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

  1. Jun 5, 2015 #1
    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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  3. Jun 7, 2015 #2


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    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).
  4. Jun 8, 2015 #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....
  5. Jun 8, 2015 #4


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    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.
  6. Jun 9, 2015 #5


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    What are the prerequisites of Arfken (that you are missing)?
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  7. Jun 9, 2015 #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.
  8. Jun 9, 2015 #7


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    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.
  9. Jun 9, 2015 #8


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    This isn't as good as a whole book, I know, but you're always welcome to ask for help here!
  10. Jun 9, 2015 #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
  11. Jun 9, 2015 #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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