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Concise introductory physics texts

  1. Jul 9, 2013 #1
    I am looking for a title on introductory physics meeting criteria that are seldom met these days.

    • Concise, ideally 500 pages or less
    • Not cluttered with lots of extraneous boxes and such. (This ties into the first criterion.)
    • Has at least partial solutions in the back
    • Calculus-based but not exceedingly formal
    • In addition to the standard Galileo / Newton fare, covers electricity and magnetism, some physical chemistry, relativity, quantum mechanics.

    The only criteria that are non-negotiable for my purposes are conciseness and the use of some calculus. Everything else can in principle be sacrificed. Unfortunately, textbook authors seem to be paid per page anymore. That is why this search is not easy. All suggestions meeting these criteria are welcome.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2013 #2


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    If you are decided on a calculus-based book, I strongly recommend a comprehensive textbook that won't skimp on detail. This one that I usually recommend comes in 3 parts or a single huge volume:

    Young & Freedman - University Physics Vol 1
    ... Volume 2
    ... Volume 3

    Since you'll be using calculus, using it on many topics can only help you become very good at it.

    To see what topics it includes, use Look Inside on volume 2.
  4. Jul 9, 2013 #3


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    Hmm, I think I should qualify my suggestion. Calculus-based books must use calculus like a language, the math must flow like words. It can't be tacked on. This is why I chose to recommend a comprehensive book, with as it happens a ton of content. It isn't concise, but you don't have to read everything, and it is always there to go back to later. And every page (almost) will have calculus on it. This is what you want, I think.
  5. Jul 9, 2013 #4
    This might help a bit:


    What I want is something almost exactly like this, except with partial answers to exercises and some calculus. In this one, lots of deltas are used instead.

    Notice that you can download the ToC from Springer's website there.
  6. Jul 12, 2013 #5
  7. Jul 14, 2013 #6
    That looks real good.
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