Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Really good general college physics book?

  1. Jul 1, 2004 #1
    Does anyone know of any really good general college physics book? The one I have does not explain things very well, and it does not give detailed ways of solving problems.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2004 #2
    I like Serway & Beichner, "Physics For Scientists and Engineers".
  4. Jul 2, 2004 #3
    How about

    1. University Physics by Francis W. Sears and Mark Zemansky
    2. Physics by Resnick and Halliday (parts I and II)
    3. Physics by Resnick, Halliday, Walker
    4. Physics by Resnick, Halliday, Krane
    5. Grant and Philips (supplemental but useful)
    6. Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Douglas Giancoli (Prentice Hall)
    (and others too...)

    Which book you like/choose/study from depends on your mathematical ability at this level. For instance, you may find sections of some of these books really boring if they use very little calculus...if you've done a lot of calculus before college/yourself.

  5. Jul 2, 2004 #4
    I have that one. Great freshman physics text as well as an all-around reference. Covers many topics, from mechanics (kinematics, dynamics, energy), thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, and some modern physics.
  6. Jul 3, 2004 #5


    User Avatar

    Another vote here for Serway.
  7. Jul 3, 2004 #6
    They all suck, but Fishbane and Gastioriwcz probably sucks the least. Tipler is okay too.

    I think Serway is a rather poor textbook. To each his own, I suppose.
  8. Jul 4, 2004 #7
    For me the best book
    be resnick halliday ( I & II) The old one
    well you have to study it carefully to extract concepts but it beats them all. a real classic.
    The walker one is just too diluted for my liking.
    I havent seen krane one or serway as it is not availible in my country.But R&H for theary and irodov or krotov for problems beats them all.
  9. Jul 4, 2004 #8

    Hey ambuj, I think you too are from India. Am I right?

    While I quite agree that the Walker edition has a lot of diluted information and that the original two volumes of Physics by Resnick and Halliday are classics in their own right, some perspectives offered by this new edition are useful so it is not totally bad. Some questions are good too.

    For problem solving there are quite a few books available now. Of course, Irodov's books are excellent (once you tend to figure out the language of his problems, it is highly intellectually rewarding to solve them). Some people say it is obsolete now but very few are able to solve its problems ironically!

    Yes! For concepts and understanding, reading Resnick and Halliday at least once (and more depending on your level) is absolutely a must. I have found inputs from Feynman's Lectures very useful. And they're easily available now. So I recommend them too (though you need to know more mathematics to be able to understand some of the advanced things discussed here).

  10. Jul 7, 2004 #9
    In my opinion Feynmans Lectures are not as good as R&H for IITJEE
  11. Jul 7, 2004 #10
    Well i have to agreen well feynman lectures are good if you have a lot of time to read but if time is constrain and if you are preparing for competetive exams like IIT JEE you have to move within your boundries.And for that Resnick Halliday is the best and HC Verma "Concepts of physics" fits in nicely too. few might have heard about it as it is an indian book.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook