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Are Schaum books good for self-study?

  1. Oct 22, 2017 #1
    Hello everyone. I'm new here so I'd like to know your opinion. My question is (as the title says) are Schaum books good for self-studying? I want to study physics by my own and I found this book Schaum's Outlines Beginning Physics I by Alvin Halpern and I wanted to be sure if it's a good book to do so. My plan is begin with this book (depending on what your opinions of it are) and gradually increasing the difficulty and get into more complicated physics, in the same Schaum collection or any other, and finally Quantum Mechanics. But obviously I want to start from the beginning. Is this a good way/book? Can I keep studying with Schaum's books (Beginning Physics II, College Physics and Quantum Mechanics), will I learn with it? In the mathematics field I'm studtying from the collection Calculus by Jerrold Marsden and Alan Weinstein. So I study physics as well as mathematics. I tried to study physics from University Physics by Young and Freedman but it seems not to have enough mathematics for me, many letters. I want to do the calculations. So that's it. Glad to be here and thanks in advance all of you. (Sorry if my english was not good enough.)
     
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  3. Oct 22, 2017 #2

    phinds

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    I have no idea if they are still any good but I remember with great fondness learning Analytic Geometry from one with my best friend well over 50 years ago. It was excellent and we both thought it did a great job
     
  4. Oct 22, 2017 #3

    atyy

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    I learnt a lot from the Schaum's linear algebra and calculus books about 25 years ago.
     
  5. Oct 22, 2017 #4

    Mark44

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    I used to have a stack of 7 or 8 of the Schaum's Outlines. They are good for having lots of example problems, but they aren't as good in getting across the meatier material like the proofs of theorems or the detailed explanations of things that you would find in regular textbooks. For this reason, I'm not so gung ho on recommending these books, particularly if they are your only resources. I had the one for Linear Algebra, and my recollection of it was that it didn't do much beyond the more straightforward calculations with matrices and matrix inverses. At least that's how I remember it, since I no longer have any of my Schaum's books.
     
  6. Oct 22, 2017 #5

    phinds

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    Yeah, that sounds right to me. My buddy* and I were good at math so didn't need the kind of teacher interaction that some folks might and the explanations of all the conic stuff was crystal clear and the practice problems were outstanding.

    * He was amazing. He got 800 on the Advanced Math SAT test and then took it again the next year against everyone's advice (since all he could do was get a lower score, higher wasn't possible) and he got 800 again.
     
  7. Oct 23, 2017 #6
    It very helpful after you finish the first book.
     
  8. Oct 23, 2017 #7

    atyy

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    I think the linear algebra does more than that, including the definition of a vector space, then separately adding the notion of a dot product.
    https://www.amazon.com/Schaums-Outline-Linear-Algebra-Outlines/dp/1260011445

    Maybe you had the one about matrix operations?
    https://www.amazon.com/Schaums-Outline-Matrix-Operations-Outlines/dp/0071756043/
     
  9. Oct 23, 2017 #8
    If not what other books/collection would be appropiate to reach my goal?
    This were the books I meant:
    BEGINNING PHYSICS I: https://vinaire.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/schaum-beginning-physics-i.pdf
    BEGINNIG PHYSICS II: https://vinaire.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/schaum-beginning-physics-ii.pdf
    COLLEGE PHYSICS: http://teguhhady.lecturer.pens.ac.id/Schaum College Physics.pdf
    QUANTUM MECHANICS (still very far): http://www.znu.ac.ir/data/members/nikbakht_moladad/quantum/Schaum_Outline_of_Quantum_Mechanics.pdf

    Are they good enough to give them a chance? Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  10. Oct 23, 2017 #9

    atyy

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    Yes, they are good enough. But generally, you will have to read many textbooks on any one subject, so you can start with them, and when you get stuck on a point or your understanding advances beyond these books, consult other textbooks.
     
  11. Oct 23, 2017 #10
    Thank you very much, atyy. Once I'm done with these I'll look for deeper and more difficult books.
     
  12. Oct 23, 2017 #11

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    No, I'm pretty sure I had the one on Linear Algebra, but it's been 20+ years since I had it, so I don't recall exactly what was in it.
     
  13. Oct 23, 2017 #12

    QuantumQuest

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    Schaum's Outline books are really good in my opinion. I have a real lot of them in math, physics and programming which helped me a lot in the past. I'll definitely agree to Mark44 in that they don't have enough theory. They usually have an outline of the basic theory for a topic but they are a real treasure in exercises and problems and also about the ways to solve them. So, if you want to get in more depth in theory, you have to pick one good textbook - if you want to start from scratch I would recommend Halliday - Resnick books otherwise you can go with some undergraduate introductory text beginning from Classical Mechanics and going from there. It is always a good idea to use Schaum's books in order to have some quick review of theory and solve lots of problems and exercises.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  14. Oct 23, 2017 #13
    Thanks QuantumQuest.
     
  15. Oct 24, 2017 #14

    vanhees71

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    During my student days we used Schaum's Outlines books a lot for learning the practical side of mathematics. The good thing was that they taught us how to do concrete calculations. Particularly there was one calculus book with a lot of worked examples about line, surface, and volume integrals in 3D Euclidean space which we needed of course for the physics lectures. At the time at my university (TH/TU Darmstadt) the physics majors had to take the four-semester analysis-lecture course together with the mathematicians, which was very formal as math for mathematicians must be. Although I enjoyed this very much, there was a lack in practical calculational skills, and our tutors in the physics recitations pointed us to Schaum's Outline (I can check at home which one it was; if I'm not mistaken it was the Calculus volume by Spiegel), and that was great to just do a lot of practical calculations, having well worked-out problems in this book.
     
  16. Oct 24, 2017 #15
    Good, thanks.
     
  17. Oct 24, 2017 #16
    The thing about studying alone is you generally don't have much time, and often you don't have easy access to people who can help you, as you would when studying formally at a college/university.

    In that context, yeah, the Schaum books are good, because they give you extra help to get started in a subject that normal university books don't, e.g. lots of worked examples, written at a slightly lower level, solutions, etc.

    So I would definitely start with a Schaum book on your own, and if needs be, move on afterwards to a more standard book on the subject.
     
  18. Oct 24, 2017 #17
    Thanks for your answer qspeechc.
     
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