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Calculus based Physics book for undergraduate needed

  1. Apr 14, 2014 #1
    Hi all,

    So I'm a first year undergrad and I really don't like the book I'm currently using at uni; Matter and Interactions by Chabay. I have been searching PF a lot and found out that the best book is Halliday/Resnick/Walker or Krane but I'm not sure which one to get?

    There are the books in my university;s library but they are of older editions (edition 2 and 3 and there are the extended edition of them as well).

    I also got my hands on Berkeley Physics Course Vol. 1 (Mechanics) and I'm currently going through it. Is it good for modern classical mechanics?

    I quickly went through some pages of Halliday(Fundamentals of Physics) but I'm not sure if it deals a lot with vectors in all the chapters(since we deal a lot with vectors in my course, be in in kinematics, forces, gravitation)

    Now I could go and buy a recent version of Halliday's book but I'm not sure which one? The one with Krane or Walker? Which edition is considered best?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2014 #2
    Personally I am not fond of the likes of Halliday and Resnick. (I am talking about the books, not the people :-) ). They have evolved in the shape of multicolored picture books that somehow manage to make me sad. But probably it's just me and my being an old windpipe.

    Since you mention an 'old school' book like Berkeley Physics Vol1 (which I happen to have read and liked), I dare suggest you to take a peek at another University series: the one written by A. P. French for M.I.T.
    As I said in other posts in this forum, I wish I had started studying physics on the first volume of this series, that is "Newtonian Mechanics" by French. I won't repeat myself, I have posted very few posts lately and you could trace the one about French very easily. Suffice it to say that I strongly suggest that you look those books up in your Uni's library (there are four of them: mechanics, relativity, vibrations and waves. and quantum physics; sadly French did not cover electromagnetism).

    One more thing about French: when 'mechanics' is mentioned in a post, the name Kleppner will surely come up. Kleppner's book is a very good book, but it's a rational mechanics book, not an introduction to physics. If you are looking for a first year physics book (that, incidentally, is about mechanics) I believe this is a bit of an overshoot. French book has 'mechanics' in its title but it's a book about physics and how to approach the study of physics.

    As far as giant two-in-one (or three-in-one) physics books go, I would rather suggest Ohanian's "Physics", voll. 1 and 2. I bought the single tome second edition on the Amazon marketplace for 3 bucks (! yay! !), just to complete my set of books from that author and I have been very favorably impressed. I'd take this over Halliday/Resnick without a second thought.

    As it is often the case, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, you have to see for yourself before making up your mind. But for three bucks...
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
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