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Recommendations for Physics book?

  1. Aug 9, 2004 #1
    Recommendations for Physics book???

    Hi, I'm taking a college level calculus based physics course and I need some help. My professor teaches his course out of packets that he makes instead of a textbook and the packets are generally horrible. I'm completely lost and the professor isn't available during the summer so I was looking for suggestions on a book, tape, workbook, anything that could help me out. I'm not looking for a book with solved problems...more of a textbook-like book that explains things. The packets are often full of typos and never explain anything. One of the packets asked me to draw a ray diagram for a lens on the first page even though we never covered lenses before at all. Just to give you an idea of what I am dealing with. I want to understand the material and how everything works. I'd appreciate any recommendations that you could give me. Thanks a lot... :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2004 #2
    Schaum's Outline "University Physics" published by McGraw-Hill for problem-solving. Very good.

    As for textbooks, they all tend to stink alike. I doubt it matters much. Tipler is my favorite, but I'm not sure he has a calculus-based book.

    As for recommendations... get another professor. Writing a quality textbook takes years and requires a great deal of staff support.
  4. Aug 14, 2004 #3
    physics "serway is avery good text book and has deivations in mathmetics and shaum series as said john
  5. Aug 14, 2004 #4
    Fundimental of Physics / 7th edition by Halliday/Resnik/Walker
    a great book. Plenty of example problems and it goes over everything.
  6. Aug 14, 2004 #5


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    No textbook will be good enough.

    You may find an interesting textbook, but it's not calculus based.
    You may find one that is calculus based, but it's boring.
    You may find one that is calculus based, but it is not detailed enough.

    The best way to go is to go through two textbooks at the sametime. Reading a chapter doesn't take long, so the next day read the same chapter from another textbook. That way you will get good coverage, and different styles of teaching. Again, this isn't practical if you don't have a textbook to start with. Most students have the school's textbook and their own personal book, which is practical.

    I'd go with University Physics by Young, and some other two guys. It's calculus based, and pretty well written.
  7. Aug 15, 2004 #6
    A friend of mine gave me a copy of the new textbook Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, by Randall D. Knight. As texts go this one is pretty darn good.

  8. Aug 15, 2004 #7
    I liked "Understanding physics" by Mansfield and O'Sullivan a lot. It covers almost the whole area of physics. From mechanics to optics, from waves to Quantum mechanics. It uses mathematics (calculus based; but not at all difficult), text and pictures to explain the physics. A very good introduction...

    (see: http://www.ucc.ie/publication/mansfield/books/uphys/book/unphy.htm [Broken])
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  9. Aug 15, 2004 #8
    The seventh edition may be better, but my experiences with the sixth edition have not inspired me to any great love of the book. It contains some mathematical errors, but much more dastardly are the flagrant misconceptions it periodically foists upon you.

    Also - this isn't a significant complaint, by any means, but I feel like commenting on it - the authors periodically provide you with some stunningly patronizing tidbit of mathematical knowledge, like telling you that [itex]{\cos}^2 A[/itex] means [itex]{(\cos A)}^2[/itex] and not [itex]\cos (A^2)[/itex], after several chapters whose problem sets are filled with questions on multivariable calculus. I think it's a safe bet that by the time you've asked a question on differential equations or multiple integrals, you have already scared off any portion of your audience who is not familiar with rudimentary trigonometric notation.
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