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Seeking advice on textbooks.

  1. Oct 8, 2009 #1
    Hi, I'm doing a foundation year in the UK at the moment for Physics (since I didn't take it at A level. I did do Maths A level though) and there is a huge library with many books available. Though many of the books I tried to pick up and read were rather Mathematical and to be honest, I didn't understand much of what was happening per page. So I'm looking for books to bridge the gap.

    I think there are books for 1st year Undergraduates which I think I will be fine with. I just don't know what they're called. So if anyone can advise me on some books to read (I don't mind if they're Mathematical in nature) that are at a 1st year undergraduate level I will be forever in your debt!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2009 #2
    I'm enjoying "Fundamentals of Physics" by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker.
  4. Oct 8, 2009 #3
    First year university boks will use calculus, which you should know or be studying at the same time. So if that is the case I strongly recommend "Physics" by Alonso and Finn. This book and the one mvantuyl recommended are general physics books covering mechanics, electricity, magnetism, waves, a bit of statistical mechanics, etc.
  5. Oct 8, 2009 #4
    Any good recommendations on Calculus books? I know Stewart's is commonly used, but my class is using... Hass/Weir/Thomas "University Calculus." I was thinking about picking up another book for some extra practice (and, hopefully, a bit of a different approach to explaining the material).
  6. Oct 9, 2009 #5
    I am not familiar with the book you will be using. I learnt calc from Stewart. My biggest gripe with Stewart is that it is at least 200 pages too long, filled with unnecessary comments, details, applications etc. Other students liked it so meh. The other books used are those by Thomas, Swokowski. You can search on amazon.com for reviews and also search this forum for calc books because this topic has come up a few times.
    If you do decide to get another book of the ones I mentioned (Stewart, Thomas, Swokowski) you can get one of the earlier editions since they hardly change from one edition to the next, they usually just add unnecessary crap so they can charge you more. Earlier editions will be cheaper. Don't over-do it though, I just used Stewart and it was enough, so don't waste money getting lots of other books.

    In fact, you can probably find tons of calc books in your school library so that's a good place to start.

    If you want a rigorous calc book then the books to check out are Spivak, Apostol, Courant and John, and Courant. Again you can search this forum for more details. (Personally I recommend Spivak to complement your book, or Courant and John if you're more interested in physics than math).

    EDIT: I just found this site with quite a few calculus books for free, check it to see if you find it helpful:
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  7. Oct 9, 2009 #6
    I would recommend Halliday Resnick Krane over Halliday Resnick Walker.

    But that's just me.
  8. Oct 10, 2009 #7
    If you know single variable calculus(differentiation+Integration), then I strongly recommend

    Theoretical Physics by Georg Joos

    Which is old, yet is the best introduction to physics book I have ever read. It is a bit dense, though. However, it is tractable and offers a LOT of insight.
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