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Next steps after Kleppner/Kolenkow and Purcell/Morin

  1. Feb 15, 2014 #1
    I finished the two semester calculus based physics sequence (using Halliday, Resnick, and Walker) at my school last semester as well as the three semester calculus sequence (although we didn't cover line and surface integrals or the theorems of Green and Stokes so I had to learn that on my own). I am currently working through An Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner and Kolenkow, Electricity and Magnetism by Purcell and Morin, and Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Boas.

    I'd like to study classical mechanics but I don't know what book(s) would be suitable. Perhaps Taylor, Morin, or Goldstein?

    For electrodynamics what would be the next step up? Is Jackson too big of a jump from Purcell and Morin? Is Griffiths more appropriate? When I'm ready for Jackson, are there any alternatives to think about or is it the only choice for its level?

    What's a good book for learning quantum mechanics after classical mechanics? Should I start with a book like Shankar's then move on to Sakurai or Merzbacher?

    Sorry if this is too many questions. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, I've just been doing a lot of reading to try to figure which books to buy and I'm having a hard time figuring out what kind of progression is reasonable.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2014 #2
    After Kleppner and Kolenko, Goldstein would be ambitious but possible Practically all graduate programs use it. Another good book is Marion and Thornton Classical Dynamic. However, I preferred the hard to find book Mechanics by Symon.

    Electrodynamics. (Practically all Grad programs use Jackson.) Jackson is a big jump. A couple of good books for electrodynamics for a more gentle jump is : Ohanian, Classical Electrodynamics, Melvin Schwartz : Principles of Electrodynamics (inexpensive Dover). Wangsness, and Reitz and Milford are also OK.

    (I think Panofsky and Phillips may be even a more dramatic jump than Jackson, although I do like the book once a good background is established)

    For QM I like an old textbook Powell and Craseman or Messiah. I learned from Merzbacher (Good). Bohm's book on quantum mechanics is very good (Inexpensive Dover). Sakurai is mostly used in a grad program (Good Book). I do not like Shankar as much (but OK).

    P.S I like these Dover's not because they are cheap. They are also very good. Perhaps Schwartz is too concise.
  4. Feb 16, 2014 #3
    CM: My favorite book on CM is Gregory. It's very clear and contains lots of examples. https://www.amazon.com/Classical-Mechanics-R-Douglas-Gregory/dp/0521534097
    Taylor is also a good choice.
    If you find these too slow, try Kibble & Berkshire

    EM: I always recommend Franklin and Zangwill
    These are graduate level texts but they both start from scratch. If you find these too hard,
    you can always come back and try Griffiths (it's also excellent).

    QM: If you know spanish, you should definitely get this one
    it is by far my favorite book on the subject. Other basic (and good) texts are Zettili and Saxon (Dover).
    When you are done move on to Ballentine

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Jun 24, 2014 #4

    I know this is very late, but I was wondering what you thought of Kibble and Berkshire. Again, I apologise if no one can respond and this thread is uselessly bumped.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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