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Physics Textbook for Undergrads

  1. Dec 1, 2007 #1
    Hello,

    The current coursepack that was recommended by our professor just isn't cutting it. It explains the basic concepts of general physics very well (up to nuclear fission/reactions). However, it does not do a very good job explaining the mathematic problems in physics.

    I am looking for a great undergraduate textbook that provides plenty of physics concepts, pictures, examples, and problems. NO MODERN PHYSICS (i.e. quantum mechanics, string theory, etc.)

    Calculus-based is fine, but I am looking for algebraic problems as well. A book that covers all subjects of physics up to modern-day. Heck, it can even include modern-day physics as well as it extensively covers everything else. I'M LOOKING FOR THE "BEST"!

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2007 #2
    Halliday, Resnick and Walker is good. It is recommended for all UnderGrad physics courses at Edinburgh up to 3rd year, and we even use it occasionally in 4th year.

    If you're in the states however, then you might have a problem, as all the editions I have seen it has "NOT FOR SALE IN THE UNITED STATES" printed on the front cover. I think the 8th Edition has just come out.

    Hope that's of some help.
    Gordon
     
  4. Dec 5, 2007 #3
  5. Dec 5, 2007 #4
    "I am looking for a great undergraduate textbook that provides plenty of physics concepts, pictures, examples, and problems. NO MODERN PHYSICS (i.e. quantum mechanics, string theory, etc.)

    Calculus-based is fine, but I am looking for algebraic problems as well. A book that covers all subjects of physics up to modern-day. Heck, it can even include modern-day physics as well as it extensively covers everything else. I'M LOOKING FOR THE "BEST"!"

    I'm sorry but I don't like the sound of that. No modern physics? Why? (And quantum mechanics is ~100 years old, on that token - not to mention highly important, where string theory is very advanced theoretical work there tend to be courses introducing quantum mechanical concepts in the start of an undergraduate degree.)

    Your point about calculus-based and algebraic problems is misguided. The difference between algebraic and calculus based work isn't a case of personal style - its a requirement to solve a problem so I will hasten to say that all textbooks will use such methods when required since there may simply be no other way to reasonably solve a problem.

    Having said that, you are asking for a recommendation on a textbook - I would say the Resnick book is good and also Young and Freedman is worth having a look at, both of which should cover the first couple of years in undergraduate anyway. That aside, the best way to find a good textbook tends to be without spending lots of money - get into the library and find a bunch of undergraduate textbooks, compare a particular subject in each if you have to, but its well worth putting effort in to find out exactly what kind of style suits you best.
     
  6. Dec 6, 2007 #5
    Alright, thanks for the help and the unneeded criticism.

    I looked at my schedule for next semester and it recommends getting the book: Fundamentals of Physics Extended by: Resnick.

    The same one that you recommended Flashgordy, thank you! I suppose I'll pick up the solutions manual as well while I'm at it
     
  7. Dec 7, 2007 #6
  8. Dec 8, 2007 #7
    Those "NOT FOR SALE IN THE UNITED STATES" editions are just the cheaper version that is sold in other countries--often with lower quality paper, cheaper printing, or no color illustrations.

    Other countries seem to limit the textbook cost. Here in the US, it is not uncommon for us to pay $100-$200 for a math or science textbook, and those "International Version" texts usually cost a fifth as much.
     
  9. Dec 8, 2007 #8
    no no no the editions sans krane are very very math sparse. get one of the older editions with krane. they much more rigorous and have many more words and less pictures.
     
  10. Dec 9, 2007 #9
    Get the Resnick/Krane book? I think I'll just get the book that my class recommends and I'll check out alternatives if it doesn't "cut it". :wink:
     
  11. Dec 9, 2007 #10
    yes get the resnick halliday krane book. i have both. the fundamentals book is dumbed down.
     
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