I used to teach my third-semester calculus-based engineering physics class with Giancoli as the textbook (it's what UC Berkeley, where I used to teach, used). This is the first semester I switched to this OpenStax textbook, because: (1) I was tired of students in my class not reading the book, and the cost of the textbook (along with inconvenience of proprietary, locked-down ebooks) was a big factor, (2) I was tired of feeling guilty about telling my students that they had to pay $200+ in textbook material costs on top of their tuition in order to take my class.
I had some initial doubts, but so far (1/3rd of the way into the semester), the textbook has worked out well. It covers all the materials other textbooks 5 times its cost (if you are comparing hardcopy costs; the digital download is free) does, and the odd sections it leaves out (like intensity of double-slit or resolvance of diffraction grating) are either something I feel comfortable covering with my own notes or something I would have skipped anyway in the interest of time.
Having said all that, to address some common issues that do come up: (1) yes, this book does have more typos than Giancoli (no serious errors in physics covered, but my students have found on average 2 or 3 new typos per chapter that I reported to OpenStax---I give them extra credit for finding errors, mainly to reduce any frustration that they might feel at finding errors), and (2) no free online homework system to go with the textbook yet exists (I am programming in problems from this book into MyOpenMath this semester).
If you aren't willing to put up with these issues yet (as an instructor), you should come back in 5 years and see how much it has gotten better (it is, after all, so unfair to compare such a new book against textbooks that have gone through 4 or more editions).
P.S. If you are trying to integrate sections of your textbook into your LMS (so that students will actually read it), this book is *far* better than any commercial textbook (with its DRM'd ebooks) can ever hope to be, no matter what the price. I could *never* integrate the Giancoli textbook into my school's LMS, even if I forced each of my students to pay $500 per semester. With this textbook, I can do that for free.
University Physics is a three-volume collection that meets the scope and sequence requirements for two- and three-semester calculus-based physics courses. Volume 1 covers mechanics, sound, oscillations, and waves. Volume 2 covers thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, and Volume 3covers optics and modern physics. This textbook emphasizes connections 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 Author
Senior Contributing Authors Samuel J. Ling, Truman State University Jeff Sanny, Loyola Marymount University William Moebs, Formerly of Loyola Marymount University Contributing Authors Stephen D. Druger Alice Kolakowska, University of Memphis David Anderson, Albion College Daniel Bowman, Ferrum College Dedra Demaree, Georgetown University Edw. S. Ginsberg, University of Massachusetts Joseph Trout, Richard Stockton College Kevin Wheelock, Bellevue College David Smith, University of the Virgin Islands Takashi Sato, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Gerald Friedman, Santa Fe Community College Lev Gasparov, University of North Florida Lee LaRue, Paris Junior College Mark Lattery, University of Wisconsin Richard Ludlow, Daniel Webster College Patrick Motl, Indiana University Kokomo Tao Pang, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Kenneth Podolak, Plattsburgh State University