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Book Choice for the Physics Olympiad

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

What are the best books to use for preparing for the Physics Olympiad? I have University Physics and Fundamentals of Physics? Which one is better? Thank you!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
thrill3rnit3
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If you know your stuff already you can buy problem books which can help you with olympiad problems.

Irodov's book is probably one of the best.
 
  • #3
Yeah I only know Kinematics so far, so which book is best to LEARN physics while preparing for the olympiad.
 
  • #4
thrill3rnit3
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Last edited by a moderator:
  • #5
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Fundamentals of Physics, Irodov's, Feynman lectures and watch MIT lectures, would do.
 
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  • #6
thrill3rnit3
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Oh yes, Lewin's MIT lectures are amazing.

By the way, what grade are you in (to the OP)??
 
  • #7
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http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-01Physics-IFall1999/VideoLectures/index.htm [Broken]

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-02Electricity-and-MagnetismSpring2002/VideoAndCaptions/ [Broken]

Oh and do past contest. First the pre ones. (Pre-pre one first if there is one.) Then the IPhO. You should be reasonably ready if you do it. It takes a lot of time and conmittment but its nothing impossible. I only did some Fundamentals of physics and bit of Feynman and MIT lectures, I don't think I made it. For Fundamentals of Physics, do ALL the odd number problems. (I didn't do all the problems and now I'm going over everything again.)
 
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  • #8
thrill3rnit3
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I am also preparing for the Physics Olympiad, so thanks for all the advices.

By the way, how's Fundamentals of Physics? Is it a good book? Does it delve further into theory or is it mostly a problem solving book?
 
  • #9
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I am also preparing for the Physics Olympiad, so thanks for all the advices.

By the way, how's Fundamentals of Physics? Is it a good book? Does it delve further into theory or is it mostly a problem solving book?
It has most of the theory you have to know. But IPhO contest questions are harder, of course. Some of the harder FOP questions are like easiest contest hard part questions. FOP covers first year univeristy physics and that's basicly what you need to know to get into IPhO.
 
  • #10
thrill3rnit3
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It has most of the theory you have to know. But IPhO contest questions are harder, of course. Some of the harder FOP questions are like easiest contest hard part questions. FOP covers first year univeristy physics and that's basicly what you need to know to get into IPhO.
I understand. How about in comparison to national olympiads? Since you said FOP covers what I need to know to get into IPhO, then the problems are about the same difficulty as national physics olympiad (U.S.) ??
 
  • #11
im in grade 8
 
  • #12
No I have FOP and the problems are challenging, but i can complete them. I am sure if I could complete them then they would not be on the iPho
 
  • #13
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http://www.jyu.fi/kastdk/olympiads/ [Broken] go to "The Syllabus" FOP covers most of the material. I guess you have to learn more about Electromagnetic waves, Quantum Physics and Matter. There's only one chapter in FOP on EM waves, I don't think that covers everything. There's no chapter on matter or quantum physics.

I'm in Canada so I do the CAP exam. There's always 3 hard questions that's worth most of the marks. In 2006 there's one almost exact question on CAP that's on the FOP. But that's the 1st level exam. I have no clue what the US National is like.

FOP is mostly for you to learn the material, understand the concepts and do some simple problems. With MIT Lectures you can see some experiments and it will make the book easier to go though. (Lewin is a great lecturer.)

Feynman Lectures can help to understand the concepts and develop intuition. (really only vol. 1 and 2 are needed.)

Then Irodov's is the book that develop your problem solving skills. (Some of Irodov's about the same level as IPhO, I heard. I have the book but didn't have the time to study it. I heard some are even harder than IPhO, since its really designed for good university students.)

abhikesbhat, Grade 8 is really early to start this wow. I only started studying at the end of Grade 11. First try learning the grade 11 and 12 material, though my grade 11 and 12 books are really bad. Though you might want to learn a lot math before you start learning physics, calculus is a must! (even though IPhO says its not needed, then they have solutions in calculus form.)
 
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  • #14
thrill3rnit3
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How did you do on the test Bright Wang?
 
  • #15
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How did you do on the test Bright Wang?
Really bad. The results didn't come out yet, but I did really bad. Just hoping that I can go to the camp. But for Canada you have to do problem sets (Unless you get top 3) to go to the camp.

What grade are you in?
 
  • #16
thrill3rnit3
Gold Member
713
1
Really bad. The results didn't come out yet, but I did really bad. Just hoping that I can go to the camp. But for Canada you have to do problem sets (Unless you get top 3) to go to the camp.

What grade are you in?
I'm currently in 10th grade. I'm studying Mechanics right now, hopefully I can finish that and E&M by the end of the summer so that I can just focus on problem sets by the start of next year (that's when the qualifying tests begin).
 
  • #17
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So, I'm going to the training camp. There's a experimental test, how can I prepare of it? Any books on this?
 
  • #18
thrill3rnit3
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713
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So, I'm going to the training camp. There's a experimental test, how can I prepare of it? Any books on this?
And you said you did really bad :rolleyes:
 
  • #19
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Oh that was beacuse of the problem sets. The exam results didn't came out yet.
 
  • #20
thrill3rnit3
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713
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so what's the camp for? do they select the physics team from the training camp?

I'm not really sure how the system works for you guys...
 
  • #21
Haha im doing the exact same thing. But i'm doing multivariable calculus along with it. Done with most of the syllabus except modern physics.

Trust me, i have used Giancoli, Serway, University Physics, Halliday Resnick WALKER, Halliday Resnick KRANE and Knight. I have purchased Serway, UPhysics, Halliday Resnick KRANE.

IMO, University Physics and Halliday Resnick Krane are the KINGS. What I like about Halliday Resnick Krane though is that they can explain very well with half the amount of words. And the problems are good too.

Get Halliday Resnick Krane. And yeah, use Irodov too. Another good book is A guide to Physics Problems by Sidney B. Cahn etc.
 
  • #22
thrill3rnit3
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713
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What grade are you in?
 
  • #23
I'm not in America, but it's equivalent to grade 10 there.
 
  • #24
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Fundamentals of Physics, Irodov's, Feynman lectures and watch MIT lectures, would do.
Does it involve calculus? Does the Giancoli book involve calculus?
 
  • #25
343
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Does it involve calculus? Does the Giancoli book involve calculus?
All the books I said needs calculus. Don't know Giancoli. You need to learn calculus anyways, you can't do physics without calculus.
 

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