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Looking for specific Physics fundamentals textbook

  1. May 16, 2014 #1
    Hi, I'm interested in how light and how electricity works so i'm interested in a beginners (undergraduate level) physics book that has the following:
    Giving intuition by showing each experimental setup - visually (with ppictures) and mathematically - which contributed to the understanding of light today. For instance some of the textbooks I red, either explain planks constant with no images or reasoning or they show an image and an equation but don't give the mathematical reasoning behind the image. I need good images to visualize the math, but i also need math to see the reasoning.

    Basically I want an intuition and a 100% understanding of how and why we think light can be discribed the way it can, and how it works in practice.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2014 #2


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    I don't think you can find this. What you can find are books that will tell you how light behaves but they won't tell you why. I believe this went out of fashion with the caloric theory of heat and the aether theories of the 19th century. Since that time, science pretty much won't even try to tell you why. I saw a video of Richard Feynman explaining that he won't say why magnets (that is, magnetic dipoles) attract because he doesn't know himself (he knows how they attract).

    As for books, apart from the "cookbook" books with names like "Physics", the books I found were all pretty advanced. If you could reach the point of knowing 3D vector calculus and the math in a book like https://www.amazon.com/Vibrations-W...ie=UTF8&qid=1400267918&sr=1-24&keywords=waves, you would be pretty much spoilt for choice.

    Books linked to:

    PS. What I said here was about light and electromagnetic radiation. Please say more about what you want to know about electricity and at what level.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. May 17, 2014 #3
    I'm undergradiate but in biology, I'm just very curious about how physics works and why we defined Units in physics the way we do and how experiements throughtout history demonstrated how light and electricity works. I'f I'm given an equation, I wan't to know how it was discoverd, How it was derived (with images of the experiemntal setup and the derived math) and what conclusions were made from the discovery, If I have this, then I feel i have some form of intuition for it, and then I can relate to how it is used today in Various scientific mesering instruments.

    So far I'm thinking about buying this book as a start:https://www.amazon.com/Understandin...0325924&sr=1-4&keywords=understanding+physics
    I hope it describes all the experimental setup throughout history. I'm not that good at understanding or visualizing math without images, but with images it makes a lot of sense to me.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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