Main Question or Discussion Point
What are the common classes, and if it's not too much additional trouble, textbooks that are associated with then in the first year of college under a Theoretical Physics major?
I was also meaning to ask this — thank you for answering this in advance! I aspire to major in Quantum Mechanics, but I was unsure whether a bachelors in Theoretical Physics or General Physics would be more suited, or whether it would make any difference at all when pursuing a doctorate.In the US, most colleges and universities don't have a separate Theoretical Physics major. If there is such a major, it probably isn't significantly different from a standard physics major until junior year.
I'm thankfully in possession of a James Stewart Single Variable Calculus book that I can study from in the time being, alongside this though I have Physics for Scientist and Engineers by Serway and Jewett, is this too advanced of a textbook to be studying from early on?At most schools, a first-year physics major takes two semesters of calculus-based introductory physics using a textbook like Halliday/Resnick/Walker "Fundamentals of Physics", Young/Freedman "University Physics" or a bunch of other similar textbooks. Also calculus, starting with Calculus I or wherever the math department places you based on what you've done in high school. Stewart and Swokowski are two common textbooks.
Thank you. I was curious as well as to if colleges give separate classes for different areas of physics during the pursuit of a bachelors, such a class dedicated to strictly electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, etc.In a few places, an honors-physics freshman sequence is
Kleppner&Kolenkow for intro-mechanics and Purcell for intro-electrodynamics.
Some other places might actually start off with some modern physics before a typical calculus-based textbook like those mentioned above.