1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Special Relativity / Quantum Physics Books

  1. Nov 23, 2011 #1
    I am currently a mathematics major in my third year of study, and I recently changed my minor from economics to physics, so I am taking physics courses at the second year level, including classical mechanics, e&m, etc, which are all going fine, and an introductory course in modern physics. This course is by far my lowest grade currently, so I'm looking to improve my understanding of the material.

    The textbook the course uses is Modern Physics by Serway, Moses, and Moyer, which I found very difficult to learn anything from. I understand the course is a survey course, but this textbook I just can't work with; it has the feel of first year books with biographies and useless pictures and a chatty quality.

    The course starts with special relativity, then introductory quantum physics (blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, compton effect, etc) leading up to very basic quantum mechanics (takes up only the last week or so of the course). Along the way we cover basic statistical mechanics, but I didn't have much trouble with that. So I'm looking for a book on special relativity and a book on introductory quantum mechanics that I could learn from. It is fine if the material goes beyond this course (I'll be taking QM next year anyways), and I have more mathematics under my belt than is required of a third or fourth year physics student, so if more mathematics is expected of the reader, that's fine.

    What would you suggest?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I'm also taking a Modern Physics course (before the QM courses).
    I've heard about the Serway, though I don't own it (my friend uses it only to more or less understand the material and then he goes into other books). Our course follows more or less Brehm's book "Introduction to the structure of matter", it has everything you mentioned and even (much) more. I borrowed it from library 2 days ago, so far I find it quite good.
    Other book I've heard good thing about: Eisberg's "Fundamentals of Modern Physics".
    In a lesser extent: Pfeffer's book "Modern Physics: an introductory text".
    I also heard about a book of Alon and Finn but I wouldn't be surprised if it's similar to Serway's book.
    All in all, I strongly suggest you to have a look on Brehm's book.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook