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Recommend a book for a beginner! (astrophysics)

  1. Aug 31, 2010 #1

    I'm going to study astrophysics next year, we will study the most of basic stuff on the way (calculus etc as well). I have some basic knowledge of physics and astronomy, but totally forgot basic mathematics since I didn't pay enough attention in school (which I regret now). So what books would you recommend? Both maths and physics, both for astronomy and classical physics. There should be a book or two that sum it up :)

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2010 #2
    You could always check out Astrophysics in a Nutshell. I have never looked through it, but I have the Nuclear Physics, QM and QFT books from the same series and they are all great!
  4. Aug 31, 2010 #3
    I might get it, though some equations there look complicated. I read some pages here - http://press.princeton.edu/TOCs/c8457.html
    I think I might need something more basic!

    Oh and maybe more maths than physics because my knowledge of math is pretty much on high school level. But math with physics examples, if you get the idea :)
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  5. Aug 31, 2010 #4
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  6. Aug 31, 2010 #5
    If only! :rofl:

    My advice to you is, seeing as you have a year before you start, to study up like crazy!
    If you're worried about basic math there are good sources on the internet.
    My favourite is www.khanacademy.org If you start from the very beginning & work
    to the very end you'll be extremely confident in your mathematique'ing skills to go on to
    something a little bit more challenging.

    You could then get a book called "Understanding Pure Mathematics" which will clear up all of
    the loose ends the khanacademy left + do some calculus. If you wanted you could just
    get a calculus book after those videos instead of the book I advised but I would advise you
    to get it to do the exercises & because there are solutions and all.
    For a calculus book I'd advise you to get a book from the 80's by Swokowski called
    Calculus. It's the exact same as the more modern books but with better explanations for
    beginners, a few proofs are easier to understand and last time I checked it was $0.20,
    20 cents!!! on amazon.

    As for astronomy, http://oyc.yale.edu/astronomy here is a good set of videos!
    I think they are on youtube as well, you can watch them in the link anyay.

    Another unbelievable recommendation is a show called "The Mechanical Universe" which is
    online on google videos, all 52 episodes!, it will go through so much classical mechanics,
    astronomy & E&M you'll love it!
  7. Aug 31, 2010 #6
    Thanks for the reply! :)
    Will definitely watch those videos.
    Where should I start at khanacademy? Just as it goes on the page, arithmetic, pre-algebra, algebra etc? And I actually started watching those astronomy courses at academicearth.org!

    It might actually be two years before I begin the studies, I'm still not quite sure about that. :)
  8. Sep 5, 2010 #7
    Hey denisonfire!
    I'm sort of in the same boat as you. I've already done a Bachelors in something completely unrelated to physics (Industrial Design) however I've always had a knack for Math and Physics, and the passion to boot. My goal is to broach into Theoretical Physics, thereby approaching Modern Physics from a different point of view. I also considered Astrophysics. In my journeys to find a reliable source for self-studies, I came across this website, which starts you on the path to substantial math skills.


    Follow that loosely and hopefully you'll find yourself more confident in your math skills.

    Within that site is two sections of main importance under "Primary Math" and they're available at a REALLY well thought out website that has been linked on that page.


    So check this out!
  9. Sep 6, 2010 #8
  10. Sep 23, 2010 #9
    hey norman!which country are u frm?
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