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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. 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.
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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.
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All the hyperlinks tested work as expected. The text is mostly gender neutral and has no culturally insensitive or offensive language. 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. 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.
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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: They add in rotational aspects of all mechanics They add in rotational aspects of all mechanics scattered about a few chapters, which I personally wouldn't do.
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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 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 think this book is clear to the reader in a hurry, but not too much in a hurry. 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. Also, the image choice is quality, and so should be used multiple times in the same subject.
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. 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.
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 that a little displeasing. I find nothing offensive in this text. Example, they refer to a person walking on a train in Example 7.
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 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. 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 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 also dislike the large number of derived equations presented in lists.