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Books for Classical/Quantum/Fluid Mechanics

  1. Jun 5, 2010 #1
    I will be an undergraduate this fall as a Math and Physics major, and I wanted to get a little bit ahead in physics this summer so that I can take some more advanced classes this fall. I took a calculus-based physics course at my high school, and did very well in the class as well as the AP exam(s), so I was thinking of learning some Classical and Quantum mechanics. What would be some good books to read?

    For classical mechanics, I'm debating between Taylor and Goldstein. I think Goldstein's may be too advanced for me since it's used in a graduate level Dynamics courses here. Are there any other books that I should look at?

    For Quantum, I am thinking of ordering the Griffiths textbook. I read a bit of the Shankar book and I didn't really like it that much, though I guess I'd enjoy it better if I knew more. Will this be appropriate for me to study?

    Additionally, I am working at the fluids laboratory this summer at the same university, and it would probably be useful for me to learn some fundamentals of fluid mechanics/dynamics, but I have no idea which book(s) to order. Any suggestions?

    Finally, just wanted to point out that I think I have the right mathematical background for most of these courses--I've taken Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations, and two semesters in Linear Algebra (one undergrad, one grad), so I don't think math will be a problem. Actually I think, the more math in a book, the better--I could relate to it better.

    Thank you in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2010 #2
    Well, Griffiths is imo one of the best choices as an introductory QM textbook. Since you've had linear algebra, you're not going to have any problems.
  4. Jul 2, 2010 #3
    I did math and physics in college and one mistake i always made was this: I went out of my way to learn real esoteric stuff- field theory topology solving partial differential equations in multiple dimensions etc. Then I got a job at a national lab and worked around tons of experimentalists that could absolutely whoop my *** in intuition- but most of them werent that good at all the high level stuff. Bottom line i had to learn how to think about physics simply- i had learned a bunch of high level stuff and wasnt that good at low level stuff. If you want to get good at physics take your basic freshman physics books and start trying to go through and solve every problem in every chapter systematically. theres a reason why your supposed to take 401 four years after 101.
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