Books for self study

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  • Thread starter manden
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Hi, i'm really only in the forum to help my wife (as my questions will show). for 5 years after graduating from an ivy league as an electric engineer she took care of our kids instead of working, and is now going to do a masters in EE to "get back in the game". she's doing some prep work (5 years out of school is a long time, as i know myself as well), so she's just recapping the stuff she learnt + reading a bit about topics she didnt take courses in.

as i know nothing about physics/engineering, all i do is i try to find good books for her to study (so far has gone well, but now it seems i need some help). I'm probably not being helpful, but given the insurmountable debt i've built up to her for her sacrifice, i'm going to try regardless.

Just to put things in context
She's gone through Purcell's "Electricity and Magnetism" that i got for her.
She's in the process of going through "Foundations of Digital and ANalog Circuits" by agarwal and lang that i got for her, prob anothr month or so to go (maybe a bit more as she's also gonna do all the mit open courseware homework available)
Next she's gonna go through "fundamentals of signals and systems" by kamen and heck that she had from her undergrad.
After that, she'd like to do some optics which she didnt do as an undergrad. i've been struggling to find a suitable book there. there seems to be "introduction to modern optics" and "fundamentals of photonics". the prior gets good reviews but is rather short and sparse on exercises. the latter seems to have too few examples/exercises and seems to be at a relatively high level but gets great reviews and seems to encompass a lot. Any other suggestions?

This probably takes her to the start of her masters and might be enough, but if there are any other suggestions of good books that are suitable for self study, then please shoot it out. For example something to build upon the circuits book she's doing (but still "general", not topic specific) or on the signals book would be great - those books are "circuits 101" and "signals 101", so if there are some good "201" books on those topics that would be cool too.

thanks in advance for the help (if any received).
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Hi,

The best way to go would be to take free online courses on edx.org or coursera.org. There are many archived courses, with full video lectures and sets of exercises.
For example:
"Waves and Optics" by Jason Hafner from Rice University
"Fundamentals of Nanoelectronics" by Professor Supriyo Datta from Purdue University
and many other great courses.
 
  • #3
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Hi mate, welcome to physicsforums.

I'm an electrical/electronics engineering student myself in my third year so I think I might be able to help a little. Self studying is a great thing in my opinion and it is way I prefer to learn. The only problem is that it is very easy to slack off and lose interest or to cover the material in a less thorough manner than you would if you were attending a class. The best advice I can give in this regard is to do as many exercises as possible.

For signals and comms the books by Lathi are pretty good: "linear systems and signals" and "modern digital and analog communications systems". For circuits the book by sedra/smith "Microelectronic circuits" is really comprehensive and has a lot of exercises and worked examples.

I'm afraid that I didn't take optoelectronics so I can't vouch for it but my uni uses syms "optical guided waves and devices" for their optoelectronics course. "lectrues on the electrical properties of materials" by solymar and walsh is a great intro book that has fairly minimal mathematical requirements.
 

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