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Suggested Readings?

  1. Jun 5, 2004 #1
    I was wondering what books I should read to learn more about physics. I am very interested in the subject and have read a few books right now I'm reading Hyperspace by Dr. Michio Kaku. But I dont know where to go from there. I am relatively new to physics so I dont want to read any advanced level books. So anyway thanks,
    Wyman91 :approve:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2004 #2


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    I can recommend a few books.

    The best popular book on physics is Greene's The Elegant Universe, but it's a little too difficult to start out on.

    Feynman's QED presents his characteristic way of looking at physics in very easy to understand terms.

    Nick Herbert's Quantum Reality is another fine one. Years ago I read many poplular books on the quantum and this one was the best of its time.

    John Gribbin's In Search of Schroedinger's Cat and Schroedinger's Kittens present the "weirdness" of QM, all of it supported by experiment, in entertaining fashion. If you can get your head around all the experiments described in Herbert's and Gribben's books you will be about ready for Greene. From there on, you will need to master some math.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2004
  4. Jun 5, 2004 #3


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    I browsed a Barnes & Noble yesterday and came across a book that I am starting to read, called No Ordinary Genius. It is a biography of Richard Feynman. There is not a lot of physics in it, but there is some, along with Feynman's ideas on nanotechnology, religion, and other things.

    I laid out $20+ for a best-of Kenny Rogers double CD while I was there, largely on the strength of his 1960s song Reuben James. I had the REPEAT button turned on so I could listen to it literally a dozen times in a row, and it sounded as neat on the last play as it did on the first. Most of his later material doesn't do a danged thing for me, so I will rarely play disc 2 I'm afraid.
  5. Jun 5, 2004 #4
    Thank you guys both for your help I will check those books out.
  6. Jun 13, 2004 #5


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    Janitor, its funny that you should mention a Feynman biography because I just checked-out his other one from my university's library. It's called "The Beat Of A Different Drum: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman" by Jagdish Mehra.

    The book is a little over 600-pages and only about 100 talk about his younger days. The rest of the book talks about all of his ideas, methods, etc. within the field of physics (electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, etc.). And the way the book is written, each chapter is in chronological order of his life. So basically, you'll learn about the physics as Feynman discovered it. From his days at MIT as a undergraduate student all the way up to his passing in 1988. The book also has many of his formulas and such written out (some with detail on how to do yourself).

    I highly recommend you pick-it up from the bookstore or your local library. I'll probably end up buying it myself since its such an informative book as well as biography.

    EDIT: I just searched for the book on BN and just found out the book is out-of-print; however, there are around 10 used copies available for sale. Of course, you may be able to find it at a local "used" bookstore in your area.
  7. Jun 13, 2004 #6


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    Cod, I have not heard of that biography of Feynman. I did once read Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, which may be one you are familiar with. I remember the title derived from something a waitress said to Feynman after he told her what he wanted in his tea. Like the biography I am reading now, it did not go into a lot of scientific detail.
  8. Jun 13, 2004 #7


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    I've heard the name of that book before, but haven't read it. Maybe I'll try and find it to read once I finish the book I'm currently reading. And like I said in my earlier post, the book I'm reading now goes into great detail about his science as well as life.
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