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Beginner in physics, need suggestion please.

  1. Jul 6, 2010 #1
    Hey there, I have currently set a goal to become a self taught physicist. I recently joined this lovely forum in order to inherit some good information and materials to work with. What I currently need is an awesome book for learning the basics in physics specifically for someone like me also known as a noobie :smile: . I have Physics for Dummies, but I just wanted to walk in with a open mind and see what the experienced physicists feel is better material(s) for someone who is new in this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2010 #2
    Hello jdmade.I think you might like the web site "HyperPhysics"
  4. Jul 6, 2010 #3
    Nine out of Ten Physicists agree:-
    The most awesome book on the subject is Feynman's Lectures on Physics.
  5. Jul 6, 2010 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Hi jdmmade, welcome to PF!

    The topic is so important that we have a whole forum devoted to it along with sub-forums for introductory physics and advanced physics:


    You may want to check it out and see what suggestions have been made already.
  6. Jul 6, 2010 #5
    Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions! I did look at the learning materials section, lots of interesting subjects and materials. In terms of books and learning the mathematical portions and aspect of physics, do you guys think that "Physics for Dummies" is a good start? I guess my weakness is in the mathematics... it's odd because when I was younger I could not stand math. Now I am just astonished by it, very odd isn't it?
  7. Jul 7, 2010 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    And nine out of ten statistics cited on the internet are made up. Seriously though, I don't think anywhere near that many physicists think they're a good book to learn from. More to the point, none of the universities I've attended or worked at uses them them as textbooks.

    The Feynman lectures make for a nice supplement, they give good insight into how Feynman thought about stuff, which frames things nicely in terms of path integrals even before the students learn about them. But from my standpoint as a chemical physicist, that's not really the most useful perspective as Feynman path integrals and propagators aren't used that much in our field.

    Anyway, the best starting point would probably be to get one of the thick introductory books on calculus (which covers single and multi-variable and at least some differential equations) and one of the thick intro physics books (e.g. "University Physics") and work your way through both of them. This is, after all, how it's most often taught in practice.
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