• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

STEM Bibles List

  • Other
  • Thread starter Demystifier
  • Start date
  • Featured
  • #1
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521

Main Question or Discussion Point

By STEM I mean science, technology, engineering and math. By a bible, I mean a book which is comprehensive, big and heavy (both physically and intellectually), authoritative, and generally highly respected in the community as the standard book that contains more-or-less everything one needs to know about the subject.

The examples in physics are:

- general physics:
The Feynman Lectures on Physics (3 volumes)

- classical mechanics:
H. Goldstein et al, Classical Mechanics

- classical electromagnetism:
J.D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics

- general relativity:
C.W Misner, K.S. Thorne and J.A. Wheeler, Gravitation

- quantum mechanics:
Surprisingly, I don't know which of the standard QM textbooks would deserve this title.

- quantum information and computation:
M.A. Nielsen and I.L. Chuang, Quantum Computation and Quantum Information

- quantum field theory:
the old testament: S. Weinberg, The Quantum Theory of Fields Volume I
the new testament: S. Weinberg, The Quantum Theory of Fields Volume II
(There is also the Volume III on supersymmetry, but it does not have such a high reputation.)

What are your examples?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes Priyavardhan Chauhan, JD_PM, sweet springs and 3 others

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,409
1,200
For QM, you can surely include Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Ramamurti Shankar's Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Though finding a book containing everything in QM is not possible.

For general physics, Halliday's Fundamentals of Physics and H. C.Verma's Concepts of Physics do require a mention.
 
  • Like
Likes druid and atyy
  • #3
ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
35,658
4,431
Solid State Physics - Ashcroft and Mermin
Intro to Solid State Physics - Kittel

Many-Particle Physics - G.D. Mahan

Introduction to Superconductivity - Tinkham

Principles of Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy - E.L. Wolf

Zz.
 
  • Like
Likes bhobba, atyy and Demystifier
  • #4
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521
For QM, you can surely include Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Ramamurti Shankar's Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Though finding a book containing everything in QM is not possible.
Those are certainly good books, but I am not convinced that they deserve the title of "bible". Does someone has other suggestions? Perhaps Cohen-Tannoudji, Diu and Laloe?
 
  • Like
Likes bhobba and atyy
  • #5
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521
For general physics, Halliday's Fundamentals of Physics and H. C.Verma's Concepts of Physics do require a mention.
I am not familiar with Verma, but yes, Halliday and Resnick is a bible.
 
  • #6
Andy Resnick
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
7,426
1,912
Born and Wolf "Principles of Optics"
Alberts etc. "Molecular Biology of the Cell"
Boron and Boulpaep "Medical Physiology"
Bird and Lightfoot "Transport Phenomena"
 
  • Like
Likes MexChemE, atyy, pinball1970 and 1 other person
  • #7
DrClaude
Mentor
7,271
3,429
Those are certainly good books, but I am not convinced that they deserve the title of "bible". Does someone has other suggestions? Perhaps Cohen-Tannoudji, Diu and Laloe?
Why not Ballentine? Some time ago Messiah may have been a bible, but I think it is too old now.
 
  • Like
Likes Demystifier
  • #8
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521
Why not Ballentine? Some time ago Messiah may have been a bible, but I think it is too old now.
Yes, Messiah was considered bible in the past, but not any more. I was thinking about Ballentine too, but some people dispute it (e.g. @atyy ) and it does not seem to be cited very frequently.
 
  • Like
Likes bhobba
  • #9
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521
Boron and Boulpaep "Medical Physiology"
It's really not my expertise, but isn't Guyton the bible of medical physiology too?
 
  • #10
MathematicalPhysicist
Gold Member
4,285
200
Never understood the term "general physics"; isn't it included already in EM and CM and Thermodynamics?
 
  • #11
DrClaude
Mentor
7,271
3,429
Atomic and Molecular Physics: Bransden and Joachain

Are you considering also handbooks? In which case, I would add Gradshteyn and Ryzhik for integrals and Abramowitz and Stegun for mathematical functions.
 
  • Like
Likes jim mcnamara and Demystifier
  • #12
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,315
869
For QM, you can surely include Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Sorry, but I am going to be quite critical here.

a book which is comprehensive, big and heavy (both physically and intellectually)
Griffiths' quantum mechanics book is neither comprehensive nor intellectually heavy. It is too much like the first US #1 hit by the Beatles.
 
  • Like
Likes MichaelJ12, bhobba, dextercioby and 1 other person
  • #13
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521
Born and Wolf "Principles of Optics"
The same Wolf has co-authored also another bible: Mandel and Wolf, Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics.
Incidentally, another Wolf has been mentioned above in a book on quantum tunneling.
 
  • Like
Likes Andy Resnick
  • #14
Andy Resnick
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
7,426
1,912
It's really not my expertise, but isn't Guyton the bible of medical physiology too?
Guyton is another good reference text. Both are good references.
 
  • Like
Likes atyy and Demystifier
  • #15
MathematicalPhysicist
Gold Member
4,285
200
For QFT, Peskin and Schroeder have the size of the bible, as for "you can find more or less everything in it", it's not even true for Weinberg's textbook, well "more or less" is an ill-defined notion anyway... :-D
 
  • Like
Likes physics loverq and Demystifier
  • #16
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,315
869
a book which is comprehensive, big and heavy (both physically and intellectually), authoritative, and generally highly respected in the community as the standard book that contains more-or-less everything one need to know about the subject.
If Halliday and Resnick can be included, than a book that is a something like a grad-level Halliday and Resnick also can be included, the amazing 1400+ page "Modern Classical Physics: Optics, Fluids, Plasmas, Elasticity, Relativity, and Statistical Physics" by (Nobel laureate) Thorne and Blandford
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes andresB, weirdoguy, Master Om and 3 others
  • #17
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521
If Halliday and Resnick can be included, than a book that is a something like a grad-level Halliday and Resnick also can be included, the amazing 1400+ page "Modern Classical Physics: Optics, Fluids, Plasmas, Elasticity, Relativity, and Statistical Physics" by (Nobel laureate) Thorne and Blandford
Yes. The only problem with that book is that it is still too young (and hence not yet so generally respected in the community) to be called a bible. But in a couple of yours, it will probably become a bible.
 
  • #18
vanhees71
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
14,757
6,270
Here's my list. I take the freedom to also mention some German textbooks (order roughly reflects my opinion about the quality). It's for sure incomplete!

Textbook series (theory course):

A. Sommerfeld, Lectures on Theoretical Physics (6 vols)
M. Bartelmann et al, Theoretische Physik
W. Weizel, Lehrbuch der theoretischen Physik (2 vols)
R. P. Feynman, The Feynman Lectures (3 vols)
L.D. Landau, E. M. Lifshitz, Course on Theoretical Physics (10 vols)
W. Pauli, Lectures on Theoretical Physics (6 vols)
W. Greiner et al Theoretical Physics (13 vols)

QM:

P.A.M. Dirac Principles of Quantum Mechanics
W. Pauli, Principles of Wave Mechanics
L. Ballentine, Quantum Mechanics
J. J. Sakurai, Modern Quantum Mechanics
S. Weinberg, Lectures on Quantum Mechanics
A. Sommerfeld, Atombau und Spektrallinien (Wellenmechanischer Ergänzungsband)
Messiah, Quantum Mechanics (2 vols.)

Classical Physics:

K. Thorn, R.D. Blandford, Modern Classical Physics

E&M:

J. Schwinger et al, Classical Electrodynamics
J. D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics (2nd edition; 3rd is spoiled by using SI and Gaussian units in one book!)
M. Schwartz, Principles of Electrodynamics
D. J. Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics

(Quantum) Optics:

M. Born, E. Wolf, The Principles of Optics
J. C. Garrison, R. Y. Ciao, Quantum Optics
M. O. Scully, M. S. Zubairy, Quantum Optics
L. Mandel, E. Wolf, Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics

Relativistic Quantum Field Theory:

S. Weinberg, Quantum Theory of Fields (3 vols)
A. Duncan, The Conceptual Framework of Quantum Field Theory
M. D. Schwartz, Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model
D. Bailin, A. Love, Introduction to Gauge Field Theory

Thermodynamics and (Quantum) Statistics:

H. B. Callen, Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics
A. Katz, Principles of Statistical Mechanics
F. Reif, Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics

Thermal QFT

J. I. Kapusta, C. Gale, Finite-temperature Field Theory
M. Le Bellac, Thermal Field Theory
M. Laine, A. Vuorinen, Basics of Thermal Field Theory

Kinetic Theory


C. Cercignani, G. M. Kremer, The relativistic Boltzmann Equation
S. R. de Groot, W. A. van Leeuwen, Ch. G. van Weert, Relativistic Kinetic Theory
H. Risken, The Fokker-Planck Equation
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes bhobba, JD_PM, physics loverq and 2 others
  • #19
jasonRF
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,283
332
Golub and Van Loan, Matrix Computations.
Collin, Field Theory of Guided Waves.
 
  • #20
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521
@vanhees71 that's a great list, but many of those books do not satisfy all the criteria for being called a "bible". Some are not so big, some are not so well known, ...

And BTW, I am surprised that you didn't mention the Greiner et al series (14 vols).
 
  • #21
46
30
  • Like
Likes lomidrevo and Demystifier
  • #22
TeethWhitener
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,746
1,088
March's Advanced Organic Chemistry is a 2-volume monster that covers just about everything you can think to do with carbon.
 
  • Like
Likes dextercioby and Demystifier
  • #23
DrClaude
Mentor
7,271
3,429
I should add Gerhard Herzberg 4-volume Molecular Spectra and Molecular Structure.
 
  • Like
Likes atyy and Demystifier
  • #24
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521
I should add Gerhard Herzberg 4-volume Molecular Spectra and Molecular Structure.
Isn't it 3-volume?
 
  • #25
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
10,821
3,521
Knuth - The Art of Computer Programming, 4 volumes.

(Knuth is also known as the creator of TeX.)
 
  • Like
Likes jasonRF

Related Threads on STEM Bibles List

Replies
6
Views
478
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
845
  • Sticky
  • Last Post
14
Replies
346
Views
34K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
891
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
19K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
2K
Top