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Physics Textbook for Self Study?

  1. Oct 6, 2011 #1
    Hey. I want to get up to an SAT II level of physics so I can skip it next year and go straight to AP Phys. Only thing is, I don't know of any textbook that would work well. Which textbooks would you guys recommend to get to the sufficient level of physics so I can test out of it? (In my school we only have AP Phys (mechanical), don't know if it's B or C)

    The course description for regular physics is: "Topics include the study of energy, waves, sound, optics, electricity, magnetism, thermodynamics, as well as an introduction to atomic and nuclear physics."
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2011 #2


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    See if this one works for one.


    VOLUME 1.
    PART 1.

    1 Measurement.
    2 Motion Along a Straight Line.
    3 Vectors.
    4 Motion in Two and Three Dimensions.
    5 Force and Motion — I.
    6 Force and Motion — II.
    7 Kinetic Energy and Work.
    8 Potential Energy and Conservation of Energy.
    9 Center of Mass and Linear Momentum.
    10 Rotation.
    11 Rolling, Torque, and Angular Momentum.

    PART 2.

    12 Equilibrium and Elasticity.
    13 Gravitation.
    14 Fluids.
    15 Oscillations.
    16 Waves — I.
    17 Waves — II.
    18 Temperature, Heat, and the First Law of Thermodynamics.
    19 The Kinetic Theory of Gases.
    20 Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    VOLUME 2.

    PART 3.

    21 Electric Charge.
    22 Electric Fields.
    23 Gauss’ Law.
    24 Electric Potential.
    25 Capacitance.
    26 Current and Resistance.
    27 Circuits.
    28 Magnetic Fields.
    29 Magnetic Fields Due to Currents.
    30 Induction and Inductance.
    31 Electromagnetic Oscillations and Alternating Current.
    32 Maxwell’s Equations; Magnetism of Matter.

    PART 4.

    33 Electromagnetic Waves.
    34 Images.
    35 Interference.
    36 Diffraction.
    37 Relativity.

    PART 5.

    38 Photons and Matter Waves.
    39 More About Matter Waves.
    40 All About Atoms.
    41 Conduction of Electricity in Solids.
    42 Nuclear Physics.
    43 Energy from the Nucleus.
    44 Quarks, Leptons, and the Big Bang.



    It's a bit pricey - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470469080/
    Less expensive loose leaf - https://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Physics-9th-David-Halliday/dp/0470556536

    There is another title - Physics, Volume 1, by Halliday, Resnick, Krane.
    This basics, Newton's laws, motion/momentum, linear and rotational kinematics and dynamics, systems of particles, heat/thermodynamics, oscillations/waves, sound, gravitation, fluid statics/dynamics, and relativity

    and there are other texts.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Oct 11, 2011 #3
    Would an older edition of the Wiley book, like a 2007 version work just as well?
    And is the only differences between the Wiley book and the Halliday book the math requirement?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  5. Oct 12, 2011 #4
    Fundamentals of Physics is a calculus-based Freshman Physics text. I don't know if this level is appropriate for you, but it's well above the level of Physics at the "SAT II" level, at least as described here:


    I think what you need is an algebra-based text.

    With that warning, there's no reason to pay for recent editions of texts whose basic content hasn't changed in 50 years. Any old edition should do, e.g.


    Just buy based on price and condition.
  6. Oct 12, 2011 #5
    Ah, ok, thanks. Yeah Calculus-based Physics is a bit too advanced for me now, I'm talking Algebra II (though I do know a bit of precalc)
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