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Help me find the ideal physics book for self-study!

  1. Jun 22, 2010 #1
    So here I am:

    Before beginning the Irish Leaving Cert last September (equivalent to British A-Levels, etc), I had absolutely no background knowledge in the subject apart from some basic equations and principles from Junior Cert Science (equivalent to British GCSE's, but much less detailed) - which is, really to say, not a lot.

    But I naturally chose 3 sciences out of total 6-7 to take in the ILC, including physics, though I had held no special "enthusiasm" for it. But, once the ILC course started, I found myself (rather unexpectedly) becoming mesmerised with every diagrams, equations and even the definitions in the textbook. I ended up covering the whole textbook in 3 weeks by myself. I did this, all out of my love for the subject.

    This was nearly a whole year ago. During the year, I had somehow (still a shock to me) managed represent the country in the EU Sci Olympiads.

    Now, next year, there is the big IPhO. I had originally planned to study maybe an A Level or an IB book, but my ambition had eventually stretched to cover the whole 1st year undergrad physics in a year...by myself... :blushing:

    So, I'm in search of a good, solid, SINGLE reliable textbook, that wouldn't require much help by teachers.

    Sorry for the long story but I hoped it'd clarify my requirements!

    I have found few titles, by other posts:

    The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Definitive and Extended Edition by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands

    University Physics with Modern Physics (Pie) with mastering physics by Hugh D. Young, Roger A. Freedman, and Lewis Ford

    Fundamentals of Physics by David Halliday, Robert Resnick, and Jearl Walker

    Due to the price of each of these books :eek: I can only afford to get only one..

    I need one with as much detailed explanation as possible, minimal calculus and lots of questions.. One that I can progress through the whole book and say: "Wonderful!".

    So the question is: which one?

    Thank you in advance!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2010 #2
    Please consider Physics by Halliday Resnick Krane as well. It's much pithier than the rest, meaning to say, it teaches you much more with lesser text, imo. University Physics is good, but sometimes tends to talk a lot of crap.
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