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Calculus Based Textbook that isn't Halliday

  1. Jun 23, 2012 #1
    Hello all,

    I am looking for a good calculus-based textbook to self-teach Physics 1 from. I have Halliday but I find it slow-going and too tedious for me, not in depth but in repetition. I have already taken a Physics 1 class at my school, but my school's physics department is rather dreadful and so I'd say I know less than a quarter of what would be covered in a normal high school physics course (AP that is).

    On the other hand, my mathematical skills are quite good for my age, having completed all single-variable calculus and basic multivariable. As a result (or maybe seperate), I find Halliday too slow and Feynman's lectures too conceptual (though brilliant in their own right).

    So I was hoping that I could be pointed towards a nice Physics textbook, the key thing being that it is Calculus based to the greatest extent possible.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2012 #2
    Kleppner may be of use. Of course, the point of an intro class is to learn the physics so a book being too conceptual seems odd.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  4. Jun 23, 2012 #3


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    Take a look at the 5 volume Berkeley Physics series. They were used for honors freshman physics when I attended college, where the standard course for physics majors used Halliday and Resnick. It has been a long time, but I recall being pleased with vol. 1 (mechanics) which was authored by C. Kittel, who wrote classic texts on solid state physics. Vol. 2 (electricity and magnetism) is a widely acclaimed gem written by Nobel laureate E. Purcell. Thermal physics (vol. 4) by Reif is another standout--often referred to as "baby Reif" to differentiate it from his graduate level text. The series might be more to your tastes.
  5. Jun 24, 2012 #4
    marcusl has it exactly.

    Once you move on from Physics at the level of R & H the subject is offered in texts covering particular areas, often written by acknowledged experts in that field, as opposed to one gigantic text covering everything.

    There are other good university physics series such as

    The Manchester Physics Series
    The MIT Physics Series

    You should also be looking at the issue from another perspective - viz that of applied maths.
    There are many good applied maths books that bridge the gap

    Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences - Reilly
    The Chemistry Maths book - Steiner

    From what you have said, you will need to develop your maths skills along with your physics. Steiner is particularly good for taking you on to the next level.

    go well
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