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Physics book recommendation

  1. Mar 18, 2005 #1
    Hey. .I'm a HS sophomore currently taking Algebra II at high school ( did trigonometry in my previous school and am pretty good at it )..I need a recommendation for a good physics textbook to improve my skills...

    Thanks much..
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2005 #2
    Psss... Look below. Honestly, I think this is getting silly with the books. I hope you didn't do it out of spite.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2005
  4. Mar 19, 2005 #3
    ummm no.. i did not do it out of spite.... The topics on books are mostly for calculus based physics books.. i tried to avoid creating another thread on the same topic but a person in the other book thread which I posted my question told me to do so ....
  5. Mar 19, 2005 #4
    Jai, I don't have any first-hand experience using or teaching with algebra based books, but to get the ball rolling, it looks like Cutnell and Johnson's Physics, 5th Edition (0-471-32146-X) is used pretty widely. See if you can find it (or others) at a library to look at before thinking about buying. You may just need to get a little more math (more geometry and trig/precalc) before seriously trying a physics text. Does any of the math or science faculty at your school have suggestions?

    Shockwave - I think this is still supposed to be an Academic guidance forum and Jai's thread was clearly marked as a textbook rec request. If you don't like it then just move on to the next topic. Jai's other request was buried in someone else's thread for higher-level books and wasn't getting any responses. Perhaps the mods have a solutions?
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2005
  6. Mar 19, 2005 #5
    I shall take a look at the Cutnell and Johnson's Physics book...Apparently, it is used for AP physics courses.... This book might just be what im looking for.. Anyhow, would it be possible for you to suggest a few "physics texts" so that I could check them out and see if the math level is right for me and not too advanced? I have already taken Geometry and trig courses in my previous school..

    I plan to ask my physics professor for book recommendations once school starts as i'm on spring break now.. I thought i'd get a few recommendations in the meantime and start reading asap..

    Thanks a lot for your help.. appreciate it :)

    EDIT: my physics professor uses "Physics, Principles with Applications, by Douglas C. Giancoli, Fifth Revised Edition, Copyright 2002, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-061143-3" for his AP Physics B class.. is this book any good?
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2005
  7. Mar 19, 2005 #6

    I'm going to have to defer to others who really know what they're talking about re: high school texts - I've only taught with higher texts. I know we have a few teachers around here who can weigh in. The best I could do for you is cruise Amazon.com and rehash reviews.

    When you get back to school, ask your physics teachers if you can look through their evaluation copies of physics texts. These are free versions the publihsers send to teachers to get them to buy it for use in their classes. I bet your teacher has whole shelf full somewhere. If that doesn't work and your school or local library doesn't have many, is there a nearby college/univ library you could go to? They will def have some.
  8. Mar 19, 2005 #7
    The closest university is Yale but am not sure if i'm allowed to take books from their library? The public library of my town only has a book on Physics by an author called Serway and its calculus based... Anyways, I'll ask my teacher for his advice on the books I could use...

  9. Mar 19, 2005 #8


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    i am a mathematician and not a physicist.

    I think there is not a lot of point trying to learn physics before calculus. they do go well together.

    i was always frustrated at trying to elarn physics in the 60's from a lack of readable texts. then feynmans three volumes came out, and they seem quite good. there was also a book from berkeley aboiut that time.

    max planck also write some little books a long time ago that were recommended to me by an internationally known astronomer. as a youing highj school student (15 or so) my favorite was always a little popular introduction to relativity called "the universe and doctor einstein" by a journalist, lincoln barnett.

    there is also another non calculus book called "thinking physics" that my son had at duke summer school, as a youngster. that was fun.
  10. Mar 20, 2005 #9
    6 months to go untill I start learning calculus.. can't wait :D..

    Thanks for your book recommendations.... shall check them out..
  11. Mar 20, 2005 #10
    If all you want is an overview and problems to work with, shell out 40.3975 dirham and buy Schaum's Outline of College Physics.
    It probably matches your Math level and might go slightly higher with some sections (such as Angular Momentum or perhaps Torque and Moment of Inertia... if it goes as far as Calculus).
    But I don't see why you can't buy a textbook because it contains SOME Calculus in it. (Algebra II is probably the best time to start, concurrently, reading up on Calculus because a lot of the stuff is interrelated)
  12. Mar 20, 2005 #11
    Physics by Hecht is what my HS class is using. We are an honors physics class (algebra based, but our teacher sometimes shows us derivations for common formulas from calc).
    It's a really long text (lol what physics book isn't) and includes decent examples.
  13. Mar 20, 2005 #12
    Well i'm not sure if i'd be able to understand any of the concepts that use calculus since i dont know ANYTHING about calculus...

    i see... So basically, it consists mainly of problems to solve for?

    How do you understand the calculus derivations without knowing calculus?

  14. Mar 21, 2005 #13
    My physics teacher did the same. We had a mix of kids either in trig or calc. So, she wanted to help the calc kids out. However, it did not take long for everyone to basically know how to do a derivative. Stuff like the chain rule was still unknown of. It made it somewhat understandable though.

    Check out secondhand bookshops. I found a Calc and physics text book at one for about 5 dollars each a few years ago.
  15. Mar 21, 2005 #14
    Yes, it's the same for me--a mix of trig and calc kids. i'm in calc, so its pretty cool to see the relationship. for the kids not in calc tho, my teacher shows an algebra derivation also.

    its not important to know the derivation in our class, its more like FYI.
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