Awesome textbooks

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  • #26
Dr Transport
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Stratton's electromagnetics book
Yu and Cardona's Fundamentals of Semiconductors

EDIT:

Can't believe I forgot
Slater's Chemical Phyiscs
Seitz's Modern Theory of Solids

Stratton, Slater and Seitz are old, really old, but they explain the basics so that you appreciate what is actually being discussed. I use Stratton at work all the time, and read Seitz and Slater about every year or so to remind myself of the basics.
 
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  • #27
ZombieFeynman
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Stratton's electromagnetics book
Yu and Cardona's Fundamentals of Semiconductors

EDIT:

Can't believe I forgot
Slater's Chemical Phyiscs
Seitz's Modern Theory of Solids

Stratton, Slater and Seitz are old, really old, but they explain the basics so that you appreciate what is actually being discussed. I use Stratton at work all the time, and read Seitz and Slater about every year or so to remind myself of the basics.
Yu and Cardona is a really excellent text. I'm interested in what you think of Chuang's Physics of Optoelectronic Devices.
 
  • #28
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I am at present falling for "Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications" by Ricki Lewis, a concise, basic useful source of information. My favorite part in almost each of the chapters is true tales to tell about genetic diseases and exercises for me to practice albeit not so similar to those in my country's academic biology program at all. Mine are much harder , I am so worried that I will not be able to pass the exam :cry:
 
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  • #29
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Cohen-Tannoudji's QM
Landau's Mechanics
Marsden/Tromba's Vector Calculus
MTW? I don't have a favorite GR book, but I've always felt very attached to this one and grab it whenever I find it at a library.
 
  • #30
WannabeNewton
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Altland and Simons Condensed Matter Field Theory
By the way I skimmed through this book and it certainly seems like nothing short of a true labor of love, with little biographical, historical, and informational details spread throughout. It is extremely professionally done. My question however is: exactly what kind of book is it? If you compare its contents to day those of Chaikin or A&M it certainly doesn't seem to go into much, if any, detail on condensed matter physics as far as the actual physics goes. It seems more like an introduction to aspects of QFT using stat mech. I mean the actual physics topics don't seem different from what you would find in e.g. Pathria. What are the prereqs for a book like this? I ask only because the book looks extremely fun to work through.
 
  • #31
kith
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Which books do you consider to be closer to a work of art than a science book.
Donald Knuth's "The Art of Computer Programming". It's a work in progress since 1962 and with TeX, Knuth invented his own typesetting system in order to make the book look like he wanted it to.
 
  • #32
ZombieFeynman
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By the way I skimmed through this book and it certainly seems like nothing short of a true labor of love, with little biographical, historical, and informational details spread throughout. It is extremely professionally done. My question however is: exactly what kind of book is it? If you compare its contents to day those of Chaikin or A&M it certainly doesn't seem to go into much, if any, detail on condensed matter physics as far as the actual physics goes. It seems more like an introduction to aspects of QFT using stat mech. I mean the actual physics topics don't seem different from what you would find in e.g. Pathria. What are the prereqs for a book like this? I ask only because the book looks extremely fun to work through.
Altland and Simon's is a book on the Quantum Field Theory of many body systems. It's not a substitute for a good solid state text like Kittel or A&M or C&L. I would say that it's very useful to have a background in solid state physics in addition to being very well-versed in QM and stat mech.
 
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  • #33
WannabeNewton
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Altland and Simon's is a book on the Quantum Field Theory of many body systems. It's not a substitute for a good solid state text like Kittel or A&M or C&L. I would say that it's very useful to have a background in solid state physics in addition to being very well-versed in QM and stat mech.
Thank you! Just out of curiosity, although I think you've given me your opinion before elsewhere, do you have a CMT/Solid State book that you would consider to be a "work of art" or something close?
 
  • #34
ZombieFeynman
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Thank you! Just out of curiosity, although I think you've given me your opinion before elsewhere, do you have a CMT/Solid State book that you would consider to be a "work of art" or something close?
I don't, unfortunately. I think Kittel, A&M, and C&L are each good and bad in many ways. I learned solid state from A&M using a healthy amount of Kittel. It's both a beautiful and ugly subject and it's difficult to get a solely beautiful perspective that also does not leave out some of the ugly but important things.
 
  • #35
Dr Transport
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Yu and Cardona is a really excellent text. I'm interested in what you think of Chuang's Physics of Optoelectronic Devices.
Yeah, it is pretty good. Actually, it sits on the shelf right next to my copy of Yu and Cardona. It fills in the material from a more applied side, more towards what I do , so I tend to look at it a lot.
 
  • #36
Koks, Don Explorations in mathematical physics. The concepts behind an elegant language
 
  • #37
atyy
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Thank you! Just out of curiosity, although I think you've given me your opinion before elsewhere, do you have a CMT/Solid State book that you would consider to be a "work of art" or something close?
I know you weren't asking me, but I'll venture Xiao-Gang Wen's book, which quotes the Dao De Jing "The Dao that can be stated cannot be eternal Dao. The Name that can be named cannot be eternal Name. The Nameless is the origin of universe. The Named is the mother of all matter." and translates it "The physical theory that can be formulated cannot be the final ultimate theory. The classification that can be implemented cannot classify everything. The unformulatable ultimate theory does exist and governs the creation of the universe. The formulated theories describe the matter we see every day."

Here's a sampling from the book http://dao.mit.edu/~wen/book/preintro.pdf .

Bleh, I can't stand MTW. Books I like:

M. Nakahara, Geometry, Topology, and Physics
Serge Lang, Fundamentals of Differential Geometry
V. I. Arnold, Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics
But maybe that's because you judge MTW as a textbook, whereas it is a work of art. It's great even if it is meaningless, just like Eliot's Four Quartets. Then of course one finds out that it is not meaningless (I think).
 
  • #38
ZombieFeynman
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I know you weren't asking me, but I'll venture Xiao-Gang Wen's book, which quotes the Dao De Jing "The Dao that can be stated cannot be eternal Dao. The Name that can be named cannot be eternal Name. The Nameless is the origin of universe. The Named is the mother of all matter." and translates it "The physical theory that can be formulated cannot be the final ultimate theory. The classification that can be implemented cannot classify everything. The unformulatable ultimate theory does exist and governs the creation of the universe. The formulated theories describe the matter we see every day."
Wen's book is a truly fantastic book, but I don't think it can be considered a "Solid State" text. It is a many-body book in the spirit of Altland and Simon, AGD or Fetter and Walecka. It is emphatically NOT in the spirit of Kittel or A&M. That's a good thing! But I think to really get much out of a book like Wen, it's BEST to have a traditional background in Solid State Physics.

Edit: Maybe I'm old fashioned (or maybe it's because I'm in a group which is actually well grounded by experiment), but I think to do condensed matter theory, you must have a rock solid intuition about classical band structure theory, the semiclassical theory of phonons, elementary treatments of magnetism, and crystal structures that you can't find in these fancy many body books. Wen's treatise is an aesthetic masterpiece, but to begin studying CMT there would be worse than suggesting one immediately starts learning E&M from Landau's Classical Theory of Fields (Or Jackson), rather than starting with Purcell or Griffiths.
 
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  • #39
Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur by Stephen Blundell
 
  • #40
atyy
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Wen's book is a truly fantastic book, but I don't think it can be considered a "Solid State" text. It is a many-body book in the spirit of Altland and Simon, AGD or Fetter and Walecka. It is emphatically NOT in the spirit of Kittel or A&M. That's a good thing! But I think to really get much out of a book like Wen, it's BEST to have a traditional background in Solid State Physics.

Edit: Maybe I'm old fashioned (or maybe it's because I'm in a group which is actually well grounded by experiment), but I think to do condensed matter theory, you must have a rock solid intuition about classical band structure theory, the semiclassical theory of phonons, elementary treatments of magnetism, and crystal structures that you can't find in these fancy many body books. Wen's treatise is an aesthetic masterpiece, but to begin studying CMT there would be worse than suggesting one immediately starts learning E&M from Landau's Classical Theory of Fields (Or Jackson), rather than starting with Purcell or Griffiths.
Ha, ha, yes, the two books I've listed (MTW and Wen) are more like poetry than physics, and one definitely shouldn't use those as textbooks. Maybe Kaxiras https://www.amazon.com/dp/0521523397/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20, Mahan https://www.amazon.com/dp/0691140162/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20 and Mattuck https://www.amazon.com/dp/0486670473/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20? The first few chapters of Mattuck are really cute.
 
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  • #41
dextercioby
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Sakurai and Ballentine for Quantum Mechanics. Ray d'Inverno's for GR. Pierre Ramond's text on QFT.
 
  • #42
vanhees71
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The trouble with Ramond's QFT text is that it's very formal. We had this as a textbook when learning QFT within the theory course. Only at the very end our professor realized that he had not even introduced the concept of a cross section, the S matrix, and all that. It's a lot of Euclidean QFT instead. It's a very good textbook if you want to learn about renormalization, particularly of gauge theories on a formal level. It's the perfect introduction to this topic but not to learn QFT as it is relevant for particle physics and other applications. Here the "awesome textbooks" are Weinberg's books: Starting from a physical motivation, i.e., the definition of a relativistic S matrix he explains in great detail, why QFT looks the way it does. It's also a bit hard as an introductory textbook (here I'd recommend Ryder instead), but if you like to know the (important) details about QFT, Weinberg's books are gems (as are all other of his textbooks like the two books on GR, gravitation, and cosmology, and non-relativistic QT).
 

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