Physics Book Recommendations for Self-Study at Undergraduate Level?

In summary, the conversation revolves around the topic of studying physics as a pure science, with the individual seeking book recommendations to self-study due to the lack of a bachelor's degree in their city. The conversation also touches on the individual's current level of physics and mathematics knowledge and their potential interest in pursuing an undergraduate degree in civil engineering. Suggestions for specific areas of physics to focus on, such as classical mechanics, are also mentioned. Various textbook recommendations are given, including Sears Zemansky, Halliday & Resnick, and Feynman's lectures. The conversation also brings up the importance of having a strong understanding and intuition for engineering concepts rather than simply supplementing with extra pure science material. Shankar's "Fundamentals of Physics
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TL;DR Summary: Physics book recommendation

Hi everyone, I just found this site and I'm thankful for that. I want to study Physics as a pure science but in my city there is no bachelors degree, so I want to study by myself if it's possible.
I just don't know where to start or what books should I start with. Please can you recommend me some? Thanks is advance.
 
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  • #2
mego07 said:
TL;DR Summary: Physics book recommendation

Hi everyone, I just found this site and I'm thankful for that. I want to study Physics as a pure science but in my city there is no bachelors degree, so I want to study by myself if it's possible.
I just don't know where to start or what books should I start with. Please can you recommend me some? Thanks is advance.
Have you already studied any physics? And, what level are you at mathematically?
 
  • #3
PeroK said:
Have you already studied any physics? And, what level are you at mathematically?
Hey!
Well, just what I learned in school, I'd say the basic.
 
  • #4
mego07 said:
Hey!
Well, just what I learned in school, I'd say the basic.
Do you think you would be ready for an undergraduate physics degree? Is that your starting point?
 
  • #5
PeroK said:
Do you think you would be ready for an undergraduate physics degree? Is that your starting point?
I was thinking of study civil engineering since it is the closest to physics in my city, but at the same time I want to learn more by myself...
 
  • #6
mego07 said:
I was thinking of study civil engineering since it is the closest to physics in my city, but at the same time I want to learn more by myself...
Won't you be studying maths and physics alongside your engineering subjects in the first year?
 
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  • #7
PeroK said:
Won't you be studying maths and physics alongside your engineering subjects in the first year?
No, that's not how it works in my city exactly. Of course I will study maths and physics the first year but it will be more about deepening the knowledge of school and not something "new".
 
  • #8
mego07 said:
No, that's not how it works in my city exactly. Of course I will study maths and physics the first year but it will be more about deepening the knowledge of school and not something "new".
It depends what you want to study. You could try learning Special Relativity or Quantum Mechanics or Electromagnetism or Cosmology? Or, you could learn more classical mechanics (which might be good, as it would be more useful for engineering, but might not be what you're looking to do).
 
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  • #9
PeroK said:
It depends what you want to study. You could try learning Special Relativity or Quantum Mechanics or Electromagnetism or Cosmology? Or, you could learn more classical mechanics (which might be good, as it would be more useful for engineering, but might not be what you're looking to do).
Yes, I was thinking about classical mechanics first and you're right. It will be more useful. I started reviewing Sears Zemansky, is it okay? Or maybe I should start with something else
 
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  • #10
mego07 said:
Yes, I was thinking about classical mechanics first and you're right. It will be more useful. I started reviewing Sears Zemansky, is it okay? Or maybe I should start with something else
The only CM book I know if Kleppner and Kolenkow - which I liked. A quick search of this site shows a lot of people are using Sears Zemansky. Halliday & Resnick is another popular one.
 
  • #11
Yes, a general physics textbook, a flashy 1000+ pages book in 15+ editions should do it. You already came up with one. But you will be most benefited from going through Feynman's lectures, which are ridiculously expensive to own, but are legally free on the internet (just look up this subforum for the link and discussion on them). Yes, they are 60 years old, some minor errors in them, but for a future engineering major they contain the enough (first 2 volumes, 3rd one is Quantum Physics).
 
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  • #12
Mechanical or Electrical Engineering are more physics and math dependent than Civil. Keep in mind that creating a “feeling” for your engineering course is more crucial than supplementing your studies with extra pure science stuff, though.
 
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  • #13
I would get Shankars two books first "Fundamentals of Physics", they are quite cheap and new. Just to get some kind of overview and see if your math is enough. Then you can get more specialized books later, depending on what you wanna learn more about.
 
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