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Is freshmen-level "all-physics" text worth buying/having as an advanced student?

  1. Nov 14, 2014 #1
    A senior engineering student would like to have a copy of calculus (like Stewart or Thomas-Finney) handy to look up from time to time while solving an engineering or physics problem.

    My question is, can the same be said about a freshman level physics text, like Halliday-Resnick or Young-Freedman? Do advanced physics students need look up something from their copy of freshman text, even if they have other specialized upper division texts like Griffiths, Taylor, etc?

    Another related question: Is having a non-calculus physics text (again like HR or YF) good when you can do calculus based physics? You may not need it but it's good to look at same problem from a calculus and a non-calculus POV (so it could help you water-down your own problem to non-calculus level, if you're explaining something to another beginner student)?

    Another related question: In math you have (and sometimes need) "all of pre-college math in one book" in the form of Lang Basic Mathematics or Simmons Precalculus in a Nutshell. That combined with Stewart Calculus can act as "all of pre-sophomore math". Can HR or YF act as such a "all of pre-sophomore physics" reference? (although I've heard they're overexplained for an advanced student so I'd prefer a comprehensive text that is somewhat terse as well; less talk, more problems; because for talk you can always read the Feynman lectures)

    I have tried to explain myself as much as possible; hopefully I can get some advice. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2014 #2


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    I still refer to my copy of Halliday & Resnick from time to time, even though I took the course in 1962. It was a good, clear, well illustrated text, and I can usually find what I want quickly, provided it is covered at all.

    I have found my old math books to be largely worthless, with the exception of Kaplan's Advanced Calc and Lass for Vector & Tensor Analysis. I have other more specialized references that are more useful for most math topics.
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