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Recommend a physics&calculus book

  1. Mar 16, 2014 #1
    I am a high school student . I'd like to study theoretical physics and mathematics : pure and applied in the near future .
    So, can you suggest me a book to study calculus and another for physics ??

    And do you agree with me that it is a good idea to go along with the order and textbooks of MIT opencourseware ?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2014 #2
    It depends on what you already know: how much math/physics do you know so far? Which grade are you in?
  4. Mar 16, 2014 #3
    Thomas Calculus & Fundamentals of physics Halliday and Resnick

  5. Mar 16, 2014 #4
    What about Spivak or Apostol's calculus ?
  6. Mar 16, 2014 #5
    Are you already comfortable to some of the ideas of calculus? How comfortable are you with proofs? Spivak is not meant as a first calc book, it's even more intro to analysis. Apostol seems a bit more doable, but I wouldn't recommend it as first book either.

    If it is your first encounter to calculus, then I highly recommend Langs "First course in calculus".
    If you already know the basic ideas of calculus, then go for Apostol.
    If you already know calculus moderately well and if you know proofs, then go for Spivak.
  7. Mar 16, 2014 #6

    I said : i am a high school student
  8. Mar 16, 2014 #7
    That's very vague.

    Some high school students barely know basic algebra, some already know linear algebra and Calc III. Same with physics.
  9. Mar 16, 2014 #8
    I don't know anything about integration
    I know functions, limits and some differentiation .
    So, which stage i am on now ?
  10. Mar 16, 2014 #9
    Then perhaps you can go for Apostol. The book is quite challenging though. He also covers integration before differentiation, which is nonstandard. But if you get through it, then you'll be an expert on calculus.
  11. Mar 16, 2014 #10
    I know basic algebra, functions,limits and some differentiation and don't know anything about integration.
    In physics, i know some mechanics and waves
  12. Mar 16, 2014 #11
    From experience, I'd say you can go to MIT's OCW, and start with calculus 1 and physics 1. The scholar courses do not require any textbooks, but you could consider some of the books already mentioned in this thread as a supplement (although I wouldn't bother about them at first, before completing the scholar courses on OCW).
  13. Mar 16, 2014 #12
    You're a high school student, so I don't know if you have so much experience to begin with.

    Also, I recommend against this. MITs OCW should absolutely be treated as secondary resources, not as primary resources. You absolutely need to focus on working through an actual calculus book. Any other way will likely give you bad foundations.
  14. Mar 16, 2014 #13
    Ok, but there they recommend Simmons' then Apostol's then Spivak's !!
    So, would i study calculus from zero point three times !!!!!!!!!
  15. Mar 16, 2014 #14
    *Sighs*... Thanks for reminding me of that fact...
  16. Mar 16, 2014 #15
    Then I guess that you should follow micromass' advice.
  17. Mar 16, 2014 #16
    There they give on single variable calculus two times :
    1.single variable calculus (uses Simmons)
    2.calculus with theory (uses Apostol)

    So, should i consider the two courses or only one of them ?
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