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Fundamentals of Physics: Fifth Edition

  1. Nov 30, 2006 #1
    Fundementals of Physics: Fifth Edition

    I'm in the 8th grade and have got my hands on a book called

    Fundementals of Physics: Fifth Edition

    By Halliday, Walker, and Resnick

    Published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

    I right now have the first and second volumes, and by the way, I got it at Half Price books for $14 for both the books combined.

    Can I please have some suggestions about it???

    Currently I am on Chapter 2 and working my way around the calculus, which much of it is unknown to me.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2006 #2

    finally another young student who wants to learn about physics but doesn't know anything about calculus

    i suggest reading eintsein 1905 and michio kaku's books on relativity and matter, they have no equations at all but are good at outlining the general details of matter and relativity
  4. Dec 1, 2006 #3
    Halliday and Resinick huh, yeah you are about 5 years ahead of the game. Many Universities in my area use that book for there general physics (sophtmore level) course. So congradulations on getting a hold of it so early into the game.

    Now about the question on which calculus book to suppliment it:

    How much do you like reading and doing proofs?

    Thats the question you have to ask yourself before you get your hands on a calculus book to help your through Halliday and Resinick (I had the 4th edition in high school; believe me I know it can be confusing at first).

    If you like proofs, just go to your local college and head into their library and check out anything on elementry or introductory calculus.

    If you don't like proofs: then it is really a personal preferance as to what calculus book to use to teach yourself. I had a really good one in High School, but I can't remember the author (unfortuantly). One big key though is to find a calculus book that fits your learning style, and one that has plenty of examples that relate to physics (thats why I wish I could remember the name of the one I had). Another idea to do when looking for a calculus book to be your compainion is to find one that has a good prelimanry section, that way you can brush up on anything you may not have covered yet in your normal classes.

    And if you want the calculus book on the cheap, order an international edition from Britain or Canada through amazon, they tend to be much much cheaper (and softback not hardback so shipping isn't that bad).
  5. Dec 1, 2006 #4
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  6. Dec 1, 2006 #5
    Yeah... I like to solve for long proofs actually.

    Thanks for the suggestions :smile:


    I have already read A Brief History of Time by Mr. Hawking, and Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy by Kip S. Thorne to name a few.

    I have gone through my Encylopedia eight times over physics and have been reading a lot about astro. since I was 6.

    No... I need to learn the math now.

    My parents would probably not spend so much on Calculus yet (I am actually supposed to be studying for Mathcounts).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  7. Dec 1, 2006 #6
    How comfortable are you with algebra?
    If you're confident enough that you don't have many gaps in your algebra knowledge, try getting a hold of Schaum's Outline in Calculus.
    It's super cheap ($10 more or less?) and starts off with precalculus material that'll help you get through from calculus I, as it begins, up through multivariable calculus.
    Ofcourse, you don't have to buy books. There are many awesome sites on the internet you can learn from, like this, for example.
    What's Mathcounts btw? :P
  8. Dec 1, 2006 #7
    Don't worry too much on those popular science books. I use to try to read many but now I realize they are not that helpful. Congratulations on finding this fact so early. Maths is essential for physics just like knowing a language (such as English) is essential for a subject like history.

    Don't worry too much on the advanced maths like calculus if you are not sound on the maths basics. Are you doing well in your maths subjects at school? If you aren't than I recommend you spend most of your time mastering the basics before jumping into the calculus. I'd recommend you do as many problems in 9th, 10th, grade maths before plunging into calculus.
  9. Dec 2, 2006 #8
    eh I remember I used to hate math and spent very little effort on it then my science teacher gave me calculus the easy way, so that I may understand some scientific papers in a better light.

    this book made math click for me, and I loved it, it also spent alot of time trying to show how the math is derived. I accredit this for my ability to do alot of problems that no one else I know can do.

    sometimes the "honors" textbooks are not the best ones to use, they jump into the proofs and all that and will give you a far more indpth knowledge than books like calculus: the easy way, but they won't give you the intuition.
  10. Dec 2, 2006 #9
    Which book CPL Luke?

    Popular books are good for putting your knowledge in context, and for giving it a human face.

    I don't see anything wrong with dabbling with calculus and stretching your brain a little before mastering junior high and high school math, subjects I remember being rather stultifying at the time.
  11. Dec 2, 2006 #10
    Nor do I. Personally I find it irratating that we hide calculus until the last minute like it a god subject. I would much rather have had been taught calculus right after algebra (maybe with a little bit of a trig. intro, but you can learn trig in like 3-4 weeks tops). After Calculus, geometry and trig., of the highschool level, made much more sense. So I actually encourge people to get a heads up on the topic.
    In that case try to get ahold of Advanced Calculus by Patrick Fitzpatrick, its what I use in university, and it is great.
  12. Dec 2, 2006 #11
    aorry I suppose I should have underlined it,

    calculus the easy way.

    i know it sounds cheasy, but it definatly game me a better intuition into calculus than any of my friends got when they went through their calclus courses.

    note however that it doesn't have enough material in it to count as a full education in calculus, however it does include a number of interesting exercises, and most of the bsics for calc 1 and calc 2
  13. Dec 3, 2006 #12
    ehh sorry about that i'm too used to thinking of eight graders as the bumbling short kids at my school who never have a clue about what they are doing all the time. its a bad 9th grader habit. i said start with, but apparently you've already started :cool:
  14. Dec 4, 2006 #13
    8th grade is quite early for halliday resnick. It's high school level. Anyway, calculus is the language of physics so you need to learn it first. I personally dislike fundamentals, but it's probably more easily digestible than similar books available in USA.
  15. Dec 4, 2006 #14
    I have very recently been in a very similar situation, I'm in 10th grade, had no calculus in school and wanted to know more about both physics and mathematics. I now have Fundamentals (7th edition), and a basic calculus text (A First Course In Calculus). My impression of fundamentals, is that its use of calculus is very limited. An intuitive understanding of derivatives will be very helpful, but integration is barely needed. You can get this intuitive understanding of derivatives very easily, for example in the first chapters of many calculus books (you do need to work the problems, especially the text problems), integration might be a little harder to get a good understanding of since it is often not presented until a little later. It's vital that you get a good grasp of derivatives before reading or you will either have to re-read those parts or you will lack important fundamentals later in the book. Getting a good grasp of integration before starting isn't that important, you should know what the basic idea of definite and indefinite integrals are, but learning the more advanced aspects of integration can take some time and could easily be learned alongside Fundamentals if you want to get started. One thing you also need to keep in mind is that a good understanding of trigonometry also is very important. Depending on your school (and probably your country) you may or may not have learned about it in school.

    I hope this was helpful, but keep in mind that I'm barely more experienced than you, so some of this advice might not be very good.
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