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May4-07, 01:59 PM
P: 1,737
Hmm, my opinion on my textbooks has been pretty mixed so far:

Goldstein, Classical Mechanics: Awful. Firstly, the text is filled to the brim with errors. The second edition has a huge number of errors in it. I've talked to people - professors, no less! - who sent them lists of errors about the second edition only to see the errors appear in the third. The third edition copy I have is on it's 10th printing and is still full of them! I believe the newest printing might be a bit better, but there is just no excuse. I can count at least twice I had to take time after school to sit down with my prof on a subject I didn't understand, only to find that the book was hopelessly incorrect, and that was the source of my problem. The quality of the book is fair at best under perfect circumstances - given its mixed history, I'm angry it is still used.

Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics - I love Jackson. I don't think most students do, but everyone can agree it is encompassing, accurate and, while there are a couple of mistakes here and there, most of it is clean as a whistle. I've learned huge amounts from it, and appreciate the level of difficulty of the problems.

Kittel, Solid State - If Jackson is the encyclopedia of E&M, Kittel is the cliff notes of Solid State. It really isn't a bad text, but every topic feels skeletal. More importantly, the discussion in the book is minimal, and examples often lacking (at least Goldstein had lots of those). Even my prof has mixed feelings about it, but said it was the best introductory book out there. I have checked out four other SS books from the library, and so far I agree with him. That's worth something, I suppose. . .

Cohen-Tannoudji, QM - This would be a great text if only it weren't organized so oddly! It is broken into chapters and compliments, and often the compliments take up more space than the chapter itself. The exercises are buried in one of the compliments, and just getting around in the book can be a huge pain. The content itself though, I find very useful.

I guess those are the common books I've run into so far.