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Text book recommendation

  1. Mar 16, 2005 #1
    I need a recommendation on a good second level college physics textbook. Pretty much any price range is fine. Also, i would like a recommendation for a good first semester Calculus book. Thanks to all who help out!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2005 #2

    Dr Transport

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    Second level, what text was used for the first and we can make suggestions.
  4. Mar 16, 2005 #3
    This is the book from my first level class:

    Physics: Algebra/Trig
    by Eugene Hecht
    ISBN: 0534261000

    for the calculus, i just need a good introductory level book.

  5. Mar 16, 2005 #4

    Dr Transport

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    Halliday, Resnik and Krane or Serway or Sears and Zemansky are all fairly decent calculus based books to work from.
  6. Mar 16, 2005 #5
    Calculus i use Thomas' 9th Edition. Its ok, also Hughes-hallet. Those are the books I have used, they seem pretty decent.

    For Physics, I use Knight. It is a calculus based approach, but the calculus is just basic derivatives and integrals. Aside from mastering physics, it is a pretty good book. There are at least 4 volumes though, it is a really long book. I think volumes 3-4 are the second level ones though.
  7. Mar 16, 2005 #6
    For calculus I recommend an older edition of one of Stewarts books along with a solutions manual for the book. Also stewart has a few books, I'd get one that covers single and multivariable calculus, that way you can learn more. I recommend looking on ebay or amazon.

    I have read and worked through all 1168 pages of Stewart's Calculus Early Transcendentals 5th Edition including the appendix and I think it does a very good job. It really helps to have the solutions manual if you are doing self study also. When I took multivariable Calculus I had a horrible teacher and I was essentially learning on my own. Stewart's book helped me through the course with it's excellent pictures and explanations.

    The only other book I have read on Calculus is Michael Spivak's Calculus. I don't think that it is very good for self study if don't know anything about Calculus and want to learn it quickly. The examples are really interesting but the material is too difficult I think if you know nothing about calculus. It would take a very long time to read it front to back without knowing any calculus I think.

    I also own a copy of Calculus by Ostebee and Zorn, I got it for a few dollars off ebay. I have only read the section on Limits and it seems extremely easy to read. However, I already know Calculus so I can't comment on how good it is for learning from scratch.

    Maybe a good idea is to get stewarts book with a solutions manual along with another book from ebay. Books are very cheap there. If not try amazon. It's always a good idea to have more than one reference when you get stuck. Also there is the internet too to help as a reference when you get stuck.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2005
  8. Mar 17, 2005 #7
    Thanks Eratosthenes, i looked into both of those books (Stewart's Calculus Early Transcendentals 5th Edition, & Michael Spivak's Calculus). I'm kind of leaning towards Spivak's book after reading reviews on amazon.com. I plan on using it for self study, so i'm a little hesitant since you said that may not be a good idea with this book.

    Does anyone else have any suggestions or comments about either of these books? or any others? Thanks!!
  9. Mar 17, 2005 #8
    Ohanian is also a pretty good calculus based Physics book.
    University Physics from Hugh Young is exhaustive covering in depth almost all topics. I think this was mentioned earlier (Sears and Zemanswki).
  10. Mar 17, 2005 #9

    Well Michael Spivak's book is worth buying regardless. I bought it off amazon along with the answer book, it's called "Answer book for calculus" and cost $35. The total cost for both books was $105 plus shipping but it was well worth it. If you are serious about mathematics it is a good investment.

    The problem with Spivaks book is that it takes alot of time and effort and you might get discouraged.

    If you know nothing about Calculus I think you will learn more concepts reading stewarts book than spivak's simply because you will be able to work through stewarts quicker. I think Stewarts is the most widely used book in the US for Calculus 1, 2, and 3 at universities. I think that's a good indication that it at least does a decent job of teaching the basic concepts and ideas.

    Maybe the solution is to get both books. After reading spivaks book for an hour reading stewart will seem like a joke:)

    BTW I think Stewarts 5th Edition is more expensive than the 4th edition. You might be able to get the 4th edition for alot less along with a solutions manual. The only reason I have the 5th edition is because I needed it for three courses I took. If I was purchasing something for self study I would get the 4th edition or older as long as I could get a solutions manual with whatever I got.

    As for physics books I used Serway and Jewett's Physics for scientist and engineers for 2 semesters of physics. I like you was learning Calculus at the same time I was learning Physics, and the physics book was much harder to read than stewarts book. I had a really hard time with physics but I think it's because I was learning Calculus at the same time. I actually read part of chapter 7 of Serway and Jewett's tonight because I was helping a friend and it is much more readable to me now than it was when I first used it.
  11. Mar 17, 2005 #10
    For the calculs books, it had also crossed my mind to pick them both up. Perhaps that is what i will do, i'll have to see how much money i have in the next few days. (i would probably just get the 5th edition because i like new stuff :) ) Of course i'm still open to suggestions.

    For the physics book, that would also be self study. I'll look into University Physics, and the others that were mentionsed as well.

    I'm not actually enrolled in school right now because in the next month or so i should be leaving my area for about 2 years, but i took physics B ap in high school, and i really enjoy that class, and i've always enjoyed math. I figured i would get a head start so when i get back i'll be able to jump right back on where i left off.
  12. Mar 17, 2005 #11
    You can also get spivak's book directly from the publisher, they give a 10% discount and shipping is FREE. I think the book w/ answer book comes to $94.50... or, you can always get one used for much less.

    Warning... his book assumes you know some of the logic behind proofs already (ie: contrapositive etc.. )

    It is highly recommended though... some other good ones for calc are apostol and courant.
  13. Mar 18, 2005 #12
    thanks mathstudent, i'll look into the publisher and see if i can find it there
  14. Mar 18, 2005 #13

    Probably the best book, I'd recommend that also..
    There's also a companion book that goes with it..
  15. Mar 18, 2005 #14
    If you're cheap, like me, go out and buy Schaum's Outline of Physics for Scientists and Engineers and Schaum's Outline of Engineering Mechanics.
  16. Mar 18, 2005 #15
    Forgot to mention, the publisher's website for the spivak book is www.mathpop.com
  17. Mar 18, 2005 #16


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    i recommend the 2nd edition of stewart. it went downhill after that. spivak is a thousand times better. on a different level entirely. stewart is a joke compared to spivak. i.e. stewart (2nd edition) is a good non honors book. spivak is an excellent super honors book,(not just regular honors).
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