Best book to start with?


by CuriousBanker
Tags: book, start
CuriousBanker
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#1
Jan31-13, 09:54 PM
P: 115
Hi. I am currently working through some math textbooks (calculus, linear algebra, differential equations) over the course of the next 2 years. I work at a hedge fund now trading derivatives, and although the type of trading I do does not use mathematical modeling, I want to be able to enhance my production by trading options using these maths. However, I also want to learn physics when I am done with this because it is interesting to me and I know several traders who use principles of physics in their trading.

Anyway I need a suggestion for best textbook to start with. I have constantly heard three recommendations:

1) Conceptual Physics by Hewitt. From what I hear it is good for concepts but severly lacking in math, which is pointless. So, is it worth reading this book just because it helps conceptually? Or would an intro book with more math also help with the fundamentals conceptually? Like, should I read this book plus a beginner book with math? I don't want to have to read two 700 page books that both say the same thing.

2) Physics by Halliday and Resnik. Does it do a good job explaining the concepts, on top of the math? Or should I also read the hewitt book?

3) 3 volume Feynman lectures. I heard these are like the best books ever for physics. However, some say they are not for physics beginners. Should I read the Halliday book first, plus some other basic physics books, before reading Feynman lecture?

I have no problem spending a few years teaching myself various branches of physics for fun and to add to my trading. But I do not like to waste time, and don't want to read the same concepts in 10 different books if I dont have to.
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bcrowell
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#2
Jan31-13, 10:02 PM
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Quote Quote by CuriousBanker View Post
1) Conceptual Physics by Hewitt. From what I hear it is good for concepts but severly lacking in math, which is pointless.
Not pointless. Great book.

Quote Quote by CuriousBanker View Post
2) Physics by Halliday and Resnik. Does it do a good job explaining the concepts, on top of the math?
No, it doesn't do a good job on either math or concepts.

Quote Quote by CuriousBanker View Post
3) 3 volume Feynman lectures. I heard these are like the best books ever for physics. However, some say they are not for physics beginners. Should I read the Halliday book first, plus some other basic physics books, before reading Feynman lecture?
They're hard. I would not read them as your first book.

Quote Quote by CuriousBanker View Post
But I do not like to waste time, and don't want to read the same concepts in 10 different books if I dont have to.
You've got it backwards. Reading more books takes less time than reading one book. When you read more books, you can start with an easy one and work up. Also, if you don't understand something in book A, you can look at book B.

Read Hewitt. You'll have questions as you read it, so post them on PF. Once we get to the end of that process you can worry about what book to read next.
CuriousBanker
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#3
Jan31-13, 10:08 PM
P: 115
Great, thanks for the suggestions.

I did not mean to say that I don't like to read different books in the sense that I want to jump ahead before I know what I am doing. I just didn't know if some of the books were the same things as one another, and reading them both would not be any different than just reading one.

So, I should not get the halliday book then? What would come after Hewitt? I had the following 3 books on my list for after that. I know I am jumping way, way ahead, and I will take my time with each book even if it takes me forever, but I wanted to plan it out, so I looked at a college curriculum and googled the best textbook on each subject, and came up with the following list of how to teach myself (after I teach myself all the maths, of course)

Conceptual physics by Hewitt

Electricity and Magentism by Purcell

Introduction to mathematical physics by Vaughn

Introduction to modern physics by walecka

Classical electromagnetism by franklin

Introduction to Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory of Matter by burshtein

Introduction to modern optics by fowles

Elementary Solid State Physics by omar

Feynman lectures, vol 1-3

The physical universe by shu

A textbook of fluid mechanics by bansal

Principles of quantum mechanics by Shankar

Introduction to Elementary Particles by Griffiths

Quarks and leptons, an introductory course in modern particle physics by halzen

Spin in Particle Physics by Elliot leader

Physics of sound by berg

A first course in general relativity by schutz

String theory volume one by pochinski

String theory volume two by pochinski

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics


All of that, with some chemistry mixed in, but my girlfriend is a chemist and she can help me along the way.

Not sure if I have the order right at all. I know I am crazy for planning that far ahead

marcusl
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#4
Jan31-13, 11:00 PM
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Best book to start with?


The level of difficulty for the next books depends on how you do with the first ones. I suggest that you work through the math and physics texts that you have now and worry about next steps later.
CuriousBanker
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#5
Jan31-13, 11:26 PM
P: 115
So just read Hewitt and see where I'm at? Sounds reasonable.


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