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Modern Physics Textbook Suggestions

  1. Jan 9, 2008 #1

    I was looking for some Modern Physics textbook suggestions. While searching through the forms I found some excellent Modern Physics reference book suggestions, like some by A.P. French and the sort.

    What I am asking for though are actual textbooks on Modern Physics (which at my college and most others is a course taken after the first year of calculus-based physics). So, I am looking for any textbooks with rigorous end of chapter problems and a rigorous approach to Modern Physics.

    Any suggestions?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2008 #2
    You might look at Modern Physics by Bernstein, Fishbane, & Gasiorowicz:


    I did not actually take a class that required this book, but found it useful for some of my lower level lab classes. Maybe check it out at your library and see what you think.
  4. Jan 9, 2008 #3


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    We used:

    Modern Physics by Kenneth S. Krane (Wiley 1995, ISBN-10: 0471828726 )

    It also has a solution manual for students I think, but are not sure.

    If you want pure excersice books, check out:
    Schaum's Outline of Modern Physics (ISBN-10: 0070248303 )

    Best is of course to get introductory books in all topics by themeself. 1 atom book, 1 molecular book, 1 special relativity book, 1 solid state book, 1 nuclear and particle physics book etc.

    This is a good reference, my friend has it: Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles, by by Robert Eisberg
  5. Jan 9, 2008 #4
    I thought this book was pretty average. Its explanations would leave you mostly satisfied, its derivations were mostly clear, etc. Throughout the semester this textbook was a continual reminder that I was taking a survey course in Modern Physics. Of course, Modern Physics is a huge subject and I don't know how you could pack a lot of rigor into a single textbook; as malawi said, the best approach is to buy an intro book in each subject, but that's not what you're looking for. I don't have any experience with other books so all I can say is that this is a decent choice, but there are probably better ones out there.

    One pro to this book is that it does a good job of explaining experiments in a historical context, and it is easy to see how a lot of these breakthroughs were made.

    Also, I don't think there is a student solutions manual (a few minutes of Googling just now turned up nothing), but there is a reasonable amount of solutions posted on http://www.cramster.com" [Broken].
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  6. Jan 10, 2008 #5

    Thanks for the suggestions: bravernix, malawi_glenn, and tuna_wasabi.

    Would you happen to have any suggestions for introductory texts (or preferably textbooks) for each of the following: atom/molecular physics, special relativity/general relativity, solid state physics, nuclear/particle physics, and quantum mehanics; at the (sophomore/junior) undergraduate level?


    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  7. Jan 10, 2008 #6


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    But it is good to start a bit with modern physics, and quantum mechanics.

    Start with the book of Krane and griffths Quantum mechanics books, and make sure you learn much math.

    I can say what books I have:
    #Physical chemistry by Atkins (QM, atomic, molecular and statistical mechanics), good complement to "modern physics books"
    #Modern quantum mechanics, by sakurai (to be used after griffihts, but there exists better intermediate QM books out there)
    #Introductory nuclear physics. by Krane (very good book, but needs complimentary material)
    #Introduction to Solid state physics, by Kittel (quite good, needs more exercises to do)
  8. Jan 26, 2008 #7

    George Jones

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    For special relativity (freshman/sophomore level), I recommend A Traveler's Guide to Spacetime: An Introduction to the Special Theory of Relativity by Thomas Moore or the red edition of Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler. For general relativity, try Exploring Black Holes: Introduction to General Relativity by Taylor and Wheeler (sophomore) or Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity by Hartle (junior).

    For particle physics at the junior/senior/intro grad level, try Introduction to Elementary Particles by Griffiths (new edition will be released in a few months) or the second edition of An Introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physic by Cottingham and Greenwood.
  9. Jan 30, 2008 #8
    I am currently using Fundamentals of Physics 8th Edition by Jearl Walker. It is used for my Physics 1 and 2 courses in college. The text is easily understandable and I think the book overall is extremely helpful. Plus, with this book, I received a "pass" that is used for an online program to do homework, but it also includes tutorials, and other helpful hints from wileyplus.com
  10. Mar 5, 2008 #9
    Question; what do you mean by "the red edition" of Spacetime Physics?
  11. Mar 5, 2008 #10
    There are two editions of Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler. One is a small, paperback, and has a red cover; the other is large, paperback, and has a blue cover. The general consensus seems to be that the red edition is a classic, and that the paperback is a watered-down version of the red edition.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2008
  12. Mar 6, 2008 #11
    I was able to locate a 1966 red cover paperback edition. Is it the classic one or the watered-down??
    Thanks. Goldbeetle
  13. Mar 6, 2008 #12
    red = classic :smile:
  14. Mar 6, 2008 #13

    George Jones

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    Any red is classic gold. Enjoy!
  15. Mar 6, 2008 #14
    Thanks to everybody!
  16. Mar 6, 2008 #15


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    I have a blue hardback 1966 copy. Whre does that fit in? Same as blue paperback?
  17. Mar 6, 2008 #16

    George Jones

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    No, the blue paperback is a new edition. The '66 blue hardcover is same as the red '66 paperback. But without the detailed solutions to the exercises?
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