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Recommended reading for undergraduate Physics major

  1. Jun 4, 2009 #1
    I am currently in my freshman/sophomore year of college and am majoring in physics. I was wondering what books you can recommend that I read. I really love physics and I just want to learn as much as I can about all different areas of physics.

    I have completed Calculus 3 and am willing to read up on DE on my own as well.

    I have also completed up to Introductory E&M in physics and I just would like to learn more beyond that level.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2009 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    The Feynman series, no question.
  4. Jun 4, 2009 #3
    Thank you very much, what other books are also good?
  5. Jun 4, 2009 #4
    I second the Feynman Lectures. You should also look through the archives of this section for many recommendations.

    A popular book that gives a sort of overview of physical thinking is Time, Space, and Things by B.K. Ridley.

    Thinking Like a Physicist is a very interesting little book of Physics problems and solutions.
  6. Jun 4, 2009 #5
    Thank you very much for the recommendations.
  7. Jun 9, 2009 #6


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    If you're looking for popular science books, these are all good:

    QED: The strange theory of light and matter (Richard Feynman)
    Black holes and time warps: Einstein's outrageous legacy (Kip Thorne)
    The emperor's new mind (Roger Penrose)

    If you're looking for textbooks, then I suggest these:

    Introduction to quantum mechanics (David Griffiths)
    Lectures on quantum theory: mathematical and structural foundations (Chris Isham)
    Quantum mechanics: a modern development (Leslie Ballentine) (This one is too advanced if you haven't studied QM yet).
  8. Jun 9, 2009 #7


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    I recommend "Spacetime, Geometry, Cosmology" by William Burke. One of the best undergraduate books I've read. It is extremely well written and is full of wisdom.
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