Junior-level Modern Physics textbook suggestions

  • #1
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Hello All,

I am looking for suggestions for a junior-level Modern Physics textbook to read over the summer for the purpose of preparing me to take senior-level Quantum Mechanics in the fall. I have a solid Math background so a text that would possess some level of mathematical rigorousness would be great.

I am asking this question because the required text for the course, "Modern Physics" by Tipler (6th edition), has a high price tag currently and most of the reviews for it have not been so stellar thus far. The prerequisites for the Modern Physics class at my university are General Physics with Calculus III (optics, relativity, waves, quantum effects are covered), either an Intro Differential Equations or Intro Linear Algebra course, and Special Relativity, all which I have under my belt.

Here's what to be covered in the course: "Kinetic theory, Blackbody radiation, Quantum physics: wave packets, the uncertainty principle, Schroedinger's equation and solutions for simple systems, application to atomic, nuclear, and solid-state physics." Thank you in advance for your assistance!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Rohlf is what you are looking for
 
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  • #3
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Alonso and Finn, Fundamental Physics Volume 3. Caution. Do not buy Physics by the same author. Book is quite pricey and hard to find. There is a print on demand on abebooks.com from the indian market. Not sure about the quality. But this is probably the best introduction to quantum. My friend took an honors course which used Shankar. Granted, she had the math background. Linear, Calculus, Differentials, Probability. Not sure if Shankar would be useful.

I think Tipler sucks. It is a generic physics book. Maybe get an older edition?
 
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  • #4
From personal experience, I would recommend that you avoid "modern physics" textbooks altogether. By trying to dumb things down to a lower level than necessary, a lot of important details get omitted or stated in weird ways. Avoid Tipler, and just read the first few chapters of Griffiths for the quantum part of the class and Schroeder for the thermodynamics/stat mech part of the class. The total amount of reading is probably about the same as reading Tipler, but you'll understand the material 100x better. Probably a good idea to get a head start on Griffiths if you're taking quantum later anyways.
 
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  • #5
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Thanks to all of you for your suggestions! I decided to buy Rohlf's book and I have not been disappointed by it yet. It has a solid level of mathematical rigorousness in deriving the key formulas, explains historical experiments and results that have led to the important discoveries in Modern Physics, and provides plenty of examples to help one see how the formulas and concepts are applied. However, I have noticed a few mistypes and omissions in the book, chiefly present in the worked examples. Also it seems to make jumps from one calculation to the next, as the author would assume you automatically can make the leap in logic without seeing it written down in the text. Still a solid book, even if the examples are lacking details here and there...
 
  • #6
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just read the first few chapters of Griffiths for the quantum part of the class and Schroeder for the thermodynamics/stat mech part of the class. The total amount of reading is probably about the same as reading Tipler, but you'll understand the material 100x better. Probably a good idea to get a head start on Griffiths if you're taking quantum later anyways.
↑↑ this. But if Rohlf works - use it.
 

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