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Can I get list of physics textbooks

  1. Apr 17, 2017 #1
    Hello, I have a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. I just recently decided I wanted to get a masters degree in physics but that won't happen cause I'm a homeowner paying a high mortgage while working half a year. While I only work half a year I doubt I could pull it off but it's tempting.

    I was wondering if someone can give me a good list of physics textbooks used by various universities for a student under a typical 4 year degree plan so I could have something to work with on my free time.

    I would appreciate this a lot.

    Thank you,
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Try Gerald 't Hooft's website here:


    Also Leonard Susskind's Theoretical Minimum books and online lectures would be good. They are geared for folks who have some background and want to recover what they thought they forgot but never learned. :-)

    Currently, he has two books on Classical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics with a third on the way.

    Also there's this book which is coming out soon by Kip Thorne and Roger Blandford:


    You can find preprints online to get a jump on the text. The focus is on using geometric principles to understand physics.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  4. Apr 18, 2017 #3
    Thank you, I appreciate it. I'll definitely consider buying that textbook. While I like that the first links has a lot of info readily available and free, I feel the internet is too distracting to soak in information straight off of. though the first link does link to some official textbooks that are probably for sale somewhere which helps with my main goal in purchasing the right university textbooks. As long as there are example problems that are worked out in the textbooks chapters, I can learn off that work so in turn I can get to solving the problems at the end of the chapters of the textbooks.

    Basically I'm trying to go to school without attending a classroom lecture but with owning the textbook for the classroom.

    I appreciate your guidance, I've found some textbooks from those links.

    Thank you,
  5. Apr 20, 2017 #4
    One way to get the information you ask for is to go to GRADSCHOOL shopper website. Then take a typical grad school e.g, Virginia, or Virginia Tech. Then click on the link to get admission information. Usually there is a write up link pdf file. Look for undergraduate background assumed in the write up. This will give you the level and usually typical textbooks that the graduate schools expect their applicants to understand. They usually have something like:

    Classical Mechanics: Taylor, or Marion and Thornton, or Symon (older)
    E and M: Griffith, or (older) Reitz and Milford; maybe Corson and Lorraine
    Statistical Physics: Reif or maybe Kittel.
    Quantum Mechanics: G riffith; or Gasioowicz; maybe Merzbacher (although this last is probably more advanced)
    Sometimes: Optics: Hecht.

    Pick your favorite grad school and do this. They all have mostly the same undergraduate background assumed. If you pick an extremely selective grad school, they may assume the applicants, are extremely well prepared and may not list the books, though.
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