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Phyiscs Books

  1. Mar 30, 2009 #1
    Does anybody know of any good and easy to understand books over theoritical fields in physics (i.e. quantum phyiscs, partical physics, general realitivity, etc.)? I'm really interested into reading in on those topics right now, so I would apperciate your help.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2009 #2


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    Well, in order to understand these subjects, one needs quite much math (at least several variable calculus and linear algebra).

    Please give us your current status of mathematical knowledge and we can help you more.

    It is a difference to read about these things and to understand them.
  4. Apr 6, 2009 #3

    Right now I am a junior in highschool, I am in Algebra 2, and PreAP Physics. Next year I will be in AP Physics C and PreAP Pre-Calc.

    I honestly deeply regret not taking Algebra in 8th grade when I had the chance, and I'm worried that stupid mistake would hold me back from my goals.
  5. Apr 6, 2009 #4
    You are very early in the game, so don't worry about not having the math yet... you haven't even seen real algebra yet, so you can easily catch up.

    As for low level but GOOD books on theoretical physics, Landau and Rumer wrote a tiny book on SR called "What Is Relativity?" It would be perfect for your level and a good starting place. It's one of the few that's actually written by brilliant theorists.
  6. Apr 6, 2009 #5


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    Unless you have a good physics teacher who will explain calculus concepts to you, you won't get too far in physics c without knowing some calc knowledge

    I suggest that you do a regular algebra-based physics course rather than AP physics c
  7. Apr 7, 2009 #6
    Well my teacher has been teaching AP physics C for a while now, this was her only year to take off since nobody last year signed up for it. Plus I'm extremly determind to take this class, so if I have too I will study extra over calculas.
  8. Apr 10, 2009 #7
    If you don't know calculus you'll be lost at times in AP physics C. If the class is available, you'd be better off taking AP physics B (especially if your school doesn't teach trigonometry in algebra 2), otherwise you'll be rushing into calculus wayyy too fast.
  9. Apr 10, 2009 #8


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    well he can self study them if he is really dedicated. I jumped straight to AP Calc AB in soph year after taking Alg 2/trig my freshman year.

    wasn't that hard of a transition (well maybe that was because my alg 2 teacher was a beast)
  10. Apr 10, 2009 #9
    Maybe it was such a long time ago that I'm forgetting, but I did AP Physics C and AP Calculus for the first time together and it was great. I'm sure it's not that difficult, it's really low level calculus and functional knowledge that I remember being required in Physics C.
  11. Apr 10, 2009 #10


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    yeah you don't even need much calculus in a high school physics course
  12. Apr 10, 2009 #11
    Being able to pass a high school calculus exam doesn't mean you understand calculus. To do that you need a solid background in algebra and trigonometry plus a lot of hard work. Jumping around quickly through classes might be alright as long as the student understands that they wont really understand the topic until they go back and relearn it the right way (not to be patronizing, it's entirely possible that you know algebra well enough and will work hard enough to understand it the first time, and if you do you'll know it).
  13. Apr 11, 2009 #12


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    even those kids who get 5's on the BC test don't really understand calculus as well as a college student who learns it, of course. what we're talking about is that he can learn enough calculus himself in order to survive AP physics C, if he's dedicated into doing it.
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