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Books (not textbooks) for introduction to subjects

  1. Jul 30, 2015 #1
    I want to read some books on the major different fields(solid state,computational and any other except from medical physics and the astro,theoretical,cosmo stuff) in order to get a feel for what I might want to pursue later on my degree.I don't want it to be a text book as you might agree text books aren't very motivating.And I won't properly understand the math.
    I guess I am asking if you know of any good "popular science"-y books on the fields other than the astro stuff.Or maybe very sort and very soft introductory textbooks.
    I sense someone might suggest to consult with professors and so on.Noted.So please don't.
    Backround:I am going into my second year of a physics degree.My curriculum doesn't have a proper introduction to modern fields until the 3rd year.I am not in an English speaking language,so please don't make suggestions specific to the US college system or something like that.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2015 #2
    Have you read Feynman's "QED"? It's very short and sweet, an easy read, but also very educational.
  4. Jul 31, 2015 #3


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    In lieu of books have you looked at things like Arduino kits? You can get some practical experience programming micro-controllers while using it to build projects. Seems like a more interesting way to look at something than reading pop science.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  5. Jul 31, 2015 #4
    I will now.I started going through the Feynman Lectures but decided to leave it for after I graduate.Thank you.
  6. Jul 31, 2015 #5
    I am trying to learn as much coding as I can,but I'm not interested in electronics.
  7. Jul 31, 2015 #6
    Neither am I but coding for an Arduino teaches you a whole different kind of programming than pure computational stuff. The electronics part is really easy, foolproof even.
  8. Jul 31, 2015 #7
    I'll look into it then,thanks.
  9. Jul 31, 2015 #8
    I have been looking for something like that. The closest things I found are:

    1. The Very Short Introduction series of books. Superconductivity, Physical Chemistry, perhaps Materials, Chaos and a few others might fit your criteria.
    2. Biographies. They usually contain general, qualitative descriptions of relevant fields. Only if you enjoy reading them anyway - the technical content is just a background.
  10. Jul 31, 2015 #9
    Excellent.I will definitely read up on many of the Very Short Introductions.I read Atkins's one on Thermodynamics earlier this year and forgotten about it.
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