Conditions of Use
This textbook covers all of the topics which would typically be covered in a typical, year-long, introductory physics course. In fact, the book includes significantly more topics than a reasonably paced course should cover. read more
This textbook covers all of the topics which would typically be covered in a typical, year-long, introductory physics course. In fact, the book includes significantly more topics than a reasonably paced course should cover.
My most pressing concerns with the presentation of work and energy ideas in this textbook are the significant emphasis on “non-conservative” forces which do not conserve mechanical energy. While this language is common in physics textbooks, I personally do not think that it is pedagogically useful. Mechanical energy, like any other sub-category of energy, is not a conserved quantity. Total energy is a conserved quantity. Mechanical energy is merely constant for some systems under some conditions. Mechanical energy happens to be constant for idealized problems that many physicists particularly fancy (pendula, Atwood’s machines, etc…) To mistake a quantity which is constant under certain circumstances for a conserved quantity undermines the awe-inspiring idea of conservation. We are planning to adopt this text but create supplementary chapters to replace the current work and energy chapters (7 & 8). This modularity is a significant advantage an open-source textbook.
The book could be more responsive to research in physics education. The three textbooks written by Etkina, Knight and Mazur all reflect a much more significant influence of PER. Perhaps the most significant finding of PER (physics education research) is that students do not learn physics passively. They must be actively involved in the learning process in order to increase their conceptual understanding of physics concepts. Therefore, a textbook should encourage students to enter into an active internal dialogue about physics question and ideas. This text does raise some questions for students to think about but many of them are surface level or rhetorical questions: “What external forces act on him? Can we determine the origin of these forces?” These questions are unlikely to inspire deep thinking on the part of a student. I would encourage the authors to include more engaging elicitation questions and explicitly encourage students to take time to think about these questions before reading on. I really appreciate the authors effort to provide readers with learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter. That said, it is important that learners realize what they should be able to do with the ideas in the chapter. For example, in chapter 5 the LO’s are: distinguish between kinematics and dynamics; understand the definition of force; identify simple free-body diagrams; define the SI unit of force, the newton; and describe force as a vector. I would suggest that a student would read these and interpret them as: memorize the definitions for kinematics and dynamics; memorize the definition of force; recognize something called a free-body diagram when someone shows it to you; memorize the definition of the Newton; and memorize that a force is a vector. Instead, I would recommend that the authors provide learning objectives which would foreground student agency such as: identify the forces on an object in a real-world situation and use a free body diagram to represent those forces; or describe each force as an interaction between two objects and identify the two objects involved in everyday force interactions; etc… Another significant finding of PER is that students often think the physics they learn about in physics classes does not apply to real-world situations. Ideally, a textbook should re-enforce the idea that physics ideas can be applied to real scenarios. The very first figure in the introduction to forces (5.3) presents some problems. The figure shows a situation in which two ice-skaters are pushing on a third skater. The third skater would experience a net force and, therefore, an acceleration. But hold on. Both skaters are pushing with straight, locked arms. Based on the figure, it seems more likely that they are holding the skater in place, not causing her to accelerate. The physics says the third skater is accelerating but the figure suggests she is being held in place. Who could blame students for wondering if physics concepts actually describe real stuff happening? It might be better to provide a real photograph of an object which is actually accelerating. I did appreciate some of the later examples such as rock climbing, running and tendons which made explicit connections to interesting, real-world, phenomena.
The writing is clear, accessible and relatively concise.
I had significant concerns about inconsistencies in the labeling of forces. For example, in figure 5.4 forces are labeled according to the type of force (weight, normal, friction). In figure 5.6 the forces are now labeled according to the other object involved in the force interaction (table, chair, floor) but the gravitational interaction between the person and Earth is still labeled weight which is not an object. These inconsistencies in labeling could be very confusing for a student who is learning about forces for the first time. I would prefer that the authors introduce forces as interactions from the beginning and then label them accordingly, similar to figure 5.16 but with the type of force interaction also included in the labeling.
I do not see any significant constraints to using these resources in a modular fashion.
I am of the opinion that energy should be presented before work. Otherwise, students are merely learning about work because their teacher says it is important. I think that conservation of energy should be used to motivate work as a way to quantify one mechanism of energy transfer. Other than this, I found the sequencing to be logical.
The book is fairly easy to navigate in the digital format.
I found the writing in the book to be largely free of grammatical errors and typos.
I don't find the textbook insensitive but I do not see much effort to support culturally relevant physics learning. The topics covered in this volume could foster learner engagement with important historically and culturally situated topics like: subjectivity and inclusion in physics, energy equity and energy justice. Perhaps future editions will incorporate these culturally relevant topics.
We are planning to adopt this textbook in the fall because we think it is the most comprehensive and well written open-source textbooks available for introductory calculus-based physics. As someone who has been actively involved in physics education research for the past two decades, I am a very critical reviewer so please bear that in mind when you are considering my comments above. This author team has made a significant and valuable contribution in creating this open resource. I would, however, recommend that the authors consult with an expert who is well-versed in PER if they undertake a substantial revision of the textbook.
This text covers all topics typically found in an introductory level calculus based physics text. read more
This text covers all topics typically found in an introductory level calculus based physics text.
The content of the text is accurate, but there are frequent errors in the solutions manual.
The content of the text is up to date and the open source nature of the text makes it easier to update than traditional texts.
The presentation of topics is made in a clear, accessible, and approachable way, including many visuals and examples.
There are a few instances where the choice of symbols is confusing, but otherwise the text is consistent in terminology.
I used this text for readings in my class, but my presentation of topics in the course differed immensely from the organization of the text (which is similar to most traditional physics textbooks). Yet, it was relatively easy to assign subsections of the text for readings and jump around to different chapters without requiring content from previous chapters.
The topics are presented in the traditional fashion for introductory physics, i.e. mechanics first and then conservation laws.
Many of my students used the app feature and appreciated the ability to use links to different sections of the text rather than flipping through pages.
No grammatical errors that I noticed.
There are only a few cultural or historical references, most of which are typical for an introductory physics course. The images and cartoon figures of people are overwhelmingly male. Much more effort could be made to include examples and figures of people from a variety of races and ethnicities.
I surveyed my students on their thoughts on this text. Overall, they preferred this text over a traditional paid textbook. In addition to the low cost for a print copy or no cost at all, the students appreciated the app and pdf formats, so that it was easily accessible. They found it was clear and easy to read, but perhaps not as comprehensive and detailed as other texts. I found that the presentation of topics and examples were better than traditional physics texts, but the homework problems were typically too easy (or too challenging) and I did not appreciate the Unreasonable Results type of homework problem. There are still many errors in the solutions manual. The benefits to the students outweigh these issues and I definitely plan to use this text in future courses.
The textbook covers all topics covered in first-semester engineering physics in sufficient detail. read more
The textbook covers all topics covered in first-semester engineering physics in sufficient detail.
I haven't seen major errors in one semester (Fall 2019) of using this textbook as the sole required textbook for my class. Students are encouraged (through extra credit) to report errors and I have not seen many reported. N.B. as with all books, there are typos and minor errors; no other publisher has as open and transparent process for errata report and review as OpenStax does.
The organization of the textbook is completely standard for engineering physics (and Volume 1 happens to match exactly with the first semester at my school).
It is certainly accessible---the textbook is on the longer side compared to other similar textbooks, which might suggest that a future edition (or a derived version) might be able to shorten some sections without losing content---but the content that exist are accessible and comprehensible.
Yes---and in minor cases where they weren't (e.g. consistent use of theta or phi for angles), I submitted errata reports, some of which have already been acted on.
Yes---I particularly like the organization of Units 1 and 2. While at my college, both units are covered in the same semester, not all colleges cover engineering physics sequences in the same order, and the separate organization of Units 1 and 2 makes it more likely that entirety of Unit 1 can be taught in one semester (and the "floating topics" in Unit 2 might fit in a different semester/quarter).
Yes, the ordering of topics is completely standard for engineering physics (of course, some have experimented with nontraditional ordering, including Feyman's lectures at Caltech, but it's good to have a "vanilla" textbook as a starting place).
The online version has recently undergone a significant upgrade (and I think it's an improvement over the old version---I personally agree with the trade-off made between usability and making past versions more readily available). The PDF version has always been fairly usable (there were always some minor issues regarding where line/paragraph breaks are relative to the page, but those are only minor distractions, except perhaps to the graphic designers).
I noticed very few grammatical errors in one semester of using this textbook for my class.
The figures and examples do try to be inclusive of all genders, ethnicities, and cultures. While physics as a discipline continues to struggle with gender representations and authentic inclusion of underrepresented minority groups, this textbook is no worse than any other textbook currently on the market.
This is a great textbook that is a great resource to all teachers and students of calculus-based general physics. Physics education is an area in which we are always trying to improve (and sometimes make a progress in; sometimes fall behind in certain areas), and while this textbook breaks no new ground, it gives a wonderful, traditional starting place---and its open license means would-be pioneers don't have to re-make the whole wheel; just improve on parts that have been pain points for you and your students.
The book is comprehensive covering the traditional aspects of a classical physics first year at any College or University. It is well organized and follows a traditional logical order, ie. units & dimensions, mechanics, heat, E&M, Optics... read more
The book is comprehensive covering the traditional aspects of a classical physics first year at any College or University. It is well organized and follows a traditional logical order, ie. units & dimensions, mechanics, heat, E&M, Optics & Modern Physics etc., There are a great number of original questions and problems, with a range of difficulty, although most of the problems are too simple and repeat the same basic concepts.
So far all problems I have worked through are accurate and up to date examples. I have only found one typological error in an example problem, but the answer was correct based on putting the parentheses in the correct place. I submitted the errors via their site where errata can be submitted by users and those submissions can be seen by users. https://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/university-physics-volume-1/errata
The section on Units and Standards talks about the redefining of the kilogram using fundamental constants. This indicates that the text is regularly updated. There are also problems using modern objects such as drones or contemporary cars which helps make the problems more engaging.
In general, the book is lucid and accessible. Sometimes the steps for calculating the calculus problems are not detailed enough so that for a student who is currently learning calculus it is tough for them to follow the logic and steps. There are times when the book is a little too simplistic and feels like Middle School level of reading, and then there are times when the reading is dense and needs to be explained more clearly.
The book is very consistent.
There is little room to skip around as most of the material builds on previous chapters. This is normal in any introductory physics course and tough to avoid. So hard to imagine how to do it otherwise.
The book follows the basic pattern of most introductory physics books. It would be nice to have an overview of calculus for students that are currently taking calculus while taking the physics class. Also seems like gravity should be introduced during the discussion of Newton's Laws of Motion. Fine overall though.
The Interface has been great. However, the PDF sometimes has confusing to read equations in the way they are written but looks fine on the online format. I wish there were links to videos or demonstrations of solving problems.
Grammar is fantastic overall for the book. Found only one-word choice that should be the opposite of the word used.
The topic is culturally neutral and has no offensive terms used in it. And it attempts to use female and male genders in problems, although one example had them mixed up.
The book is good overall for a basic classical physics class using Calculus. There are times when it is too simplistic and not enough depth with examples, and the homework has been too simple. I also found all the problems already worked out on Slader, so it makes it hard to use if you don't want the students to know what the answers are before attempting the homework problems. Works great with Canvas cartridge and has Powerpoints and can link up with other LMS homework systems. Also, there a separate lab needs to be developed to go along with the book, although there are links to demos that could be used as a very simple lab experience.
Some of the drawings are too basic. I don't want the authors to go overboard here and try and duplicate other for cost books. They need to improve the drawings some while keeping them simple. read more
Some of the drawings are too basic. I don't want the authors to go overboard here and try and duplicate other for cost books. They need to improve the drawings some while keeping them simple.
I found quite a few typos in the text. The physics is well presented. They need to fix the typos.
Book material is very up to date and relevant.
This book is a bit wordy.
There needs to be an edit to make the material more consistent.
Chapters can be taught out of order. This book is modular.
The organization is normal.
The interface is good.
There are many typos in the book and problems.
This book could become a classic!
I want there to be one more good edit for typos and to improve the drawings and sketches before I adopt this book for class.
Almost all the universities offer a two- or three-semester long calculus- based course in physics. Typically, this course is taken by undergraduate majors in science and engineering. The book by Samuel J. Ling, Jeff Sanny and William Moebs... read more
Almost all the universities offer a two- or three-semester long calculus- based course in physics. Typically, this course is taken by undergraduate majors in science and engineering. The book by Samuel J. Ling, Jeff Sanny and William Moebs covers all the appropriate subject materials that are needed by science and engineering majors.
All the basic concepts and ideas of physics are described accurately in this textbook. Majority of these ideas and concepts have been known for more than a hundred years.
It is highly unlikely that basic notions of physics, as known at the level of this textbook, will change and become obsolete during foreseeable future. It is a fair assumption that this textbook will stay quite relevant for a reasonable period of time.
Even though the book is written in a very clear and straighforward language, there are certain places where much more information is provided than is necessary to explain and understand basic laws and principles of physics. For example, a student taking his/her first course in physics might not appreciate idea behind Fermi calculations of Chapter 1. In fact, all the ideas presented in Chapter 1 can be covered in one lecture period.
The book seems to be consistent in terminology. While using this book in the classroom, no inconsistencies were discovered or found.
Each chapter in the book is divided into various subsections. Furthermore, each subsection starts with a list of Learning Objectives. This modularity makes it easy for the instructor to take out certain subsections in the class if time is limited.
The book is organized into 17 chapters and the contents of each chapter are outlined in the beginning of each chapter. Depending on the available time, it is possible to omit a certain chapter without losing the flow of lectures. In my own case, while teaching this course I was able to omit chapter 14 (Fluid Mechanics) without losing my continuity to the next chapter.
Even though there are no significant interface issues, it appears as if some material has been taken from other sources (such as internet) without cleaning it up for this textbook. For example, the last column of Figure 1.4 labels a heartbeat with symbols P, Q, R, S, and T, which are never explained.
The language in the prose of the textbook is mostly free from any grammatical errors. The reading of the book flows very easily and smoothly.
I did not see or find any part of the textbook that can be considered culturally insensitive or offensive. All laws of physics apply equally across all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
Overall, I like this first-semester textbook of physics. However, in my opinion, the textbook has very few challenging honors-level problems. Majority of the problems are one-step plug and chug kind of problems. At our university, we offer two separate sections of calculus-based physics, one for regular students and the other for honors students. It would be nice to include some additional multi-step problems that can be assigned only to honors students. A personal note: Last year when I received a paper copy of this textbook from the publisher for teaching my class, it came in a total black-and-white format. Various figures in that edition were in several shades of gray. Now, for review purposes when I opened the pdf version of the same book online, I was pleasantly surprised to see it in color. I assure you that coloring of various parts of any textbook is simply wonderful.
A typical course in introductory physics must cover a pretty standard set of topics. This text does a very good job at visiting all of them, following a standard presentation sequence that begins with a chapter on units and measurements and ends... read more
A typical course in introductory physics must cover a pretty standard set of topics. This text does a very good job at visiting all of them, following a standard presentation sequence that begins with a chapter on units and measurements and ends with a comprehensive discussion of wave mechanics. It often connects the subject with contemporary applications, with some relevant topics treated in the problem set, including examples of bio-inspired problems. In some cases it goes beyond the standard text, for example, when incorporates detailed calculus derivations and the presentation of advanced topics such as relativity (at the end of the chapter on gravitation) and Poiseuille and turbulent flows (in the chapter on fluid mechanics). The only major absence is the treatment of wave optics, which is discussed at length in volume III, where electromagnetic waves and modern physics are discussed. A comprehensive list of problems is included at the end of each chapter. The problem sets are conveniently divided into conceptual questions and regular problems, both grouped according to the chapter sections. A set of additional problems and challenge problems complements the problem set. Answer keys for some of the problems are provided in the back of the book. The text has an index with essential physics terms and a basic table of contents. An extensive glossary appears at the end of each chapter, which is convenient.
This text deals mostly with mechanics, oscillations and wave mechanics. The reviewer has not found any significant problems related to accuracy either in the text or examples proposed. The few issues found are listed below. One minor issue found in the text is its use of the term “weight” for the action of the force of gravity on the object. Despite of being the practice in old physics textbooks, this choice can easily become a difficult conceptual problem for students for two main reasons. First, students normally associate weight with mass and this can be confusing. Second, while the action of the force of gravity on an object is always mass x acceleration of gravity, regardless of the situation, the sensation we normally describe as weight is associated with the normal force. This is particularly evident in problems that involve loops. In a roller coaster, for example, the passenger experiences greater "weight" at the bottom of the loop due to the normal force, which is larger than the force of gravity on the object to provide enough centripetal acceleration. Instructors must be aware of the issue and warn students about the subtleties associated with the use of “weight” for the force of gravity. In the problem set, there were a few issues spotted and listed below: 1) In chapter 2, which introduces vectors, a number of problems involve forces. This is great, except that forces have not been defined yet. It may be a good idea to at least talk a little about the concept before assigning these problems. 2) Problem 4.26 illustrates a common bothersome thing: the right-hand-side of the equation has incorrect units, unless t is a unitless quantity, which is not stated in the problem and incompatible with t being associated with time. This happens fairly frequently with their “calculus-like” problems. 3) Problem 5.27 it is quite confusing when asks to find the ill-defined quantity “the acceleration of a system.” The main problem here is that the concept of a center of mass has not yet been introduced, which would be necessary to solve the problem properly. 4) Problem 9.27 is a bit silly. It asks to find an average force using the concept of impulse of an object of known mass, but to do so requires first finding the acceleration (which we are told to assume is constant); so, one can answer the question half-way through the problem. Not incorrect, but kind of silly. 5) Problem 9.36 has a remarkably misleading illustration. 6) Problem 12.38 again has a picture that is quite misleading. These are some issues that have been spotted in this review. It is quite possible that there are others, most likely in the problem set. Nevertheless, it is important to note that OpenStax has a transparent process of review and correction of errata. In their website one can find a list of past errata changes and the current version of the text.
Apart from the fact that the physics covered in the book has not changed for the past 200 years, and yet it is still relevant, the text tries to maintain its relevance by using contemporary applications both in the examples and in the problem sets. Examples of this effort is found in several places, for example, Section 6.4 on drag force and terminal speed, which includes a discussion of contemporary applications for reducing aerodynamics and hydrodynamic drag, and Section 8.5 on sources of energy, where a discussion of energy uses and clean energy is presented. Often times contemporary applications problems appear in the Example Problems, such as Example 9.9, 10.3, and 11.3, or in the Challenge Problems section.
This text is written in a clear way and its prose is perfectly appropriate for the audience it is intended for--college students with background in algebra, trigonometry and some basic concepts of calculus. It often describes the historical context of physical principles it introduces. One example is the discussion of dynamics in Section 5.1 right before forces and the history of Gravitation in section 13.1. It includes several opportunities for the reader to see the direct application of the theory developed in the text with appropriate examples. The examples always end with a section discussing its significance, feasibility and physical meaning. The text also includes “check your understanding” sections (followed by a with a distinguished icon), where the reader is invited to think about small variations of the example to test his or her comprehension of the problem. Other aspects that improve the readability of the text and enhance its clarity are: 1) Clear and helpful images and diagrams. 2) Yellow boxes highlighting important equations 3) Blue boxes highlighting important concepts or strategies. 4) Use of bold face for jargon and technical terminology, whose definitions are provided in the glossary at the end of each chapter. 5) Several external links to simulations and other media to enhance understanding.
For this review no problems were found with internal consistency of the symbols, equations or terminology provided in the text.
As expected for a text in introductory physics, there are serious difficulties with modularity. The chapters follow a logic exposition of concepts that naturally builds on previous chapters. In this sense the textbook is not modular and each chapter develops concepts found in previous ones. On the other hand, the chapters themselves are well organized and it is easy to select sections from a chapter for a course with a specific goal. The fact that a large portion of the problem sets follows the chapter divisions it is also very helpful, since one can easily select the problems relevant for the sections in consideration.
The presentation of the text is clear and follows a typical sequence of subjects in standard introductory physics textbooks. Nice aspects of its organization are: 1) Chapter outlines in the beginning of every chapter. 2) A description of the learning objectives in the beginning of each section. 3) Subsections within the sections for further organization of topics. 4) Clearly selected areas for examples with clearly divided subsections that help navigate the solution. 5) Chapter reviews that include glossary of terms, key equations and summary. 6) Practice problem sets divided in “conceptual” and “problems” grouped by the same sections found in the chapter, plus additional problems and challenge problems. 7) Inclusion of “unreasonable results” problems designed to challenge students to evaluate the physical reasonableness of the assumptions and calculations.
The textbook can be accessed in the following platforms: physical hard copy, PDF files that can be downloaded from the site, interfaced in a web browser, iBook version for apple devices, and app for android. The PDF version has hyperlinks in the table of content that greatly helps navigation. It also has hyperlinks for the external content. Other than that, the PDF is identical to the hard-copy version of the textbook. The presentation of the book in a web browser has a few features that distinguishes it from the PDF version. It has a table of content navigation window that can be deployed for faster navigation, a search tab that is really handy to find specific content in the text, and forward and backward buttons to transition between sections of a chapter. It also contains tabs at the bottom with specific information about Download versions, Errata History, Attribution and Full Reference Information. Finally the web version contains a slightly better design than the PDF version, with examples showing in different backgrounds and an improved rendition of equations. The text is filled with hyperlinks to sections references in the text and external links. One downside, however, is the fact that bold face words do not have hyperlinks to their definitions in the glossary. Overall the presentation in a web browser is superior than in the hard-copy version and it is obviously easier for navigation. The iBook version of the text is the one that has the most pleasing visual presentation of the text. Several items of the text are available as separate windows that pop up or scroll down. They are: example problems, figures, list of learning objectives, special sections on problem solving strategies, and solutions to “check your understanding” challenges. Another great feature of the iBook version is the ability to highlight the text and write notes. This can be a game changer for classes that require reading as an integral part of the learning experience. Finally the problem section has a number of resource boxes at the bottom of the page including chapter figures, chapter formulas, units and symbols, mathematical formulas, and conversion factors, among others. These are available as appendices in the regular textbook. This is by far one of the most helpful features in the iBook version. On the downside, the iBook version is not free, but can be bought for less than ten dollars. OpenStax also offer an Android App for the book. The book in the app looks and feels like the web browser version of the book. There is none of the nice features available in the iBook version. Some of the equations have a few typesetting problems and the text is better displayed in landscape than in portrait direction. In all of these interfaces, the images, texts and diagrams appear clear and sharp, with no distortions. All the hyperlinks tested work as expected.
In this review, no grammatical errors were found.
The text is mostly gender neutral and has no culturally insensitive or offensive language. The problem sets are gender inclusive and uses both “he” and “she” pronouns as well as illustrations of both male and female characters. However, the same cannot be said about race, ethnicity or backgrounds. The overwhelming majority of people depicted are Caucasian and there are only a few examples of people from different races. No people from different ethnic groups are depicted in the illustrations.
This book also comes with an array of features for the instructor. They are: 1) PowerPoint Slides 2) Instructor solutions guide (note that it is not the complete solution for the problems but only the correct answer with a few comments) 3) Canvas Course Cartridge In addition OpenStax offer a browser extension - Insert Learning - that allows instructors to customize the text by inserting questions, discussions, notes and additional media. This is a feature that can really enhance the textbook. Overall University Physics I from OpenStax is a very good book, rich in resources, created with deep concern for quality content and seamlessly integration in electronic platforms. Its minor flaws are nothing compared to the advantage of being cost free or very low cost. It is well worth adoption.
The text follows a very common theme when it comes to how the content is covered: first start off with basic math, then go into kinematics, then dynamics, followed by work and energy, then momentum. They add in rotational aspects of all mechanics... read more
The text follows a very common theme when it comes to how the content is covered: first start off with basic math, then go into kinematics, then dynamics, followed by work and energy, then momentum. They add in rotational aspects of all mechanics scattered about a few chapters, which I personally wouldn't do. But, I do understand the ideas behind not thinking of rotational motion as it's own entity to study, but rather apart of other concepts in physics. All in all, though, courses often stop at momentum, but this text delves into various applications of theory starting from Static Equilibrium and Elasticity (Chapter 12).
It’s hard to be biased in a science textbook. I found no bias and the content seems accurate.
The section on Units and Standards talk about the redefining of the kilogram using fundamental constants. This indicates that the text is regularly updated.
I really appreciate their strict use of symbols to form accurate equations, whereas some textbooks might leave them out. For example, the line consistently place on top of the velocity symbol, v, indicates the average of that quantity and not simply the quantity at one point in time. This is important to fostering student understanding through consistency. They do make the assumption (which was explained in text) with t0 being zero very early on. I would feel it be helpful to linger the t0 symbol for a while before making such assumptions so the students knows that the t0 doesn’t simply disappear for no apparent reason. I think this book is clear to the reader in a hurry, but not too much in a hurry. Some sentences are a little hard to understand if the context isn’t clear.
One note on consistency is that this text uses a lot of content (especially in the early chapters) and images that were used in the OpenStax College Physics text. I actually really liked this as this can serve as an alleviation of students’ cognitive dissonance when taking University Physics after completing College Physics. Also, the image choice is quality, and so should be used multiple times in the same subject. I like how the two texts, in a way, talk to each other with respect to content. The gray Example box is especially well put-together. In each box, there is a question, strategy, solution, and significance section. This is consistent throughout the text, although very few times the significance part is left out.
The text has four types of non-lecture box-types within the reading: Learning Objectives, Examples, Check Your Understanding, and boxes that highlight an important equation or concept. The first three boxes give the reader the opportunity to preview the material in an organized fashion, learn from examples (if the generalized instructions don’t make clear sense), and reviewing what was learned. The last box highlights what’s important for problem-solving and is easily re-accessible for later use. This is a very helpful pedagogical tool. I would like to see more boxing of useful equations and concepts. For example, on the section of Significant Figures, they write out the rule in text form without any highlighting of the short description of the rule itself. I’m not sure if that was purposefully done for pedagogical means, but I would have listed the rules for finding significant figures in an easily viewable manner.
The flow is common in many textbooks. I generally want to group like-concepts together, but I understand that many textbooks are going in the direction of explaining concepts as they come along and use them right away. This is a new and potentially promising procedure for texts. I found it interesting to talk about common types of forces AFTER going over all of Newton’s Laws. I would have had trouble doing any example problems for Newton’s Second Law, for example, without first going over types of forces that students will encounter. They used DRAG and FRICTION in their examples, and then only talked about FRICTION briefly in the next few sections. I found that a little displeasing. On another note, I find that oscillation and waves are usually coupled with optics and electricity/magnetism. However, in the three-volume set here, oscillation and waves are in Volume I while Optics are in Volume III.
As far as interface goes, I found no flaws in the images, text, and equations.
I found no grammatical errors
I find nothing offensive in this text. The text makes human examples very impersonal (in a good way) and doesn’t really give names to them. Example, they refer to a person walking on a train in Example 7.7 as “person”.
I am thinking of using this text for future calculus-based class I teach. Though there are very few issues with the text that I, personally, would like changed, the overall quality is on par with texts that students have to purchase.
University Physics, Volume 1 by Ling, Sanny and Moebs covers the typical topics found in a first semester physics course. The example problems are well worked out. Students who are familiar with traditional textbooks should have no problem using... read more
University Physics, Volume 1 by Ling, Sanny and Moebs covers the typical topics found in a first semester physics course. The example problems are well worked out. Students who are familiar with traditional textbooks should have no problem using this one. There are concepts of vector manipulation and use of spherical and cylindrical coordinates that are missing. Overall, if an online homework system is not needed, this is a decent textbook for beginning students.
There are no major errors, but some items are a misleading. E.g., Figure 3 in section 4.1 is disorienting by having North and East directions both point radially outward from the Earth. The explanation of torque and angular momentum is typically not robust and the examples are confusing. I would suggest rewriting this section or supplementing it.
The content of the book is about physics over a century old (300 years in most cases). The material is not going to change but I suspect that interactive online resources will supplant the text pasted online that is here.
The examples are clearly explained. In an online setting, interactive applets or at minimum some animations would help a lot. The 3D diagrams could be replaced with non-static images (either slow rotating gif or user controlled POV). I think that’s a missed opportunity. The “solutions” to some problems are simply answers, not a step by step solution that would be helpful to students. I also dislike the large number of derived equations presented in lists. This gives the impression that memorization of the equations is important, not applying the simple principles and doing the necessary algebra, trigonometry or calculus.
The text is consistent in its use of terms and variables. However, summations are done early in the text without indices (Newton’s Laws) but are fixed in the section equilibrium.
There is little ability to skip around as most of the material builds on previous chapters. This is inherent in introductory physics, anyway. It is possible to skip around a bit. E.g., you could cover parts of universal gravitation right after Newton’s Laws and return to potential energy and Kepler’s laws when covering those concepts. Same would be possible with covering momentum prior to work and energy.
The organization is similar to that in many other texts, nothing surprising. The introduction of momentum/Impulse should be done with Newton’s Laws and then collisions handled after the introduction of KE. This is a problem with most texts, anyway. The material generally flows smoothly. There are appropriate hyperlinks to other material in the text.
The interface is easy to use. I think it would be better to embed interactive examples rather than hyperlink to external material. But because it is easy to click and see some related material (within or external to the text), there is some advantage to the interface over a paper text.
None noticed except the summation indices (e.g. in the net force eqn.).
The topic is culturally neutral as is this text.
I would recommend the text if there is no requirement for an online homework system. I will also list it in future as an additional resource for the students. This would also be helpful to anyone needing to refresh some of the more basic concepts. If cost is a primary concern on textbook adoption, this makes a good choice.
This book strikes an effective balance between rigor and breadth. It introduces key concepts slowly enough to help many beginners become comfortable with Physics concepts without being overwhelmed. It also allows for a dependable reference for... read more
This book strikes an effective balance between rigor and breadth. It introduces key concepts slowly enough to help many beginners become comfortable with Physics concepts without being overwhelmed. It also allows for a dependable reference for more advanced students, who can cover the material more quickly but will not be bored by the presentation. I worked some of the advanced challenge problems given throughout and they seemed to be sufficiently rigorous for an advanced student to challenge herself or himself.
The content seems thorough and accurate throughout. The one not-quite error I found was in the chapter on sound which presented resonance pipe antinodes occurring at open ends and nodes at closed ends. This is true but only for displacement, not pressure, which is at least misleading since all of sound covered up to that point dealt with pressure, and the diagrams didn't clearly state what was being measured.
This is the best free general physics textbook I have found so far, and it provides examples and application points which point to relevant technology and cultural phenomena, but usually in a general enough way that it does not require a separate update every 5 years. One exception is the photo of an early iPhone as an example of GPS - it already looks a bit dated given the pace of cell phone updates, and I expect it will seem moreso to students as time goes on, given the familiarity of this generation with the latest in smartphone technology.
I liked the text pretty well. A couple of times it seemed they were glossing over something or leaving something as a challenge problem without fully grounding it in theory, but this was the exception rather than the rule.
The book is pretty consistent, although the order of presentation of subject necessitates some fluctuation on that count. Later chapters on waves and sound go back and forth between being a bit over-didactic, introducing lots of concepts, and then being extremely mathematical, referencing concepts such as kinetic and potential energy of the wave, introducing lots of equations. I expected the book overall to be more consistently math-y throughout, but the use of text blocks to introduce other applications was not uncalled for, and I think many students would respond positively to it.
I am considering using part of this textbook for a graduate course on acoustics that I teach. It will need to be supplemented with other sound-centric materials since even this book's chapters on sound focus more on physical acoustics than perception of sound or musical sound. Still, there were some diagrams and sections that were better than some texts I have used in the past, and since it's free I don't have to worry about students paying $200 for a text they only read part of.
I would have restructured the order of some of the concepts, probably waiting on waves until after a more thorough introduction of Newtonian mechanics and E/M. But these are always contentious issues in physics education.
Once I increased the text size, the online version was fairly easy to read. Sometimes I did not care much for the format, layout, text-to-space ratios, etc, but those may be different in the pdf version. Some of the photo figures likewise do not seem to be neatly formatted.
I didn't notice any grammatical errors.
In the sense that physics is trying to study the universal, so too does this book. There are some unavoidable cultural references in the application points, but those seem considered and not focused on any one place or people group.
In general, this is a good book for intro physics classes. I will probably not make it my only textbook for my acoustics course, but I may use it so supplement some wave concepts here and there.
This book is very comprehensive covering every aspect of a major physics first year at any University. It is well orgainised and follows a traditional logical order, ie. units & dimensions, mechanics, heat, E&M,Optics & Modern Physics... read more
This book is very comprehensive covering every aspect of a major physics first year at any University. It is well orgainised and follows a traditional logical order, ie. units & dimensions, mechanics, heat, E&M,Optics & Modern Physics etc., There are a great number of original questions and problems, with a range of difficulty, and an Instructors manual is available to registered instructors. There are also slides and a students solutions manual.
There are no discernible errors in the text and each topic is dealt with in the professional way you would expect of a physics text.
The books contents are standard basic (but comprehensive) physics. There is plenty of room for expansion within the text. but perhaps a pitful is its comprehensiveness and there fore size, for all three volumes 2500+ pages, altough that will last most courses getting on two full years. Includes discussion, some questions and problems on Higgs boson for example.
the volumes are somwhat dense in parts with small text but none the less very readable. there are plenty of two tone diagrams and full colour pictures to aid the reader.
the team of authors over the three volumes have provided a consistency of approach in nomenclature and units etc.
this could be improved upon a bit. It is quote cumbersome to edit the book and extract pieces that are not whole sections or whole chapters. an more eaisly editable form would be welcomed.
The book follows an very familiar traditional flow that will be familiar to all physics majors. It would be best, stating the obvious, to start at the begingin and following the book through in chapter order. This is more to do with the subject matter than the book.
There are no problems with the layout or interface of the material. All equations and diagrams are clear and pristine in theit native form. However they do not so easly lend them selves to editing.
Overall the texts are written in a clear style free from any gammatilcal errors
This would be the best resource I have ever found - IF - it was easier to edit and use in a bespoke way.
Excellent and detailed coverage of mechanics, sound, oscillations, and waves at early years university study. read more
Excellent and detailed coverage of mechanics, sound, oscillations, and waves at early years university study.
A well established text where errors and inaccuracy is not apparent on first read through.
Text covers the fundamental of physics which will not date and examples and questions are relevant and current.
The text is written with a use of language and clarity that makes it accessible to students.
Formatting, layout, etc. are consistent within chapters and throughout the book.
The chapters have a structure that would allow individual sections to be assigned and chapters could be delivered in alternative ordering.
The physics content in the text follows a logical and coherent order.
I have not found any problems with the book's interface [using pdf version].
I have not found grammatical errors in the text.
I have not found anything in the book that would be considered culturally insensitive or offensive.
This textbook (university physics volume 2) covers two units of introductory physics, thermodynamics and E&M, although usually we do not combine these two units in a one-semester course in our institute. The electricity and magnetism part can... read more
This textbook (university physics volume 2) covers two units of introductory physics, thermodynamics and E&M, although usually we do not combine these two units in a one-semester course in our institute. The electricity and magnetism part can serve as a standalone textbook for a one-semester calculus based university physics course. All the topics in a similar course I offered for many years can be found in this textbook. Volume 2 ends at the discussion of Maxwell's equations and the E&M waves. It is very easy to adapt the material in the textbook to a common university physics course to cover electricity and magnetism. There are many wonderful examples to show the students how to apply the concepts discussed in the text. And the sets of homework are particularly useful for the teachers and students. However, if your course is designed to manage homework online, for example, LON-CAPA, you probably need some time to write the codes in order to use the homework problems. In my course, I continue with diffraction of waves and ray optics. If the authors can change the outline of the contents to include optics in volume 2, that will be wonderful.
The concepts and examples in this textbook are accurate.
For a university physics course focus on electricity and magnetism, the content is similar to most of the textbooks in the market. The contents presented in this textbook are up-to-date and require a minimum amount of updates.
The concepts are clearly explained with sometimes good examples to go with them. The text is easy to read. For a student took calculus courses, there is no difficulty of understanding the mathematics used in the examples and the equations.
The connections and the framework of the topics presented in this textbook are standard, thus it is very consistent.
The layout of the textbook is very clear. All the modules can be readily adapted and divided into smaller reading sections and lecture notes.
It is a very clear structure of the topics. This structure is common and similar to other commercial available textbooks.
The equations in the textbook are highlighted and hyperlinked. So, it is very easy to navigate.
I found no grammatical errors so far.
The text is not culturally insensitive.
Some of the cartoon drawings are not high quality. For example, Figures 6.3, 6.4, 6.6, 6.7, it is not easy to see the 3-d drawings of the pictures. If the pictures were drawn using a professional software, the textbook would be beautiful. Similar thing is the equation, particularly when a vector is involved.
This is the first in a 3-volume set. It covers all of classical mechanics along with waves and oscillations. It is appropriate for a calculus-based physics course in a 3-semester sequence. Combined with the other volumes, it can be adapted to... read more
This is the first in a 3-volume set. It covers all of classical mechanics along with waves and oscillations. It is appropriate for a calculus-based physics course in a 3-semester sequence. Combined with the other volumes, it can be adapted to use in a 2-semester sequence. The book does have an excellent index in the PDF version. Online, it has searchable content, but I could not find an index. The table of contents, however, should be sufficient for a student to use it as a reference book. The book does have a glossary for each chapter, giving the meaning of bolded words throughout. These definitions are concise and accurate.
The content is accurate. I’ve reviewed chapter 4, which is on 2-dimensional motion. The authors give a nice treatment of vectors, projectile, and circular motion. I like how they bring in more advanced topics, like Brownian motion, as they present these ideas. Instead of dealing with generic vectors, like many textbooks, the authors present only the displacement, velocity, and acceleration vectors. I prefer to present vectors mathematically first, without physical context, but I’ll try this next semester.
This is a solid, introductory, calculus-based physics text. I expect these basics of physics to last long beyond what anyone can envision. The pedagogy, too, is up-to-date. The students get lots of practice as they work through each section. However, I’d love to see Concept Coach and/or Tutor implemented for this book. Physics is difficult without deliberate and spaced practice. These tools can help the student to master physics.
Of course, the book does use appropriate language, which will be unfamiliar with most students. However, the vocabulary builds in each chapter, and the text has links back to previous material when it is referenced in the chapter. Of course, the PDF doesn’t have the same linkable text. Again, the glossary does offer good, simple definitions of bolded words.
This book is consistent. It uses terminology from chapter to chapter, but it always refers back to technical terms in previous chapters with handy links. The framework, too, builds in each chapter. Students learn skills—vector math, eg.—that they continue to use in the ensuing chapters. Of course, physics is a particularly good subject for such building. The reason I love physics is because it is consistent.
Like many physics texts, this book is divided into appropriate and small sections. Chapter 4, for example, is divided into 5 sections. A professor can assign a particular section per day as the students (or before) cover the material in class. Indeed, these sections do not disrupt the reading but, instead, provide convenient breaks that allow the reader to pause and reflect. At the end of each section, the authors have included conceptual questions and practice problems so the reader can ensure their own mastery of the material.
As I stated previously, I might not present these topics in this particular order. For example, I like to cover centripetal forces with rotation. However, these issues are very minor. The authors follow a putative order for presenting the topics; this order is used by many textbooks.
No issues here. The OpenStax folks have their game together. Figures are clear and well-labeled. The online interface, which I prefer over the PDF, is easy to use.
I didn’t notice any grammatical errors. It has, in my opinion, better writing than some other standard books (Halliday, Serway, Tipler, etc.).
Of the 6 cartoon figures, all were white, and 2 were women. However, the people presented in these figures are small and not a big part of the text. In fact, 4 of the characters were partially obscured by masks or sporting equipment. The book does not take extra measures to make minorities feel included. The text is not offensive in any way (unless someone hates physics!!).
Great book! I intend to use it next year. I'd love to see some online tools like Tutor or Concept Coach, even if for a fee. I'd likely use them in my course.
Generally yes. Covers the topics typically covered in the first term of a calculus based introductory (200-level) physics course. I did not see an obviously located index, however the digital format of the book is searchable. However, this feature... read more
Generally yes. Covers the topics typically covered in the first term of a calculus based introductory (200-level) physics course. I did not see an obviously located index, however the digital format of the book is searchable. However, this feature does not completely replace an index because some students buy a printed book. There is a glossary at the end of each section, but not a global glossary.
The book is generally accurate. Inaccuracies are not related to content, but rather to typographic errors and such. More importantly, a site exists where errata can be submitted by users and those submissions can be seen by users. https://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/university-physics-volume-1/errata
The text is written and arranged in similar fashion to standard texts on the subject, which have not changed much over a decade or more. The main updates are links to Phet simulations and other resources, however if the locationsURL of these resources changes then those links will be broken until updated.
Overall, the language and format appears to be less technical/formal than some standard texts, such as Halliday. Most students these days supplement the text with other resources such as video lectures and simulations, and open courseware, which I encourage. However, this means convincing students to read the text in-depth is even more difficult than in the past. The less formal language may help with this, and students comprehend the material at a level such that student outcomes will be affected by the slight reduction in rigor. Certain sections dealing with common misconceptions, such as centrifugal force, were given specific treatment with careful language, which is important. The writing style often uses the word "this" in a paragraph of text with "this" referencing a concept described in a previous sentence or paragraph, which might possibly lead to confusion for students.
This appears to be the case.
Yes, it is extensively subdivided, even using headings, textbox background color, and text size/font to organize information. At times it appears to be overly differentiated, possibly to the point of distraction, but that may be a personal issue. Students might appreciate the level of differentiation.
The topics are presented in the same general order as standard textbooks on the subject. Some sections within chapters are ordered differently. This appeared to be purposeful, but at times possibly convoluted, such as calling chapter 10 Fixed axis rotation and then including rolling motion at the beginning of the Chapter titled Angular Momentum before any discussion of angular momentum is presented.
Generally the figures, links, graphic quality are sufficient with few exceptions. I found the quality to be generally higher than OpenStax College Physics, which had some issues with low quality graphics.
Generally appeared acceptable, I am not an expert on grammar. See comments in the Clarity categories.
I did not notice anything offensive, however there did not appear to be a significant representation of a variety of ethnicities represented in graphics and diagrams. Gender representation was somewhat more level. I did not read every chapter problem.
Planning to adopt starting fall 2017, I will be asking students for their opinions on the text.
Table of Contents
Unit 1. Mechanics
- Chapter 1: Units and Measurement
- Chapter 2: Vectors
- Chapter 3: Motion Along a Straight Line
- Chapter 4: Motion in Two and Three Dimensions
- Chapter 5: Newton's Laws of Motion
- Chapter 6: Applications of Newton's Laws
- Chapter 7: Work and Kinetic Energy
- Chapter 8: Potential Energy and Conservation of Energy
- Chapter 9: Linear Momentum and Collisions
- Chapter 10: Fixed-Axis Rotation
- Chapter 11: Angular Momentum
- Chapter 12: Static Equilibrium and Elasticity
- Chapter 13: Gravitation
- Chapter 14: Fluid Mechanics
Unit 2. Waves and Acoustics
- Chapter 15: Oscillations
- Chapter 16: Waves
- Chapter 17: Sound
Appendix A: Units
Appendix B: Conversion Factors
Appendix C: Fundamental Constants
Appendix D: Astronomical Data
Appendix E: Mathematical Formulas
Appendix F: Chemistry
Appendix G: The Greek Alphabet
About the Book
University Physics is a three-volume collection that meets the scope and sequence requirements for two- and three-semester calculus-based physics courses. Volume 1 covers mechanics, sound, oscillations, and waves. This textbook emphasizes connections between between theory and application, making physics concepts interesting and accessible to students while maintaining the mathematical rigor inherent in the subject. Frequent, strong examples focus on how to approach a problem, how to work with the equations, and how to check and generalize the result.
About the Contributors
Dr. Jeff Sanny earned a BS in Physics from Harvey Mudd College in 1974 and a PhD in Solid State Physics from the University of California–Los Angeles in 1980. He joined the faculty at Loyola Marymount University in the fall of 1980. During his tenure, he has served as department Chair as well as Associate Dean. Dr. Sanny enjoys teaching introductory physics in particular. He is also passionate about providing students with research experience and has directed an active undergraduate student research group in space physics for many years.
Dr. Samuel Ling has taught introductory and advanced physics for over 25 years at Truman State University, where he is currently Professor of Physics and the Department Chair. Dr. Ling has two PhDs from Boston University, one in Chemistry and the other in Physics, and he was a Research Fellow at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, before joining Truman. Dr. Ling is also an author of A First Course in Vibrations and Waves, published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Ling has considerable experience with research in Physics Education and has published research on collaborative learning methods in physics teaching. He was awarded a Truman Fellow and a Jepson fellow in recognition of his innovative teaching methods. Dr. Ling’s research publications have spanned Cosmology, Solid State Physics, and Nonlinear Optics.