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How do I teach myself physics?

  1. Mar 4, 2015 #1
    Hello, everyone.

    A few months ago, I made the decision to give myself the knowledge equivalent to a bachelor's in math. I looked up the math courses at the University of Michigan's web-site. It gave a step-by-step list of courses with their associated text-books. So I am purchasing these associated text-books on-line and going through them myself. I'm almost done with the calculus textbook and then I go on to Linear Algebra, then Differential Equations, etc. etc.

    More recently, I decided to do the same thing with physics. Thing is, when I went to U of M's physics courses, it was not helpful at all. It simply gave a very vague and flowery description of an education in physics (or at least, that's what it seemed like to me). I then tried other university's web-sites and none of them were helpful.

    So my request is: Could someone kindly give me a step-by-step list of textbooks to study to give me the knowledge equivalent to a bachelor's degree in physics? Yes, I realize that an important aspect is lab work, so I acknowledge that that piece will be missing. But barring that, I really would like a list of textbooks, in order (say, from the 100's to the 400's and 500's), to acquire a good knowledge of physics.

    I would appreciate any help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    We have a featured thread here by Zapperz on the steps to becoming a physicist. You might want to check it out.
  4. Mar 4, 2015 #3
  5. Mar 4, 2015 #4


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  6. Mar 4, 2015 #5
    Shukran, ya akh!. Thank you, my brother.
  7. Mar 4, 2015 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    http://www.lsa.umich.edu/physics/academics/undergraduateprogram/advising [Broken]

    On the above page, note the link to the Physics Undergraduate Handbook, which includes the major requirements and course descriptions. This doesn't list the textbooks used, though. For that, you have to go to

    http://www.lsa.umich.edu/physics/academics/undergraduateprogram/courses [Broken]

    Open the "Class Schedule and Textbook List" tab, follow the link to the LSA Course Guide, and find the course(s) that you're interested in. When you click on a course, you'll see detailed information including the required textbook (if any). For example, for Physics 351, Methods of Theoretical Physics, I see Mathematical Methods for Physicists, by George B. Arfken et al. (Hey, that's the same book I used, in an earlier edition, when I took that course as a first-year grad student at U of M nearly forty years ago. :oldeek:)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Mar 7, 2015 #7
    Sweet. Thanks.
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