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Remedial Physics

  1. Jul 22, 2007 #1
    Peace and Blessings....

    I am beginning a journey to teach myself physics.... I love to read and do simple at home experiments.... I figured it would be easier on me to begin with elementary through high school level books to aid in my study as I do not have the money to purchase textbooks...

    Would you mind giving me your opinion of the following beginning remedial books, as well as suggest books that may follow these concurrently?

    I am a poet and lover of knowledge and find the math and sciences a bit too technical to appreciate until I hear the principles and concepts espoused from someone who knows how to interpret their understanding to someone like me..... I am thoroughly intrigued and would like to continue my studies and investigation...... I have a particular interest in quantum physics... and chaos theory.... though the technical language is at times difficult... some of the concepts are intriguing.... I am looking for books that speak to the most basic elementary concepts... so that I can grasp them and feel confident enough to gradually move into more technical explanations....

    I have purchased the first book (Atom) and listed others that I felt were easy to being with... I browsed through them and found them easy to read....

    1. "Atom: Journey Across the Subatomic Cosmos" by Isaac Asimov {I have begun reading this book}

    2. My next purchase will be: "Basic Physics:A Self Teaching Guide" by Karl F. Kuhn

    I have already purchased "Physics for Poets" by Robert March.... someone recommended it to me.... but I do not feel prepared for it as of yet... My eyes glaze over on the math sections....

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2007 #2


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    Welcome to PF, Asia. It should first be noted that the texts you list are not so much high school level books, but are popular science books written for the layperson who is interested in physics and wants some knowledge, but is not looking to get too technical. Now, I don't know whether you fit into this category, or whether you aspire to actually learn the technical sides of physics.

    I've personally never read any of the books you quote, and so cannot advise whether they will be useful, or indeed interesting. I've read a few of the amazon reviews for them: I get the impression that the second book is a good introduction to basic physics without getting into the nitty gritty maths-- i.e. it explains the concepts. This is good to get an introduction, but if you intend studying physics "properly" then you will need to start from high school level physics text books.

    Have a peruse of the Science Book Reviews forum and see if there's any thread there that may help you.
  4. Jul 22, 2007 #3

    THANK YOU!!! No... I am VERY serious about studying physics properly (calculus based and above)... I have taken math up to the Calculus level.... and I am very good with "rote" math.... but I loooove geometry.....

    I have an urgent need to learn physics... but I am wholly insecure about it.. and I don't want to miss any concepts.... I am honest about what works with me.... and I often need to start at a pre-elementary stage just so I'm comfortable....

    When I read highschool based physics text, they are often too succinct with their explanations, assuming a certain maturity from the reader..... I like basic beginning books because if there are ANY gaps in my understanding they are covered.....

    I reviewed the science text.... I am sorry if the books I listed are a little too remedial but I thought it wise to ask anyway....

    Perhaps its best I finish these two books.... it's just that I know I will run through them pretty quickly and I will have no clue as to where to go to begin very basic study of physics....

    I'd like to start as the progression of math schemes do...

    1. A basic math based physics book and problem solving text....

    2. An algebra based physics book and problem solving text...

    and so on through calculus....

    many of the books I've browsed through on your science book review list discuss books for calculus based physics and up... I took Calculus 15 years ago! lol....

    I have a long way to go... but if I have any questions is this the place to ask them? If not, can you recommend a place where I can ask questions as I progress?

  5. Jul 22, 2007 #4


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    That's good to hear that you're serious about studying physics! By all means start by reading the books you list: any book that engages a reader will be a good place to start. However, the point I was making was that these sorts of books are not enough to learn physics properly; but I guess you already appreciate that fact.

    I don't really have any suggestions for a first physics book, since the books I used were picked by my school for a particular exam, and besides I've forgotten those by now! I know that there are some teachers who frequent this forum, so they may be able to assist you with a choice of book. It may also be helpful to read a calculus text to review it, since you haven't studied it for a while.

    And yes, the physics forum is a very good place for you to ask questions. If they are questions relating to exercises from textbooks then it will be better if you post them in the suitable Homework Question forum. If they are more general questions, then take a look at the specialist https://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9 [Broken] forums.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  6. Jul 22, 2007 #5
    Also remember that if you're having trouble with the way a particular concept is presented in whichever book you're using, you're more than welcome to post in the relevant physics forum, and I'm sure someone here would be happy to help you out.
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