Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
This text covers all the standard ideas for a first year physics textbook in the second semester: Charge and Coulomb’s Law, Electric Fields, Circuits, Magnetic Fields, Electromagnetic Waves, Wave Interference, Thin Lenses, Gauss’s Law, and ending with Maxwell’s Equations.
I wished it had anything on Einstein and Relativity. It ends with Maxwell’s Laws. Einstein is at least mentioned briefly in Physics with Calculus I.
Heat and Thermodynamics is covered in Physics with Calculus I, and it could be easily combined for those institutions that do heat in the second semester of a first year course.
This book has the same strengths and weakness of Physics with Calculus I.My review for this book is very similar to the review for Physics with Calculus I. The author clearly wrote this for a two-semester course. I do not feel that you could use Physics with Calculus II all on its own as many things refer to the first volume, including the mathematical review in the very first chapter of Physics with Calculus I. Think of this as the second volume in a two-volume set.
This is more a series of very well written lecture notes or theory than a textbook. The diagrams are clear, simple black and white sketches. To be a more useful textbook it needs many more written examples and more examples from everyday life and more textbook questions and problems.
Problems are included in other files, and the solutions to those problems are available in a variety of formats. That is very useful, but it makes it difficult for a student using the textbook to check their comprehension. They have to go back and forth between three different files. Those problems files are labeled “SAC102” as opposed to by topic. That was a deliberate choice by the author so that the problems would always stay the same, but it is confusing. If the files had a topic name that would help.
There is no index or glossary in Calculus Based Physics I or Calculus Based Physics II.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
The content is accurate, error-free and unbiased. This is more a series of very well written lecture notes or theory than a textbook. The diagrams are clear, simple black and white sketches. What is there is clear and accurate with a few exceptions that I will detail here.
In both books the author uses the word “victim” when talking about forces. One page 2 of this book the phrase is “the source charge causes and electric charge which exerts a force on the victim charge.”
This idea of victim fields was introduced in the first book in the gravity chapter on page 70. “The effect of the gravitational field is to exert a force on any particle, any “victim,” that finds itself in the field.” I find the use of the word “victim” off-putting. I could not find anywhere else in the physics literature where this phrase was used. He uses this phrase repeatedly in the discussion of Newton’s Laws “ A force is … something that an object can be a victim to, it is never something that an object has.” The word victim is not used in the discussion of Newton’s Third Law where all forces come in pairs. What is the victim in this case? I consider this an error.
Now in this book, Calculus Based Physics II, the next paragraph has the statement “that either charge can be viewed as source charge and either can be viewed as the victim charge. Identifying one charge as the victim charge is equivalent to establishing a point of view.” This statement is accurate and might help up clear any confusion. I personally find the use of the word startling and off-putting at the very least. I think it is confusing and not helpful.
This might be more of a stylistic choice than an error, but I found that the short phrase “(there are no magnetic monopoles) “ on page 146 when the magnetic field was introduced on page 115 with a discussion of magnetic dipoles unusual. It is certain to raise questions in student’s minds. Why was the issue of monopoles not addressed much earlier and with at least a paragraph of explanation?
In a comment about soap bubbles and oil on puddles on page 217 I think the author should clearly add a statement along the lines of “you see many colours while looking at the thin film of a soap bubble.” Without explicitly talking about colour. I think students will not make the connection between soap and what is being discussed here.
Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
One of the many joys of physics is that the basic first year science changes very little year to year. The content in the book is thus up-to-date. The text is written and arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.
Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
Some of the sentences tend to run on.
The author uses a lot of parentheses. I found that they interrupted the flow of the words and rarely added anything useful to the content.
Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. Physics is a subject that builds on a few basic laws. The concepts of energy which were introduced in Calculus Based Physics I are clearly mentioned and derived in similar waves in this book.
Consistency Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The text could easily be reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader. It was clearly written with modularity in mind, and does that well. In my opinion this is essential here as there is very little calculus in the textbook until Chapter 30. This is where very detailed calculations of the electric field with good illustrations are located. I would have preferred them to be in Chapters 2 or 3 where the electric field is first introduced. I can see where the author might have chosen to do this but I personally found it very strange in a book that is calculus based.
Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion. As I mentioned in the previous section on modularity, the text could easily be reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader. It was clearly written with modularity in mind, and does that well. In my opinion this is essential here as there is very little calculus in the textbook until Chapter 30. This is where very detailed calculations with good illustrations are located. I would have preferred them to be in Chapters 2 or 3 where the electric field is first introduced. I can see where the author might have chosen to do this but I found it very strange.
Organization Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
In general, what is there is very clear and easy to read. To make this clear, there was really only one illustration, on page 193, that I had difficulty with. It was an attempt to show the electric and magnetic fields of a electromagnetic wave propagating through space. It was very difficult, virtually impossible, for me to see on my computer screen and as a print out using a high quality laser printer. This is a very difficult concept to illustrate so I do want to acknowledge the effort, but I just could not see things clearly in this section.
I think the book needs many more images and charts, but when they are used they are clear and tend to photocopy very well. This was a stated aim of the author and the book is successful in this way.
I sometimes had trouble on the screen of my MacBook Air with the equations, but the print outs were clear.
Interface Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
I did not find any grammatical errors.
Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
The text is culturally sensitive. It is not offensive in any way. The advantage of physics is that there is no need to us examples from any particular race, ethnicities or backgrounds. My main criticism of this book is that it needs many more examples.
There are a few phrases that I think some students would have difficult with. “I spilled the beans” is used on page 41. This is a colloquial term that I know many of my Canadian students will not understand. It is not needed in this sentence and I recommend deleting it. There are very few of these in the book though, so this is only a minor comment.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
This is more a series of very well written lecture notes or theory than a textbook. The diagrams are clear, simple black and white sketches. To be a more useful textbook it needs many more written examples and more examples from everyday life, questions in the book with answers so students could check their understanding, and many more textbook questions and problems.