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Recommended Books for one hoping to study Physics on his own time?

  1. Aug 29, 2012 #1
    I'll be honest here. I recently graduated with an undergrad degree in Mechanical Engineering (top marks, too), but I'm having some doubts about it as a career path and part of me misses the fun of pure Physics. Anyway, I'll be pursuing engineering for now, but on the side I'd like to read up on some Physics. I pulled out my old book, which I thought was okay, but found that Physics for Scientists by Fishbane/Gasiorowicz/Thornton has low ratings. I'd like some recommendations for good books to read. You can help me with what topics I should read about, too. I want a good grasp of practical and conceptual Physics, as well as a window (or more) into the more nitty-gritty. I think I'd first want to review general Physics (w/ calculus, of course). Then the next topics I guess are light, E&M, Thermo, and QM. I've seen a few books recommended and I'll list them here. Please add to my list.

    Mechanics - Simon
    Introduction to Electrodynamics - Griffiths
    Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory - Reitz/Milford/Christy
    Introduction to Quantum Mechanics - Griffiths
    Introductory Quantum Mechanics - Liboff
    Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences - Boas

    I'm also open to any "brief introductory" books, as well as they aren't too dumbed down. I really want to understand this universe! I'm sorry if this request is too general, but I want a solid foundation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2012 #2
    I like Symon's Mechanics book, but perhaps you can already handle Landau & Lifschitz.

    For E&M, I'd recommend Schwartz, Principles of Electrodynamics as a more enjoyable read than most textbooks.

    Other recommendations:

    Taylor & Wheeler, Spacetime Physics. Red paperback first edition.
    Feynman, Lectures On Physics
    Fermi, Thermodynamics
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