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Physics Study Marathon -- Book Suggestions Please

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I am planning to study 8 semesters worth of physics major (physics introduction until field theory, QED, particle physics, etc.) What are the recommended books for each subject?
I am currently at Schaum's vector analysis, is it enough for the subject?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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It is not possible to write down suggestions for eight semesters in one thread. Besides, books on these topics have been discussed quite a lot in this forum. You might want to search this forum with keywords like "electrodynamics" or "quantum electrodynamics". You will surely get a large number of threads. Check those out first.
 
  • #3
WWGD
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Or look at the list of threads linked to this post right below and follow the links and ask followups if needed and enjoy your Physics Feast.
 
  • #4
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Short answer, while useful NO Schaums Vector Analysis would not suffice.

However it would be useful for studying Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetism mostly. Even then more math is needed to understand partial differential equations and linear algebra. This is the math mix for most undergrads at a minimum.

You can study up via mathispower4u.com where they have a large collection of math videos organized by course subject: Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations and Statistics.
 
  • #5
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You can study up via mathispower4u.com where they have a large collection of math videos organized by course subject: Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations and Statistics.
Thanks, but how about tensor and general relativity, do you have a recommendation?
 
  • #6
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How much time do you have at hand for studying 8 semesters?
 
  • #7
PeroK
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Thanks, but how about tensor and general relativity, do you have a recommendation?
You can't learn everything at once. GR is a high-end undergraduate subject, even in its simplest treatment. I can't see the point in worrying about purchasing a GR textbook (or learning serious tensor analysis) until you've got a couple of years of undergraduate physics and the associated maths under your belt.

It's not just a question of the amount of material related to undergraduate physics, but it takes your brain time to mature.

I recommend you focus on the first steps for the time being.
 
  • #8
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I just want to learn this whole subject "speed run" style. So may I have book recommendations please?
 
  • #10
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If you allow for videos, look up those by eigenchris on YouTube on covariant differentiation and general diff geo.
 
  • #13
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Nice. How about electrodynamics? Right now I have Griffiths' and Jackson's electrodynamics. Do I need more sources?
 
  • #14
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Nice. How about electrodynamics? Right now I have Griffiths' and Jackson's electrodynamics. Do I need more sources?
If your focus is to study, then you don't need more than that.

Those two alone would keep an average student busy for a year or two.

PS actually that's not quite true. The average student is generally unable to learn material at that level on their own. Those would keep an exceptional student busy for a year or two.
 
  • #15
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Sir, your request for advanced graduate-level texts seems to me somewhat silly given that you are just tackling vector calculus. Wait until you have progresed and are ready. When you get there, you'll better have the ability to choose which of the standard texts work best for you in each subject.
 
  • #16
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"A pedagogic masterpiece" no less!
I got to read the preprints when I was an undergrad studying GR as an independent study. I made it upto chapter 8 barely.

The prof wasn't too happy with my progress since I was slow to deliver homework (I worked 30 hrs a week to pay my schooling at the time) but the book was quite amazing to read and I didn't really care as I wanted to really understand it vs the pressure to move more quickly.

However, I couldn't understand the use of differential forms and those cool diagrams of arrows going through planes and tubes in spacetime.

Recently, I bought another copy from Barnes and Noble for its sentimental value and the fact that I had used highlighter on some passages that distracts when you try to read it again.

(One prof had told us to stop going the highlighter route as you'll regret it later on. He was right, his suggestion was to use pencil to underline passages or write notes in the margins, ie something you could erase later on. Ahh, the many things that stick with you from college.)
 
  • #17
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I just want to learn this whole subject "speed run" style.
I took a speed reading class and I was able read War and Peace in twenty minutes.
It's about Russia.
 
  • #18
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I took a speed reading class and I was able read War and Peace in twenty minutes.
It's about Russia.
So sayeth Woody Allen, as well.
 
  • #19
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I am planning to study 8 semesters worth of physics major (physics introduction until field theory, QED, particle physics, etc.)
Given that you're just starting in college, from another thread you started, I have to say that attaining your goal of studying 8 semesters worth of physics in one school year is extremely unlikely.
 
  • #20
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Given that you're just starting in college, from another thread you started, I have to say that attaining your goal of studying 8 semesters worth of physics in one school year is extremely unlikely.
Why not just let im make his own mistakes or, even better, surprise us with an unlikely success? His time/money/life after all.
 
  • #21
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Why not just let im make his own mistakes or, even better, surprise us with an unlikely success? His time/money/life after all.
I'm not stopping him -- just expressing my skepticism is all, especially in light of his other goals that mentioned in the thread I referred to.
 
  • #22
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If you've had introductory calculus get yourself a mathematical methods book like Boas' and start paving the contents into your brain.
 
  • #23
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Thanks all, I'll ask again later when i finish GR
 
  • #24
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With respect to Schaum's Outlines there's one summary Schaum titled:

Advanced Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0071635408/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Its a summarized composite of several of their titles into one large paperback book.

Another indispensable Schaum's book is their:

Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1260010538/?tag=pfamazon01-20

One place where it excels is in its integrals tables and in coordinate systems where they list ones I've never heard of beyond the xyz, cylindrical, spherical ones we all learn:
- parabolic cylindrical
- paraboloidal
- elliptic cylindrical
- prolate spheroidal
- oblate spheroidal
- bipolar
- toroidal
- conical
- confocal ellipsoidal
- confocal paraboloidal

I've used both books in my job as goto's when I need an integral or some formula I just can't remember.

Other useful mathematica references are:
- Arfken and Weber (available on Amazon)
- Nearing Mathematical Methods (available free on his website and via Dover pubs)
 
  • #25
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One place where it excels is in its integrals tables and in coordinate systems where they list ones I've never heard of beyond the xyz, cylindrical, spherical ones we all learn:
- parabolic cylindrical
- paraboloidal
- elliptic cylindrical
- prolate spheroidal
- oblate spheroidal
- bipolar
- toroidal
- conical
- confocal ellipsoidal
- confocal paraboloidal
But not Eddington-Finkelstein?
 

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