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Good All-Rounder?

  1. Feb 5, 2007 #1
    Hey all,

    i am in my last year of high school and am planning on undertakng physics in Uni. I was wondering what might be a good book to start me off on all of the main topics (like classical mechanics, thermo dynamics, QM, GR & SR etc.)

    I think i have a good understanding of maths (for my age), i dont want to have to spend heaps of money either though so even if there is a downloadable version of a great text book that would be great. I am of course willing to pay, just not a heap of cash lol :approve:

    Thanks heaps for any suggestions,

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2007 #2
    Unless you're specifically taking the courses, you won't take Quantum mechanics, physics, or even quantum electrodynamics in your first year. You would be better off reading more general books on physics and building your base knowledge first.

    I have a pdf that may suit you, let me find it.
  4. Feb 6, 2007 #3


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    spoon: what is your preent level of completion of physics/math topics?
  5. Feb 6, 2007 #4
    I have just begun my final year of hih school and am taking physics and Specialist maths (which covers vectors, complex numbers, integration, vector calculus etc.) as well as maths methods.

    I just have a general interest in the topics that i listed, as well as some others, and so i wouldn't mind reading a general physics book (as andreJ suggested) if it covered these areas. If not i thought that reading introduction books on the individual topics might be good.


    I also learn English, so i can spell High school properly as well.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  6. Feb 6, 2007 #5
    introductory QM and GR are usually undertaken in junior year, and as such you won't be able to understand the things covered there for several more years, however if you want to have some fun you could take a electromagnetism book and see how much you get out of it.
  7. Feb 6, 2007 #6
    The Feynman Lectures, of course. It sounds like your more than ready for them. Any good library should have them. There's a new companion volume, Feynman's Tips on Physics that I haven't had a chance to look at. Another one to look for at the library is Basic Concepts of Physics by Sherwin.
  8. Feb 7, 2007 #7
    Seconding the Feynman lectures. I've got 2 of the volumes (1 and 3) secondhand for $20AUS, and since I've started the first chapter, the introduction, I've learned heaps more things I didn't know. As well as this, It's changed the way I've thought about atomic structure as well.
  9. Feb 7, 2007 #8


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    Third vote for the Feynman lectures.
    I got my paperback set in high school. Although I wasn't prepared to understand everything, it framed in my mind what I should be striving towards. For example, I realized that I should learn more about vector algebra and vector calculus to understand electromagnetism...etc. Up to that point, I had been reading all sorts of science and physics pop books.... but I got hungry for the "real deal".

    I think Feynman's little books, "QED" and "The Character of Physical Law", are also good to read at your level. Geroch's "General Relativity from A to B" and Taylor&Wheeler's 1966 version of "Spacetime Physics" are good for relaivity.
  10. Feb 12, 2007 #9

    Get Young and Freedman, University Physics. aka the 'White Bible'
    Covers all stage one physics and some stage 2.

    Congrads on learning to spell high school ;)
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