Best Physics, Algebra, and Trigonometry Textbooks (Modern)

In summary: Basic geometry is required for trig so yes of course. You need to master the basics about angles and triangles like this https://www.khanacademy.org/math/geometryAn undergraduate degree, bachelor, in physics is 3 years full time studies. As a hobbyist, be prepared that it will take you more than twice that...
  • #1
I am looking for good textbooks in physics, algebra, and trigonometry textbooks that are up to date and a good read. I heard that Feynman’s Lectures was really good. Is it still up to date enough?

Any opinions?
 
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  • #2
Depends on what your goals and current knowledge is.
What progress have you made since this thread of yours? https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/best-intermediate-algebra-textbooks.983712/ and this one https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/best-trigonometry-books-for-beginners-and-self-study.1010436/ and this one https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/best-beginner-physics-books.1008762/
Seems to me you have asked this question several times /year for two years. You have to read and study in order to learn, even if you do not have the most perfect book at hand.
 
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  • #3
malawi_glenn said:
Depends on what your goals and current knowledge is.
What progress have you made since this thread of yours? https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/best-intermediate-algebra-textbooks.983712/ and this one https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/best-trigonometry-books-for-beginners-and-self-study.1010436/ and this one https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/best-beginner-physics-books.1008762/
Seems to me you have asked this question several times /year for two years. You have to read and study in order to learn, even if you do not have the most perfect book at hand.
I want to reach the level of a real physicist but can’t pay for school. I’m more of a hobbyist.

I used to have a copy of Feynmans lectures but haven’t started it yet, and lost my books in the process of moving to a new house.

I read “Special Relativity for the Enthusiastic Beginner” which I really enjoyed.

I haven’t read any algebra or trig books yet, mainly watching Khan academy.
 
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  • #4
You are not far enough along to handle Feynman's lectures, I am afraid. Not while you also want to learn algebra and trig. Feynman assumes facility with calculus.
 
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  • #5
Vanadium 50 said:
You are not far enough along to handle Feynman's lectures, I am afraid. Not while you also want to learn algebra and trig. Feynman assumes facility with calculus.
As far as algebra and trig goes, do you know if Algebra and Trigonometry by Blitzer is any good? Apparently there are also a lot of online vids to accompany the book too. I mainly learn on YouTube because I tend to lose my focus on books a lot, but I would like both to help solidify my understanding.
 
  • #6
You need to do math and physics in order to learn, just not reading / watching videos.
 
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  • #7
malawi_glenn said:
You need to do math and physics in order to learn, just not reading / watching videos.
I am. I do the math as I go along with the video.
 
  • #8
BadgerBadger92 said:
I am. I do the math as I go along with the video.
You have to solve hundreds of problems and exersices.
 
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  • #9
Try the (free) OpenStax textbooks on algebra and precalculus. I've been using the OpenStax precalculus textbook as a source of problems and examples. It's pretty decent for the price.

As mentioned above, make sure to do lots of exercises from any textbook you choose. If you run into trouble, or want to know if some of your solutions are correct, use the homework subforums here to help you stay focused.
 
  • #10
malawi_glenn said:
You have to solve hundreds of problems and exersices.
Do you know any websites where I can do a lot of problems?

Also do you know any online algebra and trig syllabuses that can help guide my learning?
 
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  • #11
BadgerBadger92 said:
a lot of problems
the Schaum's Outline series books are almost entirely "problems" to be worked. The books have a very brief outline of the theory, then a set of worked problems, and then a large number of problems to be solved for practice.

I have a bunch of them, including "College Physics." I don't have the algebra or trig ones but they must exist.

These books are quite old now but at the introductory level, nothing has changed since they were first printed.

EDIT: I just looked online, the current editions seem to be about 20 dollars US; older editions are around 4 dollars. IMO, the old editions would be just fine.
 
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  • #12
BadgerBadger92 said:
Do you know any websites where I can do a lot of problems?

Also do you know any online algebra and trig syllabuses that can help guide my learning?
Loads of free books here with excersices.
https://openstax.org/subjects
After you have mastered basic algebra and trig, you need to study calculus in order to do physics
 
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  • #13
malawi_glenn said:
Loads of free books here with excersices.
https://openstax.org/subjects
After you have mastered basic algebra and trig, you need to study calculus in order to do physics
What about geometry? Is that necessary too?
 
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  • #14
BadgerBadger92 said:
What about geometry? Is that necessary too?
Basic geometry is required for trig so yes of course. You need to master the basics about angles and triangles like this https://www.khanacademy.org/math/geometry

You could start with "prealgebra" and then do "Algebra and trigonometry" and after that Calculus 1, 2 and 3. Then you can do the University physics 1, 2 and 3.

Remember: an undergrad degree, bachelor, in physics is 3 years full time studies. As hobbyist, be prepared that it will take you more than twice that time.
 
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  • #15
malawi_glenn said:
Basic geometry is required for trig so yes of course. You need to master the basics about angles and triangles like this https://www.khanacademy.org/math/geometry

You could start with "prealgebra" and then do "Algebra and trigonometry" and after that Calculus 1, 2 and 3. Then you can do the University physics 1, 2 and 3.

Remember: an undergrad degree, bachelor, in physics is 3 years full time studies. As hobbyist, be prepared that it will take you more than twice that time.
I already know prealgebra, So I’ll start with normal algebra. I just need to review long division I think.
 
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  • #16
BadgerBadger92 said:
What about geometry? Is that necessary too?
99.9% of theoretical physics is geometry ;-).
 
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  • #17
vanhees71 said:
99.9% of theoretical physics is geometry ;-).
Everything boils down to geometry at some point yes :)
 
  • #18
BadgerBadger92 said:
I already know prealgebra, So I’ll start with normal algebra. I just need to review long division I think.
if you do not know long division, then you do not know prealgbra...
 
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  • #19
MidgetDwarf said:
if you do not know long division, then you do not know prealgbra...
I know factoring and stuff, and algebraic long divisions (surprisingly when I don’t remember long division) In aI’m just having a hard time remembering long division. I probably still remember it just fine since I can do algebraic long division. I haven’t practiced them in years. I’ve gotten pretty good at factoring. I have gotten to the point I can do a lot of problems in my head.
 
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  • #20
BadgerBadger92 said:
Algebra and Trigonometry by Blitzer
Yeah, that would be appropriate for you. After that, you could study calculus and calc-based physics at the same time. You could also read "The Theoretical Minimum" by Susskind
 
  • #21
I just started precalculus by Stewart, James. After that I am thinking Apostol calculus. But not anytime soon since it’s going to take some time :)
 
  • #22
Does anyone know where I can find free samples of “Algebra and Trigonometry” by Blitzer?
 
  • #23
Stewart's Algebra and Trigonometry: An Applied Approach is a fantastic textbook. It teaches everything normally in an A&T book, whilst also providing ways to apply what you're learning.

Another great feature is that there are modelling projects throughout the book, which are great to do as well.

All in all, it's one of the best A&T books I've read, that works wonders for students of the Physical Sciences.

You also mentioned that you know Pre-Algebra, so it would be worth having something on the level of Elementary Algebra and Intermediate Algebra, if you feel you need to bridge the gap to College Algebra level.

Normally, there's a lot of overlap between Elementary Algebra and Intermediate Algebra textbooks. I find having one of the combined ones work great, as I find there's not much overlap, as it picks up right after PreAlgebra, and ends right before College Algebra and Trigonometry.

For this book, I would highly recommend Tussy's combined Elementary and Intermediate Algebra - there's also a PreAlgebra, too. But, most books on Pre/Elementary/Intermediate Algebra will do, as it's more about learning the foundations and mathematical techniques. It's when you hit College Algebra, that I think you can normally find a book more tailored towards a certain area, such as a book like Stewart's Algebra and Trigonometry: An Applied Approach, which whilst covering everything an Algebra And Trigonometry book should, it also focusses on teaching the student how to apply the methods, along with giving you practice in modelling - this book will work wonders for when you start studying Calculus level textbooks.

Also, Stewart does a PreCalculus textbook (which I saw recommended earlier), but just so you know, this book is 99% identical to Stewart's Algebra and Trigonometry - I have literally sat down and compared, and it's word for word. The only difference is that the last chapter in Algebra and Trigonometry is Counting and Probability; whereas, PreCalculus has replaced this chapter with Limits, which you'll cover in the Calculus textbook anyway. So, saying that, you would benefit a lot more from Stewart's Algebra and Trigonometry, over Stewart's PreCalculus; especially, as you get the extra Counting and Probability chapter, which is definitely worth studying, along with the Limits chapter will be in the Calculus book anyway.

Just to add, both the Tussy and Stewart textbooks come with a ton of questions. You're talking like a hundred at the end of the chapters, and this isn't including the questions layered within the topics of the chapters. You're talking literally thousands per textbook.

I hope this helped?
 
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  • #24
BadgerBadger92 said:
Does anyone know where I can find free samples of “Algebra and Trigonometry” by Blitzer?
this is against site policy, unless the copyright of a book has expired. in this instance, it has not.

google is your friend.

now, you do not need the newest edition, any old edition will work. which could be found very cheaply online.
 
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  • #25
MidgetDwarf said:
if you do not know long division, then you do not know prealgbra...
Hard to be certain exactly. I learned "Long Division" while studying it along with basic Algebra in high school; although we were all supposed to have already learned Long Division before we reached Algebra in high school. On the positive side, I myself was better able to learn Division shortly after reaching high school. I had by then learned better how to study things about numbers and basic arithmetic.
 
  • #26
BadgerBadger92 said:
I know factoring and stuff, and algebraic long divisions (surprisingly when I don’t remember long division) In aI’m just having a hard time remembering long division. I probably still remember it just fine since I can do algebraic long division. I haven’t practiced them in years. I’ve gotten pretty good at factoring. I have gotten to the point I can do a lot of problems in my head.
You may find a old G.E.D. Mathematics textbook (I believe by Stech-Vonn, and by Contemporary) which provided excellent instruction for Long Division (part of Basic Arithmetic).
 
  • #27
NovaeSci said:
You also mentioned that you know Pre-Algebra, so it would be worth having something on the level of Elementary Algebra and Intermediate Algebra, if you feel you need to bridge the gap to College Algebra level.
YES, YES!
 
  • #28
NovaeSci said:
Normally, there's a lot of overlap between Elementary Algebra and Intermediate Algebra textbooks. I find having one of the combined ones work great, as I find there's not much overlap, as it picks up right after PreAlgebra, and ends right before College Algebra and Trigonometry.
Again, yes. That is very true.
 

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