A good physics textbook with clear and concise explanations?

In summary: If you disliked the one you have, thats one thing, but its not necessary to own multiple copies of the same book.
  • #1
jojoj
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I'm currently in my first year in a physics with med physics degree and I find the textbook we are using not helpful (physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach (4th Edition) by Randall D. Knight). I find the textbook too wordy. So I am looking for a more clear and concise physics textbook any recommendations?
 
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  • #2
Are you looking for replacement, supplemental or more advanced?

Replacement
Some of the standards
Halliday Resnick
Young Freedman
Serway
There is generally no reason to own different freshman physics books unless you truly hate the one you got
Be aware that there are calculus and noncalculus text versions

Supplement
Feynman Lectures (they are also online)

More advanced
Purcell Electricity and Magnetism
Kleppner and Kolenkow Introduction to Mechanics
 
Last edited:
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  • #3
caz said:
Are you looking for replacement, supplemental or more advanced?

Replacement
Some of the standards
Halliday Resnick
Young Freedman
Serway
There is generally no reason to own different freshman physics books unless you truly hate the one you got
Be aware that there are calculus and noncalculus text versions

Supplement
Feynman Lectures (they are also online)

More advanced
Purcell Electricity and Magnetism
Kleppner and Kolenkow Introduction to Mechanics

Thank you for the recommendations.
 
  • #4
Since your prof won’t be drawing problems from them, there is no reason not to go with an older (cheaper) edition.
 
  • #5
jojoj said:
I'm currently in my first year in a physics with med physics degree and I find the textbook we are using not helpful (physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach (4th Edition) by Randall D. Knight). I find the textbook too wordy. So I am looking for a more clear and concise physics textbook any recommendations?
You might try the free OpenStax texts. My students typically don't care for OpenStax, but they liked Knight. So perhaps you'll find OpenStax to your liking.

Any of the standard intro physics books would probably be fine.
 
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  • #6
jojoj said:
I'm currently in my first year in a physics with med physics degree and I find the textbook we are using not helpful (physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach (4th Edition) by Randall D. Knight). I find the textbook too wordy. So I am looking for a more clear and concise physics textbook any recommendations?
Alonso and Finn: Fundamental University Physics. The ones that Caz posted are similar in style to the Randall book.

Most introductory physics books made today are so similar, its pointless to own multiples, of what I would call the same book.
 

Related to A good physics textbook with clear and concise explanations?

1. What makes a physics textbook "good"?

A good physics textbook should have clear and concise explanations that are easy to understand. It should also have a logical and organized structure, with relevant examples and practice problems to reinforce concepts. Additionally, a good textbook should be up-to-date with current research and advancements in the field.

2. How can I determine if a physics textbook has clear explanations?

You can determine if a physics textbook has clear explanations by reading sample chapters or reviews from other students or experts in the field. You can also look for textbooks that have won awards or have been recommended by professors.

3. Are there any specific features I should look for in a physics textbook?

Some features to look for in a physics textbook include visual aids such as diagrams, illustrations, and graphs, as well as additional online resources such as interactive simulations or practice quizzes. A glossary of key terms and a comprehensive index can also be helpful for studying and referencing.

4. Should I choose a textbook based on the author or publisher?

While some authors may have a particular writing style or approach that resonates with you, it is important to prioritize the content and organization of the textbook over the author or publisher. Make sure to thoroughly research and compare different textbooks before making a decision.

5. How can I use a physics textbook effectively?

To use a physics textbook effectively, it is important to read actively and take notes, as well as work through practice problems and review key concepts. It can also be helpful to supplement your learning with additional resources such as online videos or study groups. Don't be afraid to ask your professor or peers for clarification if you are struggling with a concept.

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