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A good introductory book [physics]

  1. Jan 20, 2014 #1
    Hey PF, I'm really getting into physics and I'm want to explore and learn more about physics than what i just did in class during my last semester in High School. My class mostly about motion, projectiles, energy, work, etc. very basic stuff considering it’s my first introduction to physics. But I want to learn more about physics outside since I don't have another physics class till next year. I was hoping you guys would recommend a basic physics book (not a textbook) that a high school student can read and understand. I didn't yet take calculus (currently in pre-calc) but I do have a fairly good command of algebra (up and until algebra II), trigonometry, and geometry. So again just a book that is easy to read and understand that explores more of physics.

    BTW thank you guys for the replies.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Leonard Sussikind has come out with a book called the Theoretical Minimum:


    as part of a series of books on Physics which are also complemented by a series of online lectures on a variety of physics topics.

    Another is the Physics for the IB Diploma by Tsokos that covers a wide range of physics topics that is readable by highschool students wanting to know more:

  4. Jan 20, 2014 #3
    Physics for scientists and engineers is a massive book which does use calculus, but not heavily. If you are doing well in your pre-calc you could read a little ahead into calculus to learn the basic ideas that you need like differentiation and integration. It provides an elementary introduction to just about every field in classical and quantum physics with lots of problems. It's what I learned in my first physics course.
  5. Jan 20, 2014 #4


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    Science Advisor

    The Nature of Light & Colour in the Open Air
    By Marcel Gilles Jozef Minnaert

    Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy
    By Kip S. Thorne

    Computing With Quantum Cats: From Colossus To Qubits
    John Gribbin

    I haven't read Gribbin's book, but Matt Leifer gave it a good review http://mattleifer.info/tag/john-gribbin/.

    How to Teach Physics to Your Dog
    Chad Orzel

    How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog
    Chad Orzel
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
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