1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Physics book for a 13 year old?

  1. Sep 5, 2012 #1
    Just wondering if anyone knows about a physics book that isn't too advanced for a 13 year old to understand? I want it to include things like particles, neutrinos and the weak nuclear force but to be explained in ways that make sense to beginners. Please don't think I am stupid and wont be able to understand some large vocab as I think I'm quite capable of doing so (would be good if the book didn't patronise the reader too).
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2012 #2
    If you want to be able to perform the calculations to fully understand the forces, I can't really help you, but some knowledge of (Number Theory? Just a guess here) and differential/integral multivariable calculus (especially for Maxwell's Equations) should help. For a casual reader, there are a number of writers, the only of which I can think of is Brian Greene, which are a bit oversimplistic and do raise some popular misconceptions that this forum's FAQ address, but are still quite good.
  4. Sep 5, 2012 #3
    This is quite difficult - I'll recommend some things that I used. Most books that will deal with things properly will have some mathematics that you are unlikely to understand, so it may be difficult for you to pick up. However, one that I used around 15-16y was "New Understanding Physics for Advanced Level". Its for the UK A-Level system but the material goes way beyond normal high-school stuff and is presented quite nicely without the maths getting in the way. It also has the particle physics stuff that you seem to be interested in.

    Another set of books I would recommend are books by Russell Stannard. At first sight, these will probably fail your "don't patronise the reader test" since they are written as children's story books. But give them a chance. I read them around 11-12y and they are really good. There are three books based on Einstein's work and they cover special relativity, general relativity and quantum mechanics. Basically the books explain these topics through thought experiments. No neutrinos or weak nuclear force here, but they are still worth a read - they may change the way you think about things.
  5. Sep 5, 2012 #4
    I recently started vector summation, so I'm not really sure how to address your question directly about particle physics. The link below is a complete college textbook made available by Rice University free of charge. It is an algebra based approach to physics. Not only is it very easy to understand but it is also reads quickly. It has been a good "preview" of physics for me (I'm in Chapter 6, currently). I'm using it as supplemental material while I'm taking general physics I.

  6. Sep 5, 2012 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This is a fun intro book, covering a wide range of subjects: Thiking Physics


    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  7. Sep 6, 2012 #6
    I don't know of any good particle physics books for kids, but for cosmology I'd reccommend The Manga Guide to the Universe.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook