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Advice on my outline on undergraduate physics curriculum

  1. May 20, 2015 #1
    I have studied physics during my undergraduate years but I want to relearn everything as I came to my realization that I'm weak because of the quality of education I got. So far, I want to know if my order of study is good.

    Classical Mechanics:
    An Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner and Kolenkow

    Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths

    Quantum Mechanics:
    Quantum Mechanics by Zettili

    Thermal Physics by Kittel

    Now my question is, does kleppner suffice as a mechanics text for the whole undergraduate curriculum (regardless of lagrangian and hamiltonian)? Because I think kleppner is good but I don't know where to study lagrangian and hamiltonian, given that kleppner already covered all newtonian mechanics. I tried to read books by Gregory, Fowles, Finch, Taylor,etc in Classical Mechanics but I still think that Kleppner is far superior in the Newtonian part, but the problem is that it doesn't involve lagrangian and hamiltonian. Any advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Why not use two books for classical mechanics? First, use K&K for Newtonian mechanics, then switch to one of the others for Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics.
  4. May 20, 2015 #3
    That is a possibility which I already thought of but I'm thinking, which one is the best book to learn lagrangian and hamiltonian?
  5. May 20, 2015 #4


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    Gold Member

    I used Taylor and Marion in my lagrangian/hamiltonian course. Taylor is expensive though so maybe just start with a used copy of an old edition of Marion for dirt cheap.

    My undergrad electromagnetism course officially used Griffiths but I'm pretty sure our instructor got most of the lecture material and assignments from Jackson and some other obscure grad level text I can't remember at the moment.

    Griffiths' quantum mechanics is also good.
  6. May 21, 2015 #5
    I don't mind buying more expensive copies. I just want to know which one is better, I think Taylor is too verbose.
  7. May 23, 2015 #6


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    Education Advisor

    Griffiths is a more advanced book on E&M. Depending on your comfort with the introductory level material, you may be better suited to use Electricity & Magnetism by Purcell. It's an excellent intermediate level treatment that's comparable to K&K for classical mechanics in depth and difficulty.
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