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I Need Help Selecting a Good Text Book to Learn the Basics

  1. Nov 23, 2009 #1

    I'm new to Physics Forums, but I'm glad to be here.

    I'm in 10th grade and I'm very interested in physics. Since I was in an early grade (5th) I would scour my text book and my library looking for anything related to physics. Unfortunately I didn't have enough math skill to understand the math behind the ideas; so, I just learned the abstract. None the less I was intrigued. Recently (the last two years), I have been interested in some of the more complicated ideas in physics, particularly string theory, M-theory, relativity, and quantum Mechanics. The physics program at my high school is terrible. Really, it's a complete joke. I want to understand the more complicated theories because that is where my interest lies, but I need a strong base first. I want a textbook that would provide me with a strong basic understanding of physics and the math behind the ideas so that I could easily move on to the harder stuff. And in case you were wondering, I'm very good at math. I take advanced classes and I'm at the top of my class. I just Haven't been able to take any quality physics courses. So the math part won't be a problem. This brings me to my original question.

    What textbook would you recommend, Preferably one under $100?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2009 #2
    If you can tackle the standard calculus based text by Haliday, Resnick and Walker with ease thenI suggest the the 3 volume set of Feynman's Lectures on Physics. The paperback version is about $65 new @ Amazon. I don't think there is anything quite like them and they may be your best bet to get started.

    Also poke around amazon.com for books on string theory and check the ratings and reviews.

  4. Nov 24, 2009 #3
    I second that suggestion. And when you read these, bring paper & pencil and work out the details as you go. If you can do two or three of these a week you will definitely be 'on your way.' Feynman explains things in a way that you just don't get from most other books.
  5. Nov 24, 2009 #4
    My favorite is "University Physics" by Young and Freedman.
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