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- Thread starter techieadmin
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- #2

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I have also read Surely Your Joking Mr. Feynman, which is a semi autobiographical look at his life and work...very funny and very interesting. But that isn't strictly a factual book.

I know other books but they are more degree level, such as KASAP, which is a book dealing with the physics behind semi-conductors such as diodes and transistors etc.

- #3

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For starter physics, I can reccommend two titles.

1) Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday and Resnick Physics. If you get the extended edition they have things on baby quantum and particles. This is a calc based text, and is pretty much essential in first year physics.

2) Cutnell and Johnson Physics. This is an algebra text and covers mostly what Halliday's book does but at a lower level.

These are the standard books. They are quite basic, but explain all the fundamental ideas you'll use over and over in physics. I'd go with Halliday over Cutnell, and learn some calc alongside because its actually easier than pure algebra. Not to mention physics is always calc based.

Ofcourse, if you've got strong grounds in math (that means calc) you can try Griffiths Intro to Quantum mechanics. That should occupy you plenty in the quantum / particle parts. I dunno how far you'd get in Griffiths though, because quantum and particle physics are very heavy on math. You'd need differential equations and multiple integrals. Even some linear algebra. Unless you've done this, stick to Halliday who gives a less rigorous introduction to the topics more suitable for first years.

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I found it useful to have more 'hand-waving' arguments rather than diving into the maths with no idea where it was leading you. Personally I found it helpful to know where everything was going before being presented with diagrams and/or formulae. But then again that's down more to personal preference. Still I recommend books written by or about Feynman, he had an passion and enthusiasm about lecturing physics that comes across in the texts.

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For calc?

Well I got two books.

1) James Stewart - Calculus & Early Transcendals. This is kind of a "dumbed down" book on calc, meaning it skips mathemtical proofs and rigour. It will teach you calc and its operations, but little theory. Very easy to read. Should have more than you need to take on Halliday.

2) Spivak - Calculus. A rigorous book on calculus. This means it will teach you proofs and theory. This is way harder, but will give you a deeper footing in calculus. I only reccommend this if you have seen atleast basic calc (ie. differentiation and limits).

Stewart will teach you math the way your used to learning... how to calculate derivatives and stuff. Spivak will teach you how to proove things like the existance of a limit. If you've never seen proofs before, Stewarts inutitive approach may be more suitable.

@Mike. Thats quite impressive if you understood Feyman level physics in secondary. I understand long ago people learned more in highschool. These days, our curriculum is dumbed down. Unfortunately, I knew very little until I went to university.

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