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Books on properties of matter (condensed matter?)

  1. Aug 22, 2011 #1
    I'm mainly looking for how "real" life properties are explained. I'm looking for a book on the properties of matter. Something that covers the why liquids flow, the detailed properties of water, how different colors come about, etc, properties of solids, etc. Why are soft things soft? Stuff like that.

    I'd seen color descriptions based on bonding in organic chem books. For a treatment of liquids, am I looking for soft condensed matter?

    I was thinking I'd start with:
    Principles of Condensed Matter Physics by Paul M. Chaikin, T.C. Lubensky

    I'd appreciate any book (or subject) recommendations.

    Condensed matter is the closest I've found.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2011 #2
    It would be easier to give book recommendations if you specify your background.

    Chaikin & Lubensky is no beginners book. If you want to start on the topic, then I would suggest Aschroft & Mermin: https://www.amazon.com/Solid-State-...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314064064&sr=1-1

    If you would like a simpler yet interesting exposure then see:

    An interesting book:

    You may also want to check Materials Science books e.g. Callister's:
  4. Aug 22, 2011 #3
    Thanks. I'll take a look at those, too.

    What drew me to Chaikin was the focus on fluids as well.

    I also found a book specifically on fluids:
    Structured Fluids by (Thomas) Witten

    As for my level - I'm self-studying, and would prefer to err on the side of a little too challenging, than too easy. I also tend to work on the math side of the fence more often than the physics side.

    Classical mechanics -Arnold
    Diff Geometry - Lee, Spivak
    QM - Shankar
    QFT - Zee, Tong, Brown

    I'm currently looking at Greiner's Thermo/Stat mech in anticipation of whatever materials book I end up picking up.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
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