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Best Book For Learning Basic Physics?

by Tyler133
Tags: basic, beginner, book, learn, physics
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Tyler133
#1
Feb27-13, 03:36 PM
P: 21
I'm a freshman in High School who is, like most of you, interested in learning about physics. I am, however, fairly new to the topic and have been looking at some books to learn from such as: Physics I for dummies, Basic Physics : A Self-Teaching Guide, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Physics, etc. I want to know what the best book for someone who is new to physics would be. I don't have any knowledge of calculus and little of trigonometry. However, I believe that math is essential to learn physics and I want a guide that has math in it. I thank you for any suggestions.
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mindheavy
#2
Feb27-13, 05:11 PM
P: 61
If you want an introduction to physics that features math, any book with "Physics for Scientists and Engineers" in the title will be a treatment of physics based on calculus. Don't let that scare you, physics is naturally explained using the language of calculus, opposed to explaining it's concepts with purely algebra and trigonometry.

Not having any knowledge of calculus should not deter you from reading about physics, any of the intro books will have a chapter early on that explains the main idea's of the calculus used, namely the derivative and the integral. A few to get you started looking:

Serway & Jewett - Physics for Scientists and Engineers

Halliday Resnick Walker - Fundamentals of Physics

Openstax - College Physics - I don't think this is calculus based, but it is actually free.


Theres also the textbook forum, you can, at the bottom, filter the books by prefix (topic). In your case, try Intro Physics.

I'm sure others will offer their opinions as well. Good luck, and learn /all/ the math you can in high school!
Tyler133
#3
Mar9-13, 11:48 AM
P: 21
Are there any good beginners physics books that are under 30 dollars?

mindheavy
#4
Mar9-13, 12:18 PM
P: 61
Best Book For Learning Basic Physics?

Quote Quote by Tyler133 View Post
Are there any good beginners physics books that are under 30 dollars?
What exactly are you looking for in a book? Besides it's price.
Tyler133
#5
Mar9-13, 03:35 PM
P: 21
I'm looking for a book that will teach you all the basics about physics mostly just classical physics. I would like it to include math. However, I don't know calculus so that may be a problem.
mindheavy
#6
Mar9-13, 04:32 PM
P: 61
As mentioned above, the openstax book is a free download and Benjamin Crowell has a free pdf book (Conceptual Physics).

If you're looking for a physical book just grab an old cheap edition of most any college physics book. The math needed is explained throughout the text, and don't worry about getting an older edition for self study, nothing in classical mechanics has changed since these were printed... Also, I suggest staying away from any "dummies" books. If you want an introduction to the subject, grab a text book and dive in, it will give you a real sense of what it's all about.

Here is Serway & Jewett's Physics for Scientists and Engineers. It will have a bit of Calculus, but like I said, it's well explained when they introduce it.

If you want a book with a little more rigor, and in my opinion, a better book, here's an older Halliday & Resnick copy. It'll run you about eight bucks... This book will be slightly heavier on the math, but for eight dollars, get a copy, it will give you a great introduction to physics as you work through it!
Tyler133
#7
Mar9-13, 11:30 PM
P: 21
Do you think a freshman in High School who has no background in calculus and little in trigonometry will be able to understand the ideas presented in the Halliday & Resnick copy?
Daverz
#8
Mar10-13, 12:22 AM
P: 897
Quote Quote by Tyler133 View Post
Do you think a freshman in High School who has no background in calculus and little in trigonometry will be able to understand the ideas presented in the Halliday & Resnick copy?
You need some calculus to start on Halliday & Resnick. So I'd suggest starting with a book like Calculus Made Easy. Remember that Newton had to invent calculus first, before he could complete his work on mechanics. So in a way, calculus is part of Physics.

I would also suggest an old edition of Halliday & Resnick, which shouldn't set you back much. Later editions don't add anything essential.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...condition=used
Tyler133
#9
Mar10-13, 07:09 AM
P: 21
Daverz, you say that I should learn calculus I would like to but will I be able to understand and learn calculus without knowledge in Algebra 2 and trigonometry?
Daverz
#10
Mar10-13, 08:15 PM
P: 897
Quote Quote by Tyler133 View Post
Daverz, you say that I should learn calculus I would like to but will I be able to understand and learn calculus without knowledge in Algebra 2 and trigonometry?
You might want to concentrate on pre-calculus mathematics, then. A common recommendation here is Serge Lang's Basic Mathematics. This may be pretty challenging.
jtbell
#11
Mar13-13, 09:53 AM
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There are plenty of college-level intro physics courses and textbooks that don't use calculus. We use Serway & Vuille for that course here. But you still need algebra and trig. You don't need a whole lot of trig, just familiarity with basic stuff about sines, cosines and tangents. You do need to be comfortable with algebra, especially rearranging equations that don't have any numbers in them, to "solve for" one of the variables in terms of the others. This is a big problem for many of the students in our course.
djh101
#12
Mar17-13, 12:25 AM
P: 146
My physics class uses University Physics by Young & Freedman. Personally, I think it's a great book. It's highly calculus based, but it's not too bad in the mechanics part (the beginning), so you should be able to pick around it and come back to it after you learn what a derivative is. I have the 11th edition (two edition sold), so it was only a few bucks on Amazon.

If you're going to teach yourself physics, I'd say you should give calculus a shot while you're at it, at least up to solving derivatives. I used Thomas Calculus. Not bad, but I'm sure there's better out there. The first chapter is pretty much a crash course in all the precalculus you need (line/circle/parabola equations, graphing, functions, and trig).


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