Seeking advice on Self Study Curriculum

  • #1
I'm usually entirely autonomous in planning out my curriculum (and have read much great advice here in aid); but my physics curriculum is proving more difficult to plan out than my math curriculum.

I was thinking as a start: Kleppner & Kolenkow Mechanics, Purcell Electricity and Magnetism, and AP French for Waves/Relativity; probably read along with the Feynman Lectures concurrently. I was wondering if after completely going through the aforementioned texts, if the Sommerfeld lectures on physics would be enough to make Landau & Lifshitz accessible.

There's also the angle I've read from a UChicago page suggesting if I'm proficient enough at math there's not much reason to read anything besides Goldstein and then Landau (for mechanics alone). Then of course there are those sort of physics for mathematicians books by people like Arnold and Spivak.

I enjoy reading a variety of books on a subject, and understand well the value of practice, but also want to make sure my time is spent wisely.

Best regards, all advice is appreciated
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,522
1,380
I will not give reference to books, but I will give reference to some very good video lectures. They are authentic, and are extremely good. All professors are either from IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology), IISc (Indian Institute of Science) or IISERs (Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research).

All lectures are coordinated by NPTEL (National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning).

Following are the list of some good lectures:

Classical Physics by Prof. V. Balakrishnan.

Quantum Physics (if you need it later) by V. Balakrishnan

Introductory Electromagnetism by Prof. Manoj Harbola

Oscillations and Waves by V. Balakrishnan

Special Theory of Relativity

The books that you've mentioned are also very good and the plan looks okay to me. Always keep Feynman lectures handy.
 
  • #3
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43
I was thinking as a start: Kleppner & Kolenkow Mechanics, Purcell Electricity and Magnetism, and AP French for Waves/Relativity; probably read along with the Feynman Lectures concurrently.
This sounds like a good plan. As I'm sure you've read at some point, K&K and Purcell are known for being challenging even though they're technically intro books, so I feel it's worth reiterating that you shouldn't get discouraged if you find yourself really struggling or sinking several hours into a problem. That is to be expected. The most important thing is to make sure you work all of the problems. Don't be afraid to post here for help when you're stuck.

There's also the angle I've read from a UChicago page suggesting if I'm proficient enough at math there's not much reason to read anything besides Goldstein and then Landau (for mechanics alone). Then of course there are those sort of physics for mathematicians books by people like Arnold and Spivak.
Definitely stick to your first plan. These are graduate level books and shouldn't even be in question at this stage.
 
  • #4
850
146
I will not give reference to books, but I will give reference to some very good video lectures. They are authentic, and are extremely good. All professors are either from IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology), IISc (Indian Institute of Science) or IISERs (Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research).

All lectures are coordinated by NPTEL (National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning).

Following are the list of some good lectures:

Classical Physics by Prof. V. Balakrishnan.

Quantum Physics (if you need it later) by V. Balakrishnan

Introductory Electromagnetism by Prof. Manoj Harbola

Oscillations and Waves by V. Balakrishnan

Special Theory of Relativity

The books that you've mentioned are also very good and the plan looks okay to me. Always keep Feynman lectures handy.
First link is broken.
 

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