1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are there any good engineering textbooks for me to read?

  1. Jan 7, 2013 #1
    I am a year 2 physics major student. After spending almost 2 years on only physics theories, I would like to know how those theories can be applied on engineering.

    Are there any engineering textbooks suitable for me as an "entertainment" during the break between semesters? Any topics related to engineering are welcome even computer science.

    I have learned Quantum mechanics, Classical mechanics and most of the calculus (e.g. Linear Algebra, solving ODEs, and some special PDEs) required in undergraduated level.

    Maybe I need some fresh things since keep reading theoretical physics books are quite boring for me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 8, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Engineering is very broad. Here is a link with a ton of free books for you to look at:


    It can depend a lot on what you are interested in; I am an electrical engineer so here are some ideas. Under electrical engineering inthe above link, the telecommunications section has, for example, Shannon's book on information theory, and a good book on engineering electromagnetics by Orfanidis (at Rutgers). The signal processing section (still under electrical engineer) has several really good books, including an intro to signal processing, once again by Orfanidis (no, I do not know him, but I like his free books). The statistical signal processing book by Gray and the random processes book by Hajek are also great, but meant for graduate students in EE.

    Other books that are not free:

    1. One book I really enjoyed is, "the science of radio" by nahin. It is actually a bunch of history and what electrical engineers call "signals and systems" (aka Fourier analysis), along with a little on electronics. It is not free, unfortunately. It doesn't have much physics, though, beyond a basic discussion of how vacuum tubes work. But it makes for nice, reasonably light reading, but has some exercises as well. I would call it gem. For a more traditional book on signals and systems I would recommend the first edition of "linear systems and signals" by Lathi, which can be found for a few dollars (US) on amazon.

    2. For a hardcopy of books that have something to do with engineering electromagnetics at he undergrad level, I would recommend used copies of old editions of "microwave engineering" by pozar (I learned from the 1st edition with is really good and cheap).Microwave engineering has to take into account the wave nature of electromagnetic energy; this means that wires in such circuits are not treated as equipotentials. The scattering-matrix approach was developed by physicists during WWII and there are some nice elegant results. I would
    also recommned the second edition of "fields and waves in communication electronics" by ramo, whinnery and vanDuzer (an oldie that I really like - but it isn't for everyone!); it has less material on microwave engineering, but does include topics like antennas, and is my favorite undergrate engineering electromagnetics book. You will find it somewhat different that Griffiths (or whatever your physics dept. used for intermediate EM). A good book dedicated to antennas is "antennas and radiowave propagation" by Collin.

    3. for circuits I recommend "the art of electronics."

    if you are not interested in electrical engineering then please ignore this post!

    best of luck,

  4. Jan 8, 2013 #3
    Thanks jasonRF!
    I like EE too but I didn't know where to start. Your information is very useful to me.
    I have those books you've mentioned in my university library and I have borrowed them.

    Thanks again for your information, it helps me a lot!. :smile:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook