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Math student looking for introductory book in physics

  1. Feb 27, 2005 #1
    I'm looking for a nice easy to read introductory book in physics (classical physics ?) for someone who has two years of university level math but knows nothing of physics.

    To be more precise, I want a book (preferebly cheap), that won't take too much effort to read and gives me enough insight so that I will be able to understand basic physics things like how to derive equations for pendulums, vibrating strings, heatequations etc (I assume these tings are basic?)

    Anyone care to recommend such litterature ?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2005 #2
    Must of the time this is third semester stuff physics stuff. What does 2 years of University math mean. Does it include multivariable calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, matrix methods?
  4. Feb 27, 2005 #3
    What i mean with two years of university math (I realise this might be a bit vauge) is courses in linear algebra, multivariate calc, fourier analysis, differential geometry, ODEs, basic probability and statistics, a few courses in numerics, calculus of variations. Not so much matrix theory if that is what you mean.

    Anyway, Im not looking for a solid physics education, I just want to get some understanding of these things so that I can understand where the physics equations that are dropped in variouus math books come from.

    And as i mentioned, I want this to be a fairly easy read (given that you have the math).

    Perhaps im asking for the impossible...

    Any comments are welcome...

  5. Feb 27, 2005 #4
    It does not sound impossible with your back ground. I am sure others on this forum may be able to give you better recommendations.
    Classical dynamics of particles and systems by Marion Thornton 4th addition is what I learned out of. It probable more then you need. Also not cheap:

    I think Schaum's Outline of Lagrangian Dynamics may be what you are looking for at least for the pendulums. If you have not Lagrangain dynamics and Hamilton dynamics are a very general way of deriving the fundamental differential equation. I doubt it will focus much on heat transfer.
    Schaum’s outlines are cheap $12-18.

    Online resource: Modern Physics for Mathematicians
    Looks like it covers more quantum mechanics then you are looking for thought. Second chapter might be interesting. I took a brief glance it looks like it expects a high degree of mathematical fluency. It looks like it would be at grad school level, might be a bit too much.

    Hope this helps
  6. Feb 27, 2005 #5
    I'll have a look at it.
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