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Recommend some books for a noob

  1. Jan 19, 2006 #1
    I just started physics and I'm already very much interested in astronomy. What are some good books to read for an amateur?

    Ive read the Universe in a Nutshell, I liked it but it felt too brief. Thats about it.
     
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  3. Jan 19, 2006 #2
    Cosmos by Carl Sagan. (I just watched the movie series though.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2006
  4. Jan 19, 2006 #3

    Integral

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    Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality and In Search of Schrodingers Cat By John Gribbon.
     
  5. Jan 20, 2006 #4
    Black Holes and Time Warps by Kip S. Thorne is the best book ever written if you are a smart person just beginning to become interested in physics.
    Right now I'm reading The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene and I'm really enjoying it, but it makes my head hurt trying to understand some of it. No it's not understanding it that makes my head hurt, it's the trying to think about what he's saying and really thinking about what it means and where it leads.
     
  6. Jan 20, 2006 #5
    also "The Universe in a Nutshell" sucked. if you liked it you'll love the ones already mentioned.
    Gribbins books are good, but he really whips them out. You'll quickly grow out of them, probably before you read them all.
     
  7. Jan 20, 2006 #6

    chroot

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    The Feynman Lectures.

    - Warren
     
  8. Jan 20, 2006 #7
    Seriously? I can't understand 90% of what Feynman is talking about in his books. It isn't my recommendation for beginners.

    Rather:

    Books by John Gribben are a good bet
    Partially to astronomy, Galileos finger
     
  9. Jan 20, 2006 #8

    chroot

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    Well, in my opinion, the best books for beginners are the ones the colleges use for their freshmen: Halliday and Resnick's "Foundations of Physics", Fix's "Astronomy" and the rest.

    If you don't want to learn physics, but would prefer to simply read about physics, then Gribbin, et al. are fine.

    - Warren
     
  10. Jan 20, 2006 #9

    I read that book my junior year of HS... it was a fantastic way to ignore class :-)
     
  11. Jan 20, 2006 #10
    Is a freshman a amateur?
     
  12. Jan 20, 2006 #11

    chroot

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    In this context, in my opinion, an amateur is someone who has not yet learned much physics and desires to learn more. A freshman is essentially the same sort of person.

    Given that the reader never declared his future intentions -- either to become a physicist, or to learn what physicists know, or simply to pick up a few fun facts in some readable books -- we can only guess whether he's looking for Gribbin or Halliday and Resnick.

    I'd say anyone who is really interested in physics would make better use of his/her time with Halliday and Resnick than with Gribbin.

    - Warren
     
  13. Jan 20, 2006 #12
    Thanks everyone, as soon as I finish the Da Vinci Code I'll start reading some of these books.
     
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