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Studying Self-Studying Physics

I have a B.S. in Mechanical Enginerring and I am almost done with a PhD in Nanotechnology. Through these years I realized I really like physics and I would like to learn mmore advanced physics than the one I know so far. I would like to know how to study physics. My plan is to follow the academic program for a physics major and read all the books they read. I just started by reading the lower division courses books. Does anybody has any suggestions?
 
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First start with Landau - Mechanics. See how you feel - the reviews say it all:

If it still appeals, and it converted me from math to physics, then get back for further suggestions depending on the direction you are interested in. For example you may want to know why Classical Mechanics as formulated in advanced books like Landau. The answer is QM - but you need to discover that yourself - we can guide you but only you can do it.

Thanks
Bill
 
Bill,

I started reading a Calculus book to review the lower division material. Should I continue with the lower division stuff, or should I move on to Mechanics by Landau?
 
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To understand Landau you need Calculus 3 in the US system. I do not know if that is what you mean by'Lower Division'. I would not normally recommend this but since you have, or soon will have, a PhD in a science area it should not really be a problem.

If you are serious about Physics you need to know the background math. The best book I know for that is Boas:

You need Chapter 9 on the calculus of variations for Landau. So get that and study both books together. If you decide physics is for you Boas is a very valuable reference and a good book to study before delving further into more advanced physics.

The beauty of Boas is you do not need much calculus to understand it. If you feel the need for a refresher the following, actually written by physicists (one a Nobel winner) is good:

You can do it in a weekend.

Later you probably will want to delve into the proofs and aspects of pure math associated with this stuff. Its not essential, and best left until you are well on your way in your journey of more advanced physics, but I have found the following, in this order good:

But do not worry about that for now - Boas is all you need to start. It's just a suggestion for later because I love analysis :DD:DD:DD:DD:DD:DD:DD:DD:DD

Thanks
Bill
 
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Hi Bill,

Thanks for your response and sorry for too many questions. Should I read Boas book in the order it is given by the author or should I follow a different order, like start in Chapter 9?
 

ZapperZ

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Bill,

I started reading a Calculus book to review the lower division material. Should I continue with the lower division stuff, or should I move on to Mechanics by Landau?
Shouldn’t you already calculus and a lot of other mathematics if you are about to graduate in mechanical engineering?

Zz.
 
Shouldn’t you already calculus and a lot of other mathematics if you are about to graduate in mechanical engineering?

Zz.
Yes, you are right, but I wanted to know if it was necessary to review the material, since I haven't seen it for a while.
 

symbolipoint

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Yes, you are right, but I wanted to know if it was necessary to review the material, since I haven't seen it for a while.
OBVIOUSLY you must review the material. Nobody is likely to keep all the skills and concepts in high quality condition. One must review as often as necessary to keep in shape.
 
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Thanks for your response and sorry for too many questions. Should I read Boas book in the order it is given by the author or should I follow a different order, like start in Chapter 9?
In your case given your background, start with Boaz Chapter 9. If its too much at this stage start reading Boas from the beginning, but since you already have a degree in ME you should probably be alright. Then read Landau. Beware of Landau though - it's not actually hard - its one of those books that you keep rereading and get more with each read - its deep - just like the reviews said.

Thanks
Bill
 

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