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Great Physics Books

  1. Nov 17, 2004 #1
    I hope I am not being redundant with a topic like this. I did a search but did not come up with much.

    What are the authors/titles/isbn/price(etc) of some great undergrad physics books?

    I am currently a first year undergrad physics student, and I would like any books that will be a big help throughout all of undergrad physics. Books that you all think are well written, very clear, etc. Any book/s that does a good job with both concepts and problem solving.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2004 #2
    don't know if they fit your view of 'greatness'...:rofl:
    I am reading University Physics accompanied with The Feynman Lectures on Physics.
  4. Nov 17, 2004 #3
    I have heard a lot of good things about the Feynman lecture books, and I will also check out University Physics. Thanks!
  5. Nov 18, 2004 #4


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  6. Nov 18, 2004 #5
    I suggest:
    you will find some usefull links there
  7. Nov 18, 2004 #6
    Halliday and Resnick - Physics (older editions)
    Symon - Mechanics
    Park - Introduction to Quantum Theory
    Griffiths - Electrodynamics
    Schroeder - Introduction to Thermal Physics
    Leighton - Principles of Modern Physics
  8. Nov 18, 2004 #7
    Thanks everyone.
  9. Nov 19, 2004 #8
    I recommend Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 5th edition, by Serway & Beichner, ISBN0030226546.

    I think their coverage of the concepts was very thorough and they include clear, detailed examples of how to solve many types of problems for each topic.

    There is now a 6th edition, which means you can probably find good buys on the 5th. Just make sure you get one that includes at least chapters 1-39. There's also an edition called Physics for Scientists and Engineers With Modern Physics, 5th ed., ISBN0030226570, which I guess is even better.
  10. Mar 17, 2005 #9
    Is this book calculus based? i'm currently a HS student and am taking a general physics course and havent done any calculus.. Will it be a little too hard for me?
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2005
  11. Mar 17, 2005 #10
    Personally, I think the Feynman lectures are horrible books for beginners to use to learn physics. It's more like a book that you'd read after you know physics fairly well and want to gain some more insight and understanding. That's the thing - there are great textbooks out there you'd want to keep in your library and use for reference, and other textbooks which don't necessarily have lasting value, but are great for learning things the first time around.

    I like the Griffiths Electrodynamics book a lot and wish I had known about it as a freshman when I took an E&M course based on Purcell. It would have saved me some agony.
  12. Mar 17, 2005 #11
  13. Mar 17, 2005 #12
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2005
  14. Mar 17, 2005 #13
    most of the books in those links are calculus based besides some of them which elaborate only on principles like "Kleppner & Kolenkow, An Introduction to Mechanics". Can't find books which are algebra/trig based...

    thanks much
  15. Mar 17, 2005 #14
    They were a fantastic companion for my self study. I found an old physics text book at a second hand shop for 5 bucks and after I read a chapter I would read the lecture or vice versa. I would be able to fly through the problems this way. Think of it like this: most people go to a college secture and then have to read the chapter on top of that for a clear understanding.
  16. Mar 18, 2005 #15
    Jai, this thread is in response to mattmns' request for info about undergrad physics books. If you're looking for something else, perhaps starting a thread of your own would garner more appropriate responses.
  17. Mar 18, 2005 #16


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    Gold Member

  18. Mar 18, 2005 #17
    alright. im sorry.. it just seems that there are a lot of threads with the same question so didnt want to create one more... anyways, i'll create a new one...

    thanks much..
    Thanks much...
  19. Mar 18, 2005 #18


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    Staff: Mentor

    Most professors don't intend their lectures to be the last word on the subject. If they did, they wouldn't require you to buy a textbook! Look in most syllabi and there will probably be something about reading the relevant sections of the textbook before coming to lecture.
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