Good pre-honours 'revise all physics' type book(s)

In summary, the person is seeking advice on the fewest books they can use to revise modern physics up to post-grad level, with practice problems and model answers. They have received recommendations for Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Introduction to Electrodynamics, as well as Auletta, Fortunato, and Parisi's Quantum Mechanics and Jackson's Classical Electrodynamics. They are also looking for books on nuclear and solid state physics. They have a gap in their knowledge of calculus and are looking for a book with more worked examples and solutions. They have been using a forum for help and are grateful for the community's support.
  • #1
ognik
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Hi - I'm doing an honors degree in physics by distance learning, having received my B.Sc around 20 years ago. I find there is a lot that is presented quite differently, and also stuff that I don't remember well enough - or not at all. So I'm looking for the fewest books that I can use to revise modern physics fairly quickly up to post-grad level. These would need to have practice problems etc. - if possible with model answers so I can check what I do. All advice appreciated.
 
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  • #2
ognik said:
Hi - I'm doing an honors degree in physics by distance learning, having received my B.Sc around 20 years ago. I find there is a lot that is presented quite differently, and also stuff that I don't remember well enough - or not at all. So I'm looking for the fewest books that I can use to revise modern physics fairly quickly up to post-grad level. These would need to have practice problems etc. - if possible with model answers so I can check what I do. All advice appreciated.

I'm assuming you'll be doing Quantum and E&M at least? What else are you doing?
I'm also assuming that from your terminology, you're either in NZ or Australia - "post-grad level" changes from country to country. For quantum mechanics, I'd recommend a sequence of two books - Griffiths Introduction to Quantum Mechanics for the bare-bones basics (first/second year BSc), and once you're happy with that content, I'd go for Auletta, Fortunato and Parisi's Quantum Mechanics (Third/Honours year through to post-grad).

For electromagnetism, Griffith's Introduction to Electrodynamics for the basics, followed by Jacskon Classical Electrodynamics (Honours through to post-grad).
 
  • #3
Hi and thanks for those, I will be doing QM x 2, E&M, Nuclear, solid state, statistical, advanced maths, research methods x 2. I have registered with UNISA (.co.za).

One of my hurdles is that the physics I studied was very calculus based, these courses lean heavily to linear algebra - I have Arfken et al. for maths (which at times assumes more background than I have). I would appreciate a book with more problems - that I can get solutions to for self-learning checking.

I see the the 2 griffiths books are well regarded, thanks for that. I have come across numerous positives for Resnik & Hallkiday for 'general' physics (Lagrangians and Hamiltonians are also new to me) - but that seems to be very calculus flavored, any linear algebra/operators equivalents ? Again with problems & solutions...
 
  • #4
For Nuclear, I'd go for Introductory Nuclear Physics by Krane. It's very old-school, but it's the go-to undergrad nuclear text. For solid state, Introduction to Solid State Physics by Kittel is the standard.

I'll let someone else recommend a linear-algebra text. None come to mind for me.
 
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  • #5
What are the prerequisites of Arfken (that you are missing)?
 
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  • #6
Up front, I recognise its a good text, I think my issue is the gap since I last studied. I can find my way thought most of the material well enough, but sometimes much too slowly when I need to figure out what I'm missing - in quite a few places the book 'jumps' over some steps that I don't follow. If the book said something like 'we use xyz to get from a to z' I could follow that and fill in - sadly it doesn't. I would like a book with a similar syllabus - with more worked examples; also more problems with the ability to see the solutions to excercises. This last is really important for self study, I am doing problems without knowing if I do them correctly, or if there are other methods of solution. Hope I'm not asking too much... thanks for the interest.
 
  • #7
There should be solutions manuals available for Arfken, although I never looked it up myself. The same should go for the book by Boas, which I find to be at a slightly lower level.
 
  • #8
ognik said:
Up front, I recognise its a good text, I think my issue is the gap since I last studied. I can find my way thought most of the material well enough, but sometimes much too slowly when I need to figure out what I'm missing - in quite a few places the book 'jumps' over some steps that I don't follow. If the book said something like 'we use xyz to get from a to z' I could follow that and fill in - sadly it doesn't. I would like a book with a similar syllabus - with more worked examples; also more problems with the ability to see the solutions to excercises. This last is really important for self study, I am doing problems without knowing if I do them correctly, or if there are other methods of solution. Hope I'm not asking too much... thanks for the interest.

This isn't as good as a whole book, I know, but you're always welcome to ask for help here!
 
  • #9
Have searched long & hard for solutions manual, found a few 'private' solutions but no manual - if anyone knows of a solutions manual link I'd appreciate that.
Probably more interested in a more linear algebra based equivalent of Resnik & Hallkiday ...Thanks
 
  • #10
..and thanks e.bar.goum, I do use this forum and find it valuable, uplifting to find how many people give their time freely to help others - when I'm a bit more confident I'm sure I will give back as well ...
 
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Related to Good pre-honours 'revise all physics' type book(s)

What topics does a good pre-honours physics book cover?

A good pre-honours physics book should cover a broad range of topics including mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, and quantum mechanics. It should also provide a solid foundation in mathematical concepts such as calculus and linear algebra.

Are there any recommended pre-honours physics books?

Yes, there are many highly recommended pre-honours physics books such as "University Physics" by Young and Freedman, "Fundamentals of Physics" by Halliday and Resnick, and "Introduction to Classical Mechanics" by David Morin. It's best to research and compare different books to find the one that best suits your learning style and needs.

Do pre-honours physics books include practice problems?

Most pre-honours physics books include practice problems at the end of each chapter to help reinforce concepts and improve problem-solving skills. Some books also offer additional online resources with even more practice problems and solutions.

Do pre-honours physics books use real-world examples?

Yes, many pre-honours physics books use real-world examples and applications to help students understand the relevance of the concepts being taught. This can also make the material more engaging and easier to remember.

Can pre-honours physics books be used as a standalone study resource?

While pre-honours physics books can be a valuable study resource, they are best used in conjunction with lectures, class notes, and other supplemental materials. It's important to actively engage with the material and seek clarification from a teacher or tutor if needed.

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