• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Must read books

  • Thread starter john16O
  • Start date
  • #1
32
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone could recommend some must read books that any well-educated person should read. I like to read(a lot) but sometimes I do not always read the right books. I prefer books on math/science in general considering that I am a physics major. But any books that you have found to boost your knowledge and make you an all around more educated person would also be helpful. Feel free to list and discuss some of the top books that you have read!!I am looking forward to reading you posts!!!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,707
5
i haven't read these but Godel escher bach looks good and road to reality by penrose looks good.
 
  • #3
1,482
3
I just finished reading "Poincare Conjecture" by Donal O'Shea so I can recommend it. I picked it up to learn more about Poincare Conjecture in detail, but it turned out this book is more of a historical exposition of events leading to its discovery. Surprisingly, that was incredibly fascinating read.
 
  • #4
394
2
I've listed some over in the science review section, so not gonna list those books again, but an one really interesting book I read lately was "The Hole in the Universe" by K.C. Cole. Its essentially a book about nothing... & how this nothing effects the universe.

The book "The Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy" by Fulvio Melia was also a pretty interesting read. After reading so many books about string theory & parallel worlds, it was good to come back to "reality" & read about theories pertaining to actual observed phenomena.
 
  • #5
olgranpappy
Homework Helper
1,271
3
Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone could recommend some must read books that any well-educated person should read. I like to read(a lot) but sometimes I do not always read the right books. I prefer books on math/science in general considering that I am a physics major. But any books that you have found to boost your knowledge and make you an all around more educated person would also be helpful. Feel free to list and discuss some of the top books that you have read!!I am looking forward to reading you posts!!!
The ten volumes of Landau and Lif****z "Course of Theoretical Physics". Then you will be an honorary Soviet physicist.
 
  • #6
The ten volumes of Landau and Lif****z "Course of Theoretical Physics". Then you will be an honorary Soviet physicist.
You will also be a damn good physicist.
 
  • #7
4
0
Unknown Quantity by Derbyshire is a pretty good book about the historical development of algebra.
 
  • #8
1
0
a must-read and must-concern SUBJECT is "" self-development "" .
One i am reading now is " Power up your mind : learn faster, work smarter " by Bill Lucas .


a quotation from the book :


" Most of us don’t understand the central role our minds have
in helping us to perform more effectively: we are simply not taught
how to learn or how to apply our learning. While we have discovered
more about the brain and how it works in the last decade than
we have ever known before, we apply very little of this in our daily
working or personal lives.

It is possible for everyone to learn faster, work smarter, and
be more fulfilled.

Power Up Your Mind translates what we know about how the
brain works into useful insights for the workplace. It has been written
from the conviction that intelligence is multifaceted and not
fixed at birth. It draws ideas from the broadest possible range of
subject areas, from neuroscience to psychology, motivation theory
to accelerated learning, memory to diet. "
.
 
Last edited:
  • #9
nicksauce
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1,272
5
Fabric of the cosmos and elegant universe by Brian Greene
Anything by Carl Sagan
Anything by Richard Dawkins
 
  • #10
malawi_glenn
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
4,786
22
It is a difference reading physics books and study them.
 
  • #11
486
0
Theory of Complex Functions by Reinhold Remmert is a beauty to read as it mix theory, problem solving, and historical development in one book.
 
  • #12
25
0
It is a difference reading physics books and study them.
What exactly do you mean? Do you suggest studying physics books that are not textbooks?
 
  • #13
Andy Resnick
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
7,353
1,794
I second "Goedel, Esher, Bach" and "Cosmos". Also, at a more elementary level, "One, Two, Three, Infinity" By Gamow.

Another favorite of mine is "An Idiot's Fugitive Essays on Science" by Clifford Truesdell.

Edit: sorry, I forgot "Flying Circus of Physics", by Jearl Walker.
 
Last edited:
  • #14
malawi_glenn
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
4,786
22
What exactly do you mean? Do you suggest studying physics books that are not textbooks?
No i mean going through the exersices, proove formulas, etc.

It is difference reading a QM book for example Sarkurai, only using your eyes. And trying to solve the exersices with a paper and pencil.
 
  • #15
PhysiSmo
Very true! Unfortunately, lots of books don't have exersices at all :( Prooving the formulas in the theory is also great, but the real digging into the subject comes along with the unsolved problems!
 
  • #16
malawi_glenn
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
4,786
22
Very true! Unfortunately, lots of books don't have exersices at all :( Prooving the formulas in the theory is also great, but the real digging into the subject comes along with the unsolved problems!

if they dont contain exercises, then yes you can follow the forumulas and trying to get all the steps etc. Or find another textbook or excerixes somewhere else.

Physics is not a science that you gain knowledge by reading, nor math either. One has to practice and encounter difficulties and try to overcome them :)
 
  • #17
192
0
'Warped Passages' by Lisa Randall

I found this book quite easy to read, especially for not having too much of a particle physics background.

I like how she tries to explain the non-intuitive concepts in QM processes such as the
Higgs Mechanism and supersymmetry breaking. She ties it well with the whole description
behind brane theory and the search for hidden dimensions.

For anyone interested in this kind of stuff, this is a great read.
 
  • #18
110
2
The ten volumes of Landau and Lif****z "Course of Theoretical Physics". Then you will be an honorary Soviet physicist.
hopefully not - just as reading Arnold Sommerfelds "Lectures on Theoretical Physics" would not turn him into a Nazi :eek:

back to topic, I second the proposal of ice109, "Road to Reality" by Roger Penrose
 
  • #19
1,041
4
A few that you might consider are:
The Gathering Storm, Winston Churchill
Street Without Joy, Bernard Fall
Design of Welded Structures, Omer Blodgett
Development of Concepts of Physics, Arnold Arons
The Lady in the Lake, Walter Scott
Matter and Motion, James Clerk Maxwell
Henry V, William Shakespeare
Sonnets from the Portugese, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
 
  • #20
333
0
A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking
it sold me on physics as a sophomore in high school
 
  • #21
Brian Greene; the Elegant Universe.
 
  • #22
cristo
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
8,107
72
Misner, Thorne, Wheeler.
 
  • #23
Actually another one of the best books that I have read is Crime and Punishment. The story is more or less conveyed in dialogue. Which makes it hard to follow at times. However the book is a great examination of a criminals justifications and the emotional impact ensued from existential beliefs. Which would make it a great philosophy/literiture book. Anyways more reviews are at amazon.com
 
  • #24
63
0
"Flatland" by Edwin A. Abbot. Good for both the mathematician and the liberal arts major :).
 
  • #25
1,041
4
Some more random thoughts, tending towards authors:
Rumi
Tolstoy
Euclid's Elements
Camus
Josephus
John Locke
Thomas Aquinas
Maimonides
Pushkin
James Baldwin
Roger Penrose
Henry Petroski
Sun Tzu
 

Related Threads for: Must read books

  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
6K
Replies
7
Views
16K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
4K
Replies
5
Views
623
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
15K
Replies
4
Views
3K
Top