their “go-to” reference instead of just googling whatever they are trying to learn.
I did not note any grammatical errors in the sections that I have read.
I did not notice any offensive language or illustrations.
I am planning to adopt the OpenStax College Physics textbook for our two-semester algebra-based physics courses. I am also considering using selections of this text for our 100-level general education conceptual physics course.
The textbook is indeed comprehensive and covers all the topics that are discussed in a traditional algebra based introductory physics course. read more
The textbook is indeed comprehensive and covers all the topics that are discussed in a traditional algebra based introductory physics course. However, at more than 1400 pages long, I wonder if the textbook could have been made more amenable to reading from cover to cover had the topics been carefully selected and presented in a more coherent fashion.
Many statements in the textbook are what I would characterize as "inaccurate." Various definitions are simply introduced via unexplained equations with the justification being simply "it seems reasonable." Misprints and misspellings also make some of the statements "inaccurate" and confusing. For instance, on page 175 just after Eq. (5.2) it says "The symbol \le means less than or equal to, implying that static friction can have a minimum and a maximum value of \mu_S N." The "a minimum and" part of the sentence should have been edited out.
The main content of the book is introductory physics which has been well established by the early 20th century. It is the basis of all modern physics so it will take some time for the content to become obsolete. The text also includes many modern applications of the physics discussed, and those portions may need to be updated every now and then.
In my opinion, the text is very difficult to read, not because of jargon or technical terminology, but due to the sometimes very contrived attempts to derive relevant relations while avoiding as much math as possible, and the presentation of too much circumstantial information.
I as particularly annoyed by the inconsistent treatments of quantities that need to be defined as an integral of other quantities, such as displacement which is an integral of velocity over time, work which is an integral of force over distance, impulse which is an integral of force over time, etc. In some cases, the integral is presented using graphical methods, while in others the relevant graph is never shown and the result of the integration just presented with a lot of hand-waving. The detail and depth that the text goes into also varies from topic to topic.
When trying to teach physics, it is never a good idea to try to modularize the topics since the entire point of physics is to make connections between various phenomena. This book, unfortunately, seems to have tried very hard to modularize various topics. As a result, many definitions are just introduced in an ad hoc manner at the beginning of each section with little emphasis on the motivation or connections to the various other topics already discussed in the book.
The book does not seem to have any particular structure on how the topics are organized. It simply follows the traditional order of topics used by every other textbook and does not try to tell any compelling story.
The most annoying thing about this book is how the equations are formatted. Very poor typesetting. Why did the author not use LaTeX? The font used in the equations seems to be Times New Roman which makes the lower case v look like a greek nu.
Except for some typos and misspellings, I did not spot any grammatical errors.
I would say that being a physics textbook, this book is culturally neutral.
Some of the figures are inaccurate. For instance, the parabolas in Figs. 3.49 and 3.50 do not look like parabolas.
My interest in the text is for use as a physics content resource for specialized courses and workshops for STEM teachers. As such, it includes all read more
My interest in the text is for use as a physics content resource for specialized courses and workshops for STEM teachers. As such, it includes all topics - and more - that I'd expect from a single introductory college text at a level accessible to non-physics majors. I especially note the applications to biomedical and other fields which receive special attention in the text. As a STEM educator, I do have strong issues with the perpetuation of the "Scientific Method" as defined in Chapter 1 (page 10) which epitomizes the cookbook approach to science which we are trying to modify in science courses. Science is an iterative process and should be reflected as such: http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/howscienceworks_02 provides a more realistic framework which we encourage STEM teachers to incorporate in K12 education through our work with teacher development and graduate level coursework for STEM teachers.
As I read through most of the chapters, I did not notice any errors in accuracy.
I am approaching evaluation of this text from the standpoint of STEM educator rather than as physics faculty. There isn't (and should not be) any issues in physics content, especially since it is open source and can be quickly updated as needed. Physics doesn't change a lot, but the skills we require our students to learn, do, along with the contexts in which the content is applied. What also changes is how we want students to engage with the content. As a STEM educator, a books pedagogy is highly relevant in my practice: this text does include a format which is consistent with the emphasis (see American Association of Physics Teachers) on active learning - this text includes focus on concept integrations, open ended problems, and student inquiry. This feature is especially in the examples (through the discussion presented), application sections, problems sets (conceptual questions are presented before calculations), and PhET sims. The take home experiments are also very good. Pedagogically speaking, I also see a number of issues, one of which is that the "check your understanding" callouts in the pdf version provide the student no serious reason for reflection - the "correct" answer is immediately below the prompt/question in the version but not in the web version, which has a "show solution" button. The chapter outlines are also somewhat limited in the outcomes presented - for instructors familiar with Bloom's taxonomy (http://web2.uconn.edu/assessment/images/Bloom_UpperDivisionCourses.jpg), you will quickly note that the majority of section outcomes are low level: define, identify, and describe are highly used terms which are very basic knowledge and comprehension tasks that do not promote higher level thinking. To conclude on a positive note, the PhET sims occur before the content is presented, which is an excellent strategy to increase student learning, and the misconception alerts and take-home investigations are also well appreciated as pedagogically sound strategies.
The book is clearly written in standard English. Terms are defined briefly at the end of each chapter after introduction and a broader definition within the text. Context is provided in every chapter for many topics. Illustrations and charts. Examples are presented and explained. Besides the PhET Sims I would like to see at least some of the static illustrations and images linked to video for added clarity - the Tacoma Narrows Bridge oscillation is one notable example. but there are a number of others. Appraising at the book as an instructor who frequently integrates students with various disabilities into my courses, I would like to at least see the web version be fully accessible for the 10% of college students who have a disability.
The text follows a consistent pattern in it's presentation. I did not notice any inconsistencies between or within chapters. The framework is predictable and easy to follow. Topic and subtopic headings are clearly defined, as are example sections, PhET explorations and other callouts, and the various problem sets.
The length of this book could be rather daunting, but it is not because this text is highly modular. This is an important feature I plan to take full advantage of in my planned courses/workshops where specific chapters or topics will be used as instruction for content underlying specific real-world topics. The web version appears to enhance the modularity aspect much more than the pdf version.
The topics in the text are presented in a clear, predictable fashion throughout each chapter. Any topic that need more elaboration can be supplemented by the instructor. Examples are clearly designated. The connections to PhET are helpful and clarify concepts within each chapter/topic/subtopic.
I compared both the pdf and the browser version. Overall, I find the interface to be usable in either version with some caveats. The images and charts seem to all be as they should be. However I must note that on my Mac, some lines in the pdf are irregularly spaced. Text to speech is supported. My text-to-speech reader followed the pdf fairly well. The font is easy to read but providing choices in font may benefit some users, also choice of font and background color for increased accessibility. http://oregonstate.edu/accessibility/web provides a usable overview of what should be included and why. One issue (also mentioned above in #3) is that the "check your understanding" callouts in the pdf version provide the student no serious reason for reflection - the "correct" answer is immediately below the prompt/question in the version but not in the web version, which has a "show solution" button. I see no good reason for this discrepancy.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
I do not notice any obvious cultural insensitivities or offensive representations. It seems to prefer US references rather than incorporating world contributions to physics or as examples of physics. I also did not notice significant representation of persons with disabilities. There is gender diversity, but it does seem to favor males.
I really appreciate the idea of an open source text that is so readily accessible for students. It is easy to read in a browser or in pdf download. I have applied for an instructor account which should provide many more resources to complement this text.
The textbook is very comprehensive, covering all topics in a typical two-semester algebra-based introductory physics coruse. Each chapter concludes read more
The textbook is very comprehensive, covering all topics in a typical two-semester algebra-based introductory physics coruse. Each chapter concludes with a glossary that is also comprehensive, covering terms defined in that chapter. In addition, an appendix provides a glossary of mathematical symbols and a multi-page index is provided at the end of the text. One topic of interest that is missing is Gauss's law in electrostatics. A full description of this law is far too advanced for a class at this level, and even if included many instructors might skip over it anyway. However, it is useful in that it introduces the idea of flux (in the context of the flux on an electric field).
The content appears to be fully accurate and error-free.
The material covered in an introductory physics class is, to a large extent, old enough that it doesn't change much from year to year. However, there are a few specific modern topics that I was glad to see this book discuss (and which may be missing from older texts). For example, global warming is discussed several times, as are recent discoveries such as the existence of neutrino masses. The mystery of dark matter is mentioned, but not dark energy. I didn't find many anachronistic things, meaning examples or concepts that would be foreign to modern students. The only clear example I found is in terms of references to television antennas, which are becoming less common.
The text is extremely clear but also verbose, almost too a fault. Introductory physics students need to learn to solve problems, and the copious historical background provided may be interesting to many students but can also distract from the main point. For example, in Chapter 2 (essentially the first chapter that involves problem solving, after the introductory chapter 1), it is several pages before the reader is finally presented with a summary of the four main equations of one-dimensional kinematics. I understand that it is very difficult to balance the idea of building ideas logically (which the book excels at) with the necessity of having a clear explanation of the most important equations and concepts.
The book strived to be very clear in how problems are solved, providing detailed descriptions of each step (particularly early on in the book). However, I did find a few ambiguities. For example, on page 56, one of the early problems on kinematics, the problem figure refers to v_F (the final velocity), while the text below the figure refers to v (the same quantity). The example problem on page 58 involves the sentence "In this case, then, the time is t=t in seconds" -- to me, this construction is confusing and it is better to simply say the result of the quadratic equation is t=10.0s. Incidentally, in my opinion the method presented in 2.13 is not the best way to solve this problem (since it requires using the quadratic formula) and it is much easier to find the final velocity from the distance travelled and the acceleration, and then find the time elapsed. Although the authors perhaps wanted to provide an example using the quadratic formula, in my opinion this was unneccesary.
Physics is intrinsically cumulative, so it is hard to say how modular a physics textbook can be. One thing I was surprised to see was that the formation of images due to curved mirrors is presented after the discussion of refraction and lenses; I typically think of the case of convex and concave mirrors as more naturally coming first as a warmup for the later more advanced topic of lenses. However I think this order is probably fine.
I found that the book proceeded through the most important topics in a very straightforward manner.
I didn't see any issues with the book's interface with two exceptions: The book pdf has links to PhET simulations which provide a link to external content. When I clicked on these links they downloaded a file that did not work on my apple computer when I clicked on them. Perhaps with a bit more effort I could have figured out how to use them. Secondly, some of the figures were not as clear as they could have been. In particular, on page 745 in chapter 19 the electric field lines and equipotential lines are (almost) the same color, and it is hard to distinquish them.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
I didn't note any culturally insensitive or offensive sections of the book.
The book covers all the subjects traditionally included in an algebra-based college physics course. It includes bio-med applications, as is expected read more
The book covers all the subjects traditionally included in an algebra-based college physics course. It includes bio-med applications, as is expected for this course, including dedicated chapters to there are dedicated chapters to fluid dynamics and nuclear physics in bio-med applications in fluid dynamics and nuclear physics. It also includes a chapter on the frontiers of physics, which is a nice addition. The text is just over 1400 pages long, but in terms of word count, it appears to be commensurate with typical texts. There are chapter glossaries, a table of contents, and an index. I found the index spotty. It lists “conservation of momentum principle” and “elastic collisions,” but not “momentum” or “collisions,” for example.
In reading over a number of chapters that often give students difficulty, I found that the text is generally accurate. There are a few errors. In one case, the historical background was inaccurate (but commonly repeated). More seriously, one argument led to a correct conclusion, but was non sequitur (in other words, it was a lie that looks true on the surface). There are very few typographical problems, and nothing in that realm of any consequence. On the whole the book is accurate, and the inaccuracies are not critical.
Most of the subject matter has changed little in the last 50 years (or even 200 years in many cases). It’s not likely to change much in the near future, and the places where it has a higher likelihood of changing are mostly limited to a small number of chapters. The part that will change most rapidly are the applications.
General, the book is clearly written. I examined parts of the text where students struggle most and found a few places where I felt that the explanations were terse, though accurate. One introductory section (wave optics) seemed more likely to confuse students than to be a motivational introduction. I would be inclined to add a few definitions and more detailed explanations if I were to adopt the text. I felt that this was the text’s most significant problem. Numerically. I gave the text a 4 on clarity, but in reality it’s more like 3.7.
I found the structure of the text consistent throughout. Some topics were treated somewhat better than others, but on the whole it was all adequate and mostly quite good.
Modularity is important to me because I often like to cover topics in a little different order than is traditional. For example, I prefer to discuss conservation of momentum before Newton’s laws. As with most texts, this text makes it difficult to do that as the chapter on conservation of momentum makes extensive reference to force. I feel that the modularity of this text is typical for the genre, which means it is not especially good.
The organization and structure are good. Examples are set off nicely. There are helps for working problems that are easily located as are the chapter glossaries. The logical flow is clear.
The interface is fine. Some of the illustrations look like they were came from somewhat low-resolution jpeg files. (I downloaded the high-resolution version.) The lettering isn’t crisp and there are “jpeg shadows” in the white background. It’s not confusing, but looks a little less professional than if higher quality images were produced from the source applications.
I’m picky about grammar and only noticed one grammatical/typographical error in all I read.
There is certainly nothing that could be considered offensive to any group of people. I didn’t really notice whether the names in the examples seemed culturally diverse. There aren’t a lot of personal names used even in the examples and the problems. There is gender diversity.
I reviewed this book with an eye to adopting it for my second-semester algebra-based calculus course. I like the idea of open source texts and was hoping that I would find a text as good as the ones that are produced by major publishing houses. Frankly, I was a little disappointed. I feel I’d have to do more explanation and clarifying in class to compensate for things in the text that are a little vague. That being said, I recognize the difficulty of producing a text like this without the financial and technical support of a publisher. In the end, I think the text is acceptable. The beauty of the Creative Commons License is that I could do a modest amount of work to change it into something that I really like.
OpenStax's college physics includes all topics, with standard examples, that would normally be found in an introductory college physics text. I have read more
OpenStax's college physics includes all topics, with standard examples, that would normally be found in an introductory college physics text. I have not found anything lacking.
OpenStax has done a very good job in reviewing their material, and as such I have found no errors within the text as I have used it.
Another good point about the OpenStax text is that it can be updated by the community at large. This means submissions for updates are reviewed and then included if they add to the text. College Physics includes relatively recent examples of content just like any other introductory text.
OpenStax's College Physics reads quite well. It is perhaps not as well written as some of the more costly texts, but it is far better than the worst I've seen. Everything is clearly defined and laid out.
I have yet to find inconsistencies within the text.
The text does flow well and is easily organized. The chapter layouts are intuitive and can easily be reworked for any purpose. An added bonus with the OpenStax text is that the online version is free, along with other tools that make the text even more accessible and user friendly.
As well organized as any text in the market.
The quality of the text is top notch, and with the added online interfaces and tools, the OpenStax text is even better than commercial texts.
I have not found any grammatical errors.
I know of no issue concerning this.
I would recommend this text for all instructors of introductory physics as it represents a huge savings for most students without sacrificing quality.
Our interest in the book is for our algebra based physics sequence. Our students in these courses are mainly in the medical and biological areas. We read more
Our interest in the book is for our algebra based physics sequence. Our students in these courses are mainly in the medical and biological areas. We are trying to focus these courses on the human body as a mechanical, electrical and thermodynamic system and are using the MCAT test as a guide. The book is certainly comprehensive enough for our needs. While Newton's 3rd law is discussed it is such a hard idea for students that I think it deserves much more space in the text. The same could be set about electrical potential.
The book does not seem to be biased. I have one pet piev in that the Introduction ignores the development of physics between Plato/Aristotle and Galileo/Newton. For example the concept of conservation of momentum was worked out before before Newton and the idea that the world could be understood through experimentation gained ground in the high middle ages.
It is very difficult to use photos and examples that our students will immediately relate to since they are very tuned to technology and this changes fast. However this is not so important and I think that the students could see the relevance of the underlying physical principles to the human body.
Generally the book is clear. I don't like some of the language, eg on Page 741 "One of the rules for static electric fields and conductors is that the electric field must be perpendicular to the surface of any conductor. This implies that a conductor is an equipotential surface in static situations." This tends to de-emphasize the physical reason and may heighten students' tendency to just "know which equation to use here." I would have preferred to say "For a conductor the charges will arrange themselves such that they all have the same electrical potential. This happens very fast and once they have done this the electric field must be perpendicular to the surface of the condocutor."
The most important thing to be consistent about in this material is the notation for vectors. The book uses bold face to represent vectors. My concern is that this is not enough for students and it would be better to show the arrow over the symbol. The book also sometimes drop the boldface without saying "Now let us consider the magnitude of the Coulomb force"
The book follows the class divisions of introductory physics. The subdivisions are small enough to be assigned as readings for each day.
The book follows the "Kinematics First" approach which I think is more appropriate for medical/biology students than the "Energy First" approach. I would have preferred gravitation to be its own separate chapter since the is quite an intellectual leap from driving around a bend to the motion of the planets.
Generally the images are fine. I found some of the optics images a little hard to follow because the lines showing the actual rays and the perceived straight lines that our vision constructs were so close.
The books grammar is as good as mine.
The only cultural point I noted was in the Introduction where physics is presented as completely dormant through the middle ages. This misses the gradual development of technology and the growing realization that the world could be understood through experimentation, rather than just through logic.
It certainly contains much that is useful for our medical and biology students. Some of the hardest concepts will need additional material and extra class time but this is not a fatal problem.
At over 1400 pages, this is the most complete algebra-based physics textbooks I’ve ever seen. As many of the students in the algebra-based physics read more
At over 1400 pages, this is the most complete algebra-based physics textbooks I’ve ever seen. As many of the students in the algebra-based physics sequence are pre-med or otherwise biologically oriented, the many biological/medical examples do a wonderful job of showing the relevance of the physics being discussed to a student’s given field. This text also has great appendices, especially for radioactivity.
One of the many advantages of an open-source text that can be downloaded is that it’s easier to fix errata sooner than traditional texts. While there were a few errors a couple of years when it first came out, it’s better than most traditional texts at this point.
The nature of an introductory physics text is that most of the topics have been figured out for a couple of centuries and even the “modern physics” of relativity and quantum mechanics have been around for over a 100 years at this point. While certain application examples could be updated in the near future, any good physics text written since World War I is still a good resource. So, this text does have longevity but any physics text does.
Not only is the text written clearly but as an electronic text, it is able to link out to various online physics simulations directly. This is incredibly valuable.
The treatment of vectors is developed in such a way that the one-dimensional treatment is inconsistent with the two-dimensional treatment but that it probably intended to gradually develop the complexity.
The modularity of this text is wonderful. I’ve used the modules to make an introductory physics text based on another edit of the modules.
The structure matches up with most physics texts which is OK. There are some merits for covering conservation of energy before kinematics but that’s not traditionally done.
The interface is well done.
No grammar error since the errata edits.
There is a nice mix of gender and ethnicities in the examples.
One of my biggest issues with this text is the treatment of vectors. In the section on acceleration (Chapter 2.4), there is a Misconception Alert on deceleration vs. negative acceleration. This is creating a problem that doesn’t need to be there. In “saving” the student from learning the difference between vectors, magnitude of vectors, vector components and scalars, a host of problems are created. In an example there is an answer of “a = -8.33 m/s^2”. This is horrible. This is an x-component within the context of the problem and as such should be written as “a_x = -8.33 m/s^2” as it is neither a magnitude of the acceleration vector (its negative) nor a scalar (although it looks like one, it’s really a component). The text does latter start using components (the very next chapter is 2D kinematics) so student don’t even get to use this “easy” way for long. It just means that a student’s introduction to vectors is such that it messes them up for treating them correctly. Vectors are important tools in physics and students’ issues with them are a major part of the struggles they have. Luckily, as a modular open source text I can edit it to my liking.
This book is designed for the 200-level algebra based introductory physics course, which is typically taken by students in the biological sciences read more
This book is designed for the 200-level algebra based introductory physics course, which is typically taken by students in the biological sciences and health science majors. The book covers the full range of topics typically covered in such a course (CH 1-26) and goes beyond (CH 26+). The book also provides biology/human health related example problems and exercises that aid in engaging students who are not planning on studying the physical sciences.
I have only used the book for chapters 1-26 and I don't regularly assign problems from the book (I use an online HW system) so I can't comment on that content. Everything else appears to be accurate.
The bulk of the content covered by this book hasn't changed in decades, maybe even in centuries, but the way that we as instructors present that content is changing. The book presents this content is a way that is as modern as possible for a book, including references to online simulations and some example problems and exercise that are related to biology and human health. The e-book format should make updates relatively easy.
The book is written using common language that is accessible to the students, however it can be verbose at times, but no more so than any other standard textbook. Large chunks of text at the start of a chapter will typically be ignored, or at best glanced through by students, but there just isn't much that that can be done about that. Breaking up those large text chunks may make them more appealing to students. Students have not complained that the textbook is "hard to read" any more than with other textbooks I have used.
In my experience this is the case, I have had no complaints from students.
The book chapter align will with weekly modules and contain an appropriate amount of content to cover in a HW assignments due on a weekly basis. The order of the content aligns with that of the most commonly used standard texts for this course.
The book chapter align will with weekly modules and contain an appropriate amount of content to cover in a HW assignments due on a weekly basis. The order of the content aligns with that of the most commonly used standard texts for this course.
Not all of the images are high quality, some images and fonts exhibit slight pixelation and resolution issues. However, the issues are not severe. I have talked with students about this and they claim that the issues do not affect the ability of the images and diagrams to convey the intended content and the students would definitely accept some pixelation in exchange for the hundreds of dollars in savings over a standard textbook.
A comma here and there (probably personal preference), nothing major found so far, but I haven't read the text cover to cover.
Photos show a range of ethnicities, problems use a mix of male, female genders for subjects.
Students seem receptive to the book, most likely because it is free. Motivating students to read the text in physics courses is a constant challenge, it appears this book does no better or worse than standard texts at motivating students, but it does so at no cost, and it has links to simulations and other content that students may be more receptive toward.
The text covers all of what we cover in our General Physics sequence (i.e. PHY 201-202-203). There are additional chapters that we don't necessarily read more
The text covers all of what we cover in our General Physics sequence (i.e. PHY 201-202-203). There are additional chapters that we don't necessarily cover like "Physics of Hearing" and "Vision and Optical Instruments", although much of this content appears elsewhere in our courses.
I have not found any incorrect information in the text. In fact, there are some really useful tables of constants that I'd like to see in other physics texts.
The physics we teach our students doesn't really change that much. I don't see that as a major concern. If updates are needed, I believe they can be easily inserted.
I found the text to be more clear than the textbook we use. I did get a printed copy of the book ($48.50 vs $200+ for Cutnell/Johnson - our current text). The printed copy is very dense with text - may be hard to read for some.
There are many real world examples given in the text to help students see how physics is applicable to real-life.
I found the text to be easy to navigate. There is consistency from chapter to chapter in the formatting of material. This makes the text easier for students to navigate. The text does a good job of referring to material already covered. Such references are hyperlinked which makes the text easy to pull earlier material and then return to the current chapter. This is much quicker than a traditional, physical text.
The material is logically presented. The sequence of material is mechanics, electromagnetics, optics, and modern physics. This is generally the same approach most physical texts use.
I have not encountered any of these issues.
I have yet to find any grammar errors - and I am a stickler on this issue!
This issue does not seem to arise in this text. Like most physics texts, this one draws on western examples, but in addition, it has more diversity than many textbooks. I'm giving this category a '3' only because we all have our subconscious biases and I don't think anyone can clearly see all insensitive or offensive language.
I hope that our college will move in the direction of using this text. It would save students a ton of money and the text has more instructor and student ancillary materials than any physical text I've seen in my 17 years of teaching!
It is hard to find topics that should be included in an introductory text such as this one that have been left out. All the standard topics are there read more
It is hard to find topics that should be included in an introductory text such as this one that have been left out. All the standard topics are there as well as additional material not found in most introductory physics books. I especially like the brief biographical notes and references to application in fields such as chemistry and biology.
No major errors or author bias are apparent with a quick first reading.
Most introductory physics courses do not cover topics that require up to date information on the progress of physics. Still this book includes topics such as nuclear and particle physics along with topics such as dark matter, general relativity and nonlinear dynamics. One can hope that students may find them interesting and explore them outside of their usual course work.
Excellent! Patiently worked examples with ample explanation of each step. Simple figures that remain to the point and do not try to be unnecessarily fancy distracting the students' attention from the problem.
There seems to be coherence between any two chapters. I could not detect any problems with consistency.
Again no problems here. The sections are of proper length and although there is a good amount of explanation and examples, it does not get irrelevant and tedious.
This is probably the only objection I have with this book. First I believe some more treatment of vectors is necessary. Perhaps even an entire chapter on vectors would be a good idea. I also do not like the fact that the topic of gravity does not have its own chapter. Oscillations and simple harmonic motion should, in my opinion, also be moved a bit earlier in the book. These statements simply refer to my personal preference and I do not want to pretend that this is the absolutely best way to organize the material.
I saw no problems of this nature. I commented earlier on the simplicity of the presentation and the figures, the lack of which I believe is a major flaw of most introductory physics books today.
No grammatical errors as far as I could tell.
This being a physics book makes this question rather irrelevant. Still I found no problematic points.
Generally a very good book with simple figures, a multitude of worked examples with all the steps shown, good check points for the students to consider, and a good variety of well chosen problems at the end of each chapter. The selection of topics is excellent. I would prefer a slightly different organization of the material, especially for the first half of the book, with more emphasis on vectors.
Comprehensive and include much more than could be covered in two one-semester introductory courses. The Index and glossary are find. The pdf read more
Comprehensive and include much more than could be covered in two one-semester introductory courses. The Index and glossary are find. The pdf version needs a Table of Contents for navigation.
Here are a few points in the order that I saw them. (Stars indicate importance.) *1. (1.3) The rules for significant figures should not be taken as inviolable. Suggest that they be applied with common sense. For intermediate calculations keep more significant figures than necessary to avoid propagating roundoff error. A few too many sig figs is better than too few. An example of an exception is 10.2 x 0.99. The rules would imply that only two figures be kept in the result which is plainly nonsense; the answer should be written as 10.1 not 10. (0.99 has three “honorary” sig figs.) *2. (2.2) "A vector is any quantity with both magnitude and direction". Not true. A vector has magnitude and direction, but some quantities with magnitude and direction are not vectors, e.g., rotations. *3. (2.4)Trying to rigorously define "deceleration" is not necessary and is confusing. Just say that when using technical terminology in physics, acceleration covers speeding up and slowing down and we will not be using deceleration in a technical way. (The section even starts with an image on the topic so students will think it's an important concept that must be memorized.) **4. (2.4 and 2.5) The concept finding displacement from the v vs t curve by the area under the curve is not discussed. True, this is an integral calculus concept, but I have never found students to be troubled by it. This concept is necessary to derive the kinematic equations. For example, the statement vavg = (vi + vf)/2 is not obviously true. Note that a common student misconception is that the average velocity is an average of some velocities and taking this statement as obvious panders to that misconception. *5. (2.7) Although most textbooks do it and it's not wrong, I don't like introducing the concept of "the acceleration due to gravity" in the kinematics section before discussing mass and force. The only reason it's done is to give a wider repertoire of constant acceleration problems. I prefer introducing "g" as the "gravitational field strength" which, when multiplied by the object's mass (see discussion later) predicts the force of gravity on it. Only in the absence of air resistance or other forces is the object's acceleration equal to g. **6. (4.2) The concept of how to measure mass, operationally, is crucial at this point. The author beats around the bush but never says the important words. He says, "Operationally, the masses of objects are determined by comparison with the standard kilogram." but HOW this comparison is done isn't said. There needs to be some mention of comparing the accelerations of two masses (one possibly being the standard) when the are subjected to the same force and that the ratios of the masses are inverse to the accelerations. (A later mention that the weights can be compared as a means of measuring mass leads to the idea that mass could have two ways of being measured and then, later, when the Cavendish experiment is discussed the notion that gravitational attraction doesn't depend on an object’s composition might make some sense.) *7. In figures such as 2.4, the points on the parabola are connected by straight line segments. They should not be. 8. Ch 9: Positioning of arrows over the figures of male bodies on the free bod diagrams. may cause some amusement among adolescent readers. ***9. Simple pendulum discussion needs revising: "We see from Figure 16.14 that the net force on the bob is tangent to the arc and equals Fnet. (The weight has components along the string and tangent to the arc.) Tension in the string exactly cancels the component parallel to the string. This leaves a net restoring force back toward the equilibrium position at θ=0." This is wrong. During the swing of the pendulum the acceleration direction varies. It goes from being tangential to the arc at the extremity to pointing toward the pivot point as it swings through the equilibrium. See this figure http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oscillating_pendulum.gif . The acceleration vector is pointing in the direction of the net force. **10. (25.6) There needs to be a discussion of angular magnification in this section and how it applies to the simple magnifier held a focal length from its object. In that case a magnified image is clearly seen with good eyes, but the lateral magnification, as described in this section, makes no sense because it is infinite. **11 (26.4) The magnification of the microscope suffers from the same lacuna as that of the simple magnifier, but worse. The important point is that the angle subtended by the object observed through the microscope is larger than it would be if viewed by the naked eye at the eye's near point. The calculation of a lateral magnification in a case where real images exist somewhere in space at an arbitrary position that is closer than infinity tells us nothing about the apparent magnification seen by the eye, which is the angular magnification. 12. CH 27: the combined contributions of the double slit and single slit patterns to the pattern of the double slit interference is not discussed, but is hinted at in the problem 11. This should probably be discussed in the text before one could expect a student to do the problem. 13. Ch31: The picture depicting synchrotron radiation actually has little if anything to do with this chapter? 14. Figures 7.32 seems way off. (GDP/capita vs energy usage) Must be out of date. GDP numbers seem consistent with year 2000 numbers. In 2007 the GDP/capita should be as follows: US $46350 vs Japan $34100. (World Bank statistics found by Google search.)) This list is probably shorter than a similar one of the good things about this book. But these items (especially the starred ones) are important enough to warrant some concern that other issues would be apparent when a closer look at this book would occur when teaching a course from it. There are many worked example that will be appreciated by the students. Some of the problems are interesting and unusual.
It's ok. I have mentioned some data on GDP/Capita that seem outdated. The material covered generally is not changing that qickly.
Yes. I have mentioned some issues in a previous box.
Good. The textbook should be broken into smaller files to easily use in tablets or smaller netbooks.
Yes. The main issue I have is at the beginning where some topics in kinematics are omitted (area under v vs t curve) that do not allow the kinematics to be rigorously derived The issue of operationally defining mass and how to measure it is also discussed in a previous box..
No. Here are my previously prepared omments on this issue: it is worthwhile addressing the accessibility and usability of this textbook. The initial link I was given was to a pdf file many hundreds of MB in size. Currently in one of my courses I am using a textbook whose highquality pdf is about 1/10 that size. After downloading I noticed that it was impossible to copy any text from the display. Perhaps this is an antiplagiarism measure or copyright protection. Downloading from the link shown in the front of the pdf, I got a copy that did not have this feature. Furthermore, there was a lowresolution version pdf as well as epub versions. The lowresolution was indeed a manageable size and the quality was acceptable. It should be noted that most of the figures are line drawings. Line drawings can be imbedded in a pdf using a vector graphics encoding (such as eps) that retain the full resolution of the images at a fraction of the size of a bitmap. Indeed, all images in the pdf were jpeged bitmaps which made them big and full of compression artefacts in the smaller pdf file. The readability of the pdf version of the book approaches zero. The text is very small, sans serif and each line is much longer than what is needed for comfortable reading. When reading a paragraph, the eye often finds itself at the beginning of the line just read or completely lost. Furthermore, there is no sidebar table of contents for easy navigation. The thumbnail view shows barely recognizable page images that give no help in navigating around in the huge book. So I tried the epub. It is much larger than the lowres pdf, undoubtedly because of the images. The epub version was not able to be read by iBooks on the iPad. (I’m not referring to the special paid edition.) The only ebook reader that would load it was Calibre. (A fine piece of software). Using my 2010 MacBook Pro it took about 3 min to display the first time. The epub formatting was very legible and pleasant to read. The images were clear and well placed. Pages could be navigated rapidly within a chapter. There was a sidebar table of contents allowing quick navigation from one place to another. Transitioning from chapter to chapter caused a delay of a few seconds, but it was not annoying. The equations were legible, although the bitmap images of them looked a little crude. (Is mathJax coming to epub sometime?) One issue was that after navigating around in the book the images start to disappear. Unlike pdf, epub is supposed to allow svg vectorgraphic images, but is seldom done. The best solution for the epub would be to break the book into several parts according to the normal division of firstyear physics courses. On to the contents. As I say, it's unfortunate that most students will not read the purple prose of the authors, or try to follow the logic of the exposition. Nevertheless, I think it's worthwhile to present an intellectually respectable narrative. Unfortunately most "College Physics" books are written for an audience that often is not attracted to taxing their brain over the intricacies of the subject. An easily digested gloss may be rated higher than a text that tells the full story. There are some textbooks that achieve a happy medium between simplifying too much and explaining in a rigorous way. But the average College Physics, algebrabased textbook tends to simplify too much.
Not as far as I could tell.
I am ok with this aspect of the book.
Here are the rest of my prepared omments: It's unfortunate, but most of us who teach physics soon realize that students don't read the textbook. Perhaps they use it as a last resort for finding hints on solving homework problems. No matter how well written, laid out, feature-filled the effort gone into preparing even the best textbook is wasted. The textbook by Urone et al. is a College Physics text. That means it is intended for an audience whose main interests usually lie elsewhere than the physical sciences or engineering. A textbook is usually recommended or assigned by the instructor with little input from the student; therefore, it is good to have an option that is inexpensive and portable. On this count, Urone et al. surpasses most other commercially marketed textbooks. On the other hand, its content does not. The list of issues is probably shorter than a similar one of the good things about this book. But these items (especially the starred ones) are important enough to warrant some concern that other issues would be apparent when a closer look at this book would occur when teaching a course from it. There are many worked example that will be appreciated by the students. Some of the problems are interesting and unusual. I do approve of suggesting the interactive activities with the PHETs and even more appreciate actual takehome experiment suggestions. Perhaps more guidance to the student could be given in carrying out their investigations by providing a worksheet or more detailed instructions. The examples and problems of biological nature are also commendable. One does wonder whether the authors have the expertise in all the various aspects of biophysics necessary to properly vet them.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
This book has the feel of a typical algebra based first year physics book, suitable for algebra-based first year physics courses anywhere. This read more
This book has the feel of a typical algebra based first year physics book, suitable for algebra-based first year physics courses anywhere. This book has reportedly been produced as part of a well-funded project (including support from the Hewlett Foundation, Gates Foundation, etc.) and, despite it being made available for free, does not appear lacking in quality. A general practice in physics education at the first year level is to split courses (and corresponding textbooks) into two streams: algebra-based and calculus-based. This book is not intended for use with calculus-based courses.
On the whole there is no issue with content accuracy or bias. The one exception I detected is in Ch. 26 where the Square Kilometre Array is discussed in a way that does not appear technically correct to this radio astronomer.
This book pays good attention to highlighting the application of physical principles in contemporary society, often by description of technological devices. Although the physical principles do not become outdated, the specific devices referred to will need updates and maintenance.. This is generally what is done with all physics textbooks at this level.
No significant issues detected.
No significant issues detected.
No significant issues detected.
I used mainly the PDF version (hardcopy and on screen) for this review - no issues experienced.
No significant issue detected.
No significant issue detected.
(1) my preface: This review has been conducted jointly by Takashi Sato and Tyron Tsui (alphabetical order). Tsui nominally examined Chapters 1 - 17 and Sato nominally examined Chapters 18 - 34. Further, Dr. Tsui has the experience of having adopted this book for his class (Summer 2013 semester) and has shared his experiences with me. I believe we are in good agreement with each other’s comments and I have benefited from the discussion. However, rather than merging our comments into one submission, we are each making our own submission. (2) The authors do not use the symbol "e" for the fundamental charge, 1.6 x 10-19 C, which is the standard notation . They use “q_e” instead. This choice of symbology is very unusual, perhaps unique, in textbooks for this audience. Because the two forms of notation are completely equivalent, it can be ascribed to a stylistic choice and this reviewer has no strong preference. However, I question whether it is prudent to graduate our students without knowing what “e” means. (3) This textbook incorporates the use of PhET simulations throughout. Simulations produced by the PhET project at the University of Colorado Boulder is the current golden standard and fans of PhET will surely embrace its prominence in this book. (4) Prompted by Clint Lalonde’s question regarding the suitability of using parts of this same book for multiple courses, I looked at the chapters on special relativity and quantum physics to see if it might be suitable for a second year course in modern physics. The chapter on quantum physics serves only as an introduction and thus unsuitable for a modern physics course. The chapter on special relativity is more promising, and the algebra-based nature of this book is indeed sufficient for special relativity. However, it is only one chapter and I would imagine most modern physics courses will require more depth on this topic. Of course, while we physics teachers may forget to state the obvious, the algebra-based first year course I refer to in the opening is often a two-semester sequence (i.e. two courses. (4) The publishers provide supplements, much like any other modern textbook. In addition to an instructor solution manual and powerpoint slides, electronic supplements such as WebAssign and Sapling are also available. More specifically, I have learned that OpenStax has worked with Sapling Learning to produce an online homework tool tailored for this book. I have seen it demonstrated and for this particular book, unlike other books Sapling works with, the e-text has been integrated into the Sapling product. Students pay $40 instead of the usual $30 for this convenience. (5) I would like to reiterate Tyron Tsui’s comment about the lack of ratings of end-of-chpater problems.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
The text included and appropriately covered all topics necessary for a first-year algebra-based physics class. An index is provided in the PDF read more
The text included and appropriately covered all topics necessary for a first-year algebra-based physics class. An index is provided in the PDF version of the text, but a link to the index in the web version of the text was not found. There are glossaries at the end of each chapter. Compared with a large glossary at the end of the text, it was easier for students to review the new terms, but trickier for them to find a term defined in a previous chapter.
Chapters begin by introducing and developing physical concepts and end with sections covering modern applications of those topics. Keeping the applications updated seems like it would be straightforward.
Each topic is introduced with a contextual or motivational section. Next, the concepts are developed and terms are well defined. The structure and text was generally straightforward.
As mentioned, chapters/topics begin and are developed with the same framework.
No issues that would distract the reader, but the font and style used for numbers, scientific notation and units change depending on where the value is shown and what the units actually are. Maybe it’s the equation/math type program they used? The equations and some symbols disappear when the PDF is printed on certain printers or when the original PDF is modified (lines highlighted or reprinted to 2 or 4 pages on a sheet). The bars over average variables sit high.
Most other physics textbooks provide a rating for each end-of-chapter question (I, II, III) as a rough estimate of the question’s difficulty. I’ve found the system to be useful for myself and for students working on unassigned problems. The current PDF of this text (col11406_1_8_13.pdf) does not have such a system. Most forces in the text are given the symbol F with a subscript to differentiate, but weight, normal force and tension are W, N and T. Note: At the suggestion of BCcampus staff, this review has been prepared jointly by Takashi Sato and Tyron Tsui (alphabetical order). Tsui nominally examined Chapters 1 - 17 and Sato nominally examined Chapters 18 - 34. Further, Dr. Tsui has the experience of having adopted this book for his class (Summer 2013 semester).
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
Dr. Stewart Langton
Dr. Stewart Langton
While reviewing this textbook we compared it to two other widely used first year algebra based physics textbooks, Physics by Giancoli and read more
While reviewing this textbook we compared it to two other widely used first year algebra based physics textbooks, Physics by Giancoli and College Physics by Knight, Jones and Field. we have taught many courses using both these standard textbooks. The openstax College Physics text covers all of the topics that the other two texts cover. It is perhaps even more comprehensive than either Giancoli or Knight. For example when introducing electric charge it discusses quarks. The openstax text has 1269 pages in a font that is smaller than either Giancoli or Knight and the text goes right to the edges of the pages. It is unlikely that a typical student in an algebra based introductory course would be able to work their way through the textual part of the book. Giancoli (1004 pages) and Knight (1067 pages) use only 2/3 the width of the page for text and the large margin for pictures or examples. This makes these texts much easier to read than the openstax text. If a student chooses to print the openstax book on regular paper, double sided, it is 8cm thick whereas Giancoli is only 3.5cm and Knight 4cm, including the hard covers. At the end of each chapter the openstax text has a useful glossary of terms encountered in the chapter and a chapter summary that is similar to both Giancoli and Knight. The openstax index is 5 ½ pages long compared to 15 pages in Giancoli and 13 pages in Knight. It has far fewer topics in the index and is missing subcategories under topics such as acceleration, angular momentum and electric circuits. Oddly it has a larger font for the index than the rest of the text so it has more than three times fewer topics in the index than either Giancoli or Knight. The problems at the end of each chapter of the openstax text are its strongest feature. They are similar to those in both Knight and Giancoli. There are an adequate number of them and they have adequate variety and varying difficulty. However, unlike Giancoli and Knight the openstax problems are not labeled according to difficulty, a feature that we as instructors like when assigning problems. An additional feature in the openstax text, that neither Giancoli nor Knight have, is problems labeled Integrated Concepts and problems labeled Construct your own problem.
There were some examples of notation that were not adequately explained, for example the use of F12 on page 639 without explaining that it means the force on particle 1 due to particle 2. Also on page 633 it says “she receives an excess of positive charge” which seems to imply that positive charge moves onto her hair, which is not the case. On page 640 the statement “the force that surrounds an object” is not correct. There are an adequate number of examples in the text with nice color pictures. We believe they are in general accurate and correct, although we didn’t go through each one. The type of examples used are the same type as in Giancoli and Knight and we don’t think they are biased in any way. There is an instructor solution manual that comes with the text, an excellent feature here is that both the problem and solution are given. This makes choosing homework problems or problems to do in class much more convenient for the instructor. The online homework system WebAssign is available for this OpenStax text. It costs the students a nominal fee per term but we think it is in general an inexpensive alternate system to Mastering Physics which is included with Giancoli and Knight. Unlike Mastering Physics that has every single problem in Giancoli and Knight, Web Assign has only about one third of the problems in the back of each chapter. Both Web Assign and Mastering Physics have links to the text in many of the problems. However, where Mastering Physics has links to the appropriate pages for students to read before attempting a problem, Web Assign links to the beginning of the appropriate chapter. Mastering Physics is a much more comprehensive online homework system than Web Assign; it has tutorials, conceptual questions, and a test bank. The links to the PhET Interactive Simulations in the openstax text are also available on Mastering Physics for both Giancoli and Knight.
Most of the content in a physics text is over 200 years old so being up to date isn’t an issue. However, this text also includes many modern applications of physics such as medical applications of nuclear physics and particle physics. It also has a chapter called Frontiers of Physics that is up to date. In this regard it is equally as good as Giancoli and Knight and the risk of it becoming obsolete is negligible.
We found that the openstax text is quite wordy in its explanation of concepts. For example it takes about 10 lines to explain the concept of position whereas Giancoli uses one clear and concise sentence and Knight uses a simple example to explain the concept. The definition of position in the glossary of the openstax text at the end of the chapter is too vague. We think students in general have a very difficult time reading physics textbooks and if the explanations are too long they get lost. We expect this will be the case for most students immediately in the early chapters of this text.
The chapters in the text are organized in a consistent fashion throughout the book. The notation is also consistent.
It would be easy to pick individual chapters of this book to put together into 2 separate one semester courses just like any standard textbook.
The topics in this text are organized in the same order as both Giancoli and Knight. The Open Stax text has 34 chapters whereas Giancoli has 33 and Knight has 30.
The font in the openstax text is Arial and is smaller than the Times New Roman used in both Giancoli and Knight. It is also more closely spaced and goes to the edge of the pages. It is more difficult to read in print than either Giancoli or Knight but on a computer the student could zoom in to whatever resolution they choose.
We didn’t notice any grammatical errors.
We agree with this statement however since the text originates in the United States it refers to places and things in the US and not Canada. This is true of both Giancoli and Knight.
Instructors and physics departments should be very careful about choosing this textbook simply because it is free. The best existing textbooks are much better than the Open Stax textbook notwithstanding the cost implications. Overall we think that this text is overly comprehensive for a first year algebra based physics course. It explains many things that are best left for an instructor to discuss in class but should not require students to read. It would be a good reference for new teachers preparing lecture notes. We think that typical students would feel overwhelmed when trying to read this text. However, it would be appropriate as a resource for problems or specific explanations.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
a. Glossary is provided at the end of each chapter, but I feel the definitions are not detailed enough and are too specialized without read more
a. Glossary is provided at the end of each chapter, but I feel the definitions are not detailed enough and are too specialized without referencing the particular cases where it is applicable. For example, the rms equations work for sinusoidal functions (which is what the book deals with) but, that limitation is not clearly stated to the student. Some glossary terms are a bit too succinct and as a result are oversimplified. For example: "model: simplified description that contains only those elements necessary to describe the physics of a physical situation" b. Some glossary terms are repeated with a different definition “grounded: when a conductor is connected to the Earth, allowing charge to freely flow to and from Earth’s unlimited reservoir grounded: connected to the ground with a conductor, so that charge flows freely to and from the Earth to the grounded object” p. 652 c. The index is fairly detailed, easy to click on the page in the pdf. d. The range of topics covered is quite vast and is enough for a first-year introduction. However, the amount of detail provided for some of the basic concepts is in some cases too little.
I would need to go through the text with a fine-toothed comb to be able to say this with all certainty, but it seems that overall the material is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
I believe so, of course there are (as always) the photos with computers that look dated, but should not be difficult to fix. Many images are general enough to withstand the test of time. The material is modular enough that things could be added/removed/modified as needed.
a. I find that the explanations of the basics for many topics are too limited. More time is devoted to the (admittedly more interesting!) subtopics or ideas that follow the basics. I think that the explanations of the basics are lacking, especially in the later chapters, and the students may need to use additional references. However, the text is more interesting than others because of the inclusion of the extras. b. On the same theme, most examples are great ‘application’ type, however, many students may not be familiar with the terminology used for a particular device (such as a combustion engine or headphones/mic) and I feel insufficient explanation of each item is given. Also, some examples are a bit confusing, Fig. 16.18., Fig. 23.36 c. Much of the data is presented in a tabular format, an associated graphical representation would be useful. ex. table 14.4 d. The authors clearly tried to make connections with real-life examples and I think that is very helpful to get the students' intuition to connect to the challenging concepts.
Seems that way, I could find no glaring inconsistencies. The one thing that is a bit odd is some terms are defined twice with 2 different definitions. For example: Definitions at end of chapter repeats Ch. 11: “diastolic pressure: the minimum blood pres
a. Each chapter is sectioned, labeled and indexed well. Has own self-contained glossary and review at the end. Obviously, some chapters must be done after others, especially the specialized chapters, but this is not an issue. Other than that, there is not undue reliance on previously presented material. In fact, some material is repeated in several locations in the text as needed. b. In general, the text is quite large and would definitely need to be split up in some way. Chapters would have to be omitted or the text would have to be split into 2 parts. It seems that it lends itself well to that.
The tone of the text is definitely accessible to students, and is an easy read. However, the flow of ideas (in some cases) may be difficult for inexperienced students to follow. The thoughts are not compartmentalized, they are more of a lecture-style explanation rather than solid, clear-cut description of the material. I think this will work well for the more engaged students but may be difficult for the weaker students. This may potentially be an issue. Personally, I would have re-organized some of the chapter contents and grouped things together a bit differently (especially the circuits, EM chapters), but I think that is more of a personal preference rather than a criticism.
a. Images: There is quite a bit of jpeg aberration with images that are not photographs (which really should not be saved as jpegs in the first place). This appears on images such as graphs, vector diagrams, tables, etc. that were placed in as images, and this is really quite distracting. This would be an easy fix for the book authors, just saving the original images in a format which is more appropriate for that image type (such as bmp or gif) would remove the issue entirely. (ex. image on p.100 and many, many others) Aside from that, some pixilation is also evident in some photos, but not terrible. Most figures themselves are clear and of good size, but some are a bit cluttered and small, ex. 18.24. b. In general, some images have a feeling of being placed a bit haphazardly, maybe rounding the corners or putting a frame around them would have made them look more in-place. Other images look well integrated. c. Equations: Inconsistent sizing of things like brackets, superscripts look out of place, bars over symbols are too far just general formatting issues. Probably occurred when the document was converted to pdf. Some numbers look larger than the surrounding text. d. Navigation: The links that I tested worked (from index, to chapter section, to the PhET simulations).
None that I noticed.
Images try to be inclusive of various ethnicities. I saw no offensive terminology.
a. The use of the links to java games (PhET Interactive Simulations) is a great idea, though the games themselves are not particularly good or well-defined (it is not clear what the user is supposed to do to play the game). b. I’ve never been a huge fan of the prime (‘) notation for anything other than the derivative. Text uses it for the quantity “some time later” in Ch. 8. c. Some questions are of the “Professional application” nature, I think that is really nice to spark the students’ interest and show application of the material in the real world. d. Many biomedical applications and examples in this text. I do find this material interesting, but it is a definite extra that is very prevalent in the chapter questions as well as supporting chapters. I'm a fan of applications, but I wish the topics were a bit more varied. e. I like the presence of conceptual questions at the end of the chapters, gives the students a chance to test their 'general feel' of the concepts before plugging in numbers into equations. f. In terms of relevance to Canada: there are quite a few photographs of US navy, SOPS, NASA, security agents. Many examples of places in the United States, the book is definitely US-centric.
This review originated in the BC Open Textbook Collection and is licensed under CC BY-ND.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1. Introduction: The Nature of Science and Physics
- Chapter 2. Kinematics
- Chapter 3. Two-Dimensional Kinematics
- Chapter 4. Dynamics: Force and Newton's Laws of Motion
- Chapter 5. Further Applications of Newton's Laws: Friction, Drag, and Elasticity
- Chapter 6. Uniform Circular Motion and Gravitation
- Chapter 7. Work, Energy, and Energy Resources
- Chapter 8. Linear Momentum and Collisions
- Chapter 9. Statics and Torque
- Chapter 10. Rotational Motion and Angular Momentum
- Chapter 11. Fluid Statics
- Chapter 12. Fluid Dynamics and Its Biological and Medical Applications
- Chapter 13. Temperature, Kinetic Theory, and the Gas Laws
- Chapter 14. Heat and Heat Transfer Methods
- Chapter 15. Thermodynamics
- Chapter 16. Oscillatory Motion and Waves
- Chapter 17. Physics of Hearing
- Chapter 18. Electric Charge and Electric Field
- Chapter 19. Electric Potential and Electric Field
- Chapter 20. Electric Current, Resistance, and Ohm's Law
- Chapter 21. Circuits, Bioelectricity, and DC Instruments
- Chapter 22. Magnetism
- Chapter 23. Electromagnetic Induction, AC Circuits, and Electrical Technologies
- Chapter 24. Electromagnetic Waves
- Chapter 25. Geometric Optics
- Chapter 26. Vision and Optical Instruments
- Chapter 27. Wave Optics
- Chapter 28. Special Relativity
- Chapter 29. Introduction to Quantum Physics
- Chapter 30. Atomic Physics
- Chapter 31. Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics
- Chapter 32. Medical Applications of Nuclear Physics
- Chapter 33. Particle Physics
- Chapter 34. Frontiers of Physics
- Chapter 35. Atomic Masses
- Chapter 36. Selected Radioactive Isotopes
- Chapter 37. Useful Information
- Chapter 38. Glossary of Key Symbols and Notation
About the Book
This introductory, algebra-based, two-semester college physics book is grounded with real-world examples, illustrations, and explanations to help students grasp key, fundamental physics concepts. This online, fully editable and customizable title includes learning objectives, concept questions, links to labs and simulations, and ample practice opportunities to solve traditional physics application problems.
OpenStax College has compiled many resources for faculty and students, from faculty-only content to interactive homework and study guides.
About the Contributors
Senior Contributing Authors
Dr. Paul Peter Urone, California State University Sacramento
Dr. Roger Hinrichs, State University of New York, College at Oswego
Dr. Kim Dirks, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Dr. Manjula Sharma, University of Sydney, Australia