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Best book to start with? 
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#1
Jan3113, 09:54 PM

P: 124

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. 


#2
Jan3113, 10:02 PM

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P: 5,598

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. 


#3
Jan3113, 10:08 PM

P: 124

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 13 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 


#4
Jan3113, 11:00 PM

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P: 2,085

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.



#5
Jan3113, 11:26 PM

P: 124

So just read Hewitt and see where I'm at? Sounds reasonable.



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