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Classical Best intro physics (electricity and magnetism) for freshman

  1. Jun 25, 2015 #1
    I took a college physics course (Mechanics) at a CC, and my physics prof was notoriously known to be one of the best.... many of the students transferred to Berkeley and say that he is one of the best they have taken. He said that his two favorite book are: Halliday Resnik: Fundamentals of Physics EDITION 3... he said edition 3 was the best and the new authors for the 9th and 10 edition messed up the book.... the 3rd edition is from the 70's i think and I found it to be pretty good (although it's my first physics textbook and I have no benchmark). He also said one of the Tipler physics textbook was good and had notoriously challenging problems.

    Can you give me advice on which physics book I should get if I want to learn about electricity and magnetism and maybe a bit more on mechanics? I would like a book that has challenging problems and very detailed information...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2015 #2


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    For mechanics I always recommend 'An Introduction to Mechanics' by Kleppner and Kolenkow. For E&M I'd recommend 'Electricity and Magnetism' by Purcell. They're both excellent books that have a great reputation for very good reasons.
  4. Jun 25, 2015 #3
    do you think it is necessary for me to conquer mechanics before moving onto electricity?
  5. Jun 25, 2015 #4


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    Yes, I think so. Things like the kinematics of motion, forces, and the conservation of energy are covered in classical mechanics, and it's important to know these topics well in E&M.
  6. Jun 25, 2015 #5
    I second Purcell and K&K, but will say that taking Calculus 3 concurrently while you're reading Purcell is a big help. That's what I'm doing right now, and I don't know if I'd be getting as much our of the book if I wasn't taking the calculus class at the same time.

    Also the cool thing about taking Mechanics first is that you master Newton's Laws, which don't go away when you learn E&M. Plus K&K is just fun. If you've already been through mechanics, K&K is a book you could work through over the summer.
  7. Jun 25, 2015 #6
    well I did do kinematics.... all the way up to rotations but i go to a quarter system CC, so I think we might have a bit of content kids at semester systems cover in their mechanics class. I know the forces, momentums, energies, and rototations, but there is a lot to my book that we didnt touch (like optics and waves... although we did simple harmonic motion)
  8. Jul 2, 2015 #7
    I own most of the Fundamentals of Physics editions by Halliday and they are all good...but if you are interested in a more deep knowledge about the topics presented there the classical Feynmann lectures are the best
  9. Jul 4, 2015 #8
    A person here recommended me Kip. So far I liked it.
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