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Books To Inspire a Beginnig Physics Student

  1. Feb 11, 2012 #1
    What books would you encourage a physics student to read, that you overall enjoyed. It doesn't just have to be about physics. I'm currently reading, "Euclid's Window" and it is almost all about Math, which I have no problem with.
    I guess what i'm asking is what should I read (or watch, or do) to keep myself inspired.
    Thank you for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    When I was in undergrad physics we would read the popular books at the time and wonder come their physics didnt match what we were studying. Brian greens books are like that. He describes the concepts and deep insights of string theory that you as a student would really have to struggle through to understand and even the you might be able to connect his insights with what you've learned. Sometimes the analogies can throw you off as you think too deeply about them.

    I think books on Feynman are good or even his lectures. But learning how he approached and solved problems can really help. He often said he didn't remember the names of things in physics and would get people to explain what they were talking about before he'd answer.
  4. Feb 11, 2012 #3
    I do like Feynman. I have watched his Cornell lectures a few times. Thank you for being honest with me about the reality of things.
    I have purposefully avoided Brian Greene because of the whole string theory thing (Not that it is bad or wrong, but just because it's so darn complicated for someone with my mathematical background)

    I know most people here would say something like, "your textbook". So I appreciate the reply.
  5. Feb 25, 2012 #4

    I have read so many books in my college days , but as you know when you start getting responsibilties all your private enjoyment time gets lost...anyways i was surfing some Online Books website few days ago i found a interesting physics book called 38 Bahadurabad by Zeeba Sadiq .... its cover might look boring but dnt judge on it ... its really interesting and one of the best physics book.

    Matt o:)
  6. Feb 25, 2012 #5


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  7. Feb 25, 2012 #6
    If you are reading for fun and inspiration, I would stick to books that are not terribly technical (you will get into that in good time) and will eventually allow you to make connections to what you will learn in class. In particular, I find that a class on quantum mechanics or particle physics is much easier and more satisfying if you already have a non-mathematical intuition built up, so you don't have to worry about the doubly whammy of difficult math on top of counter-intuitive physics. In that line of thinking, I would recommend "Quantum: A guide for the perplexed" and "Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics." I also will echo jedishrfu and say there are many great books by Feynman or based on his lectures. The complete "Feynman Lectures on Physics" is generally pricey, but covers a lot of topics in an accessible manner and is perhaps the most useful set of books I own. Also great was his book on elementary particle physics and QED. Of all these, I would recommend the first most strongly, it is a very easy and entertaining read.
  8. Feb 25, 2012 #7

    Would you say that the book gave a good argument against string theory or was it just another example of, "They can't prove it and they won't be able to, so ha, eat that Brian Greene."?

    I'm up for a good argument and it looks like the books has rave reviews, but I don't want to have a prejudice against string theory because some guy doesn't like that it hasn't proved anything quite yet. I'm not pro-string theory or pro-standard model, i'm just pro-physics (which I define as understanding how the universe works.)
  9. Feb 25, 2012 #8
    I looked at the book on Amazon and it looked like to me that it was a biography of young girl.

    is this the proper book? https://www.amazon.com/Bahadurabad-Essential-Asia-Sadiq-Zeeba/dp/0571216412/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1330225327&sr=8-2
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