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The best physics books to build theoretical knowledge

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Could you name your best picks of books that expand on the high school knowledge. Example is the Goldsteins Classical Mechanics which is a classic. What do you recommend for Electricity and Magnetism, Optics, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics?
Also what would be the same criteria for some Math books? Calculus by Spivak is an example... ?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Dr Transport
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I wouldn't use Goldstein to expand your knowledge based off of a high school education, it is a graduate level text.

At the level you should be able to read and understand, I'd start off with Halliday and Resnik.
 
  • #3
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Could you name your best picks of books that expand on the high school knowledge. Example is the Goldsteins Classical Mechanics which is a classic. What do you recommend for Electricity and Magnetism, Optics, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics?
Also what would be the same criteria for some Math books? Calculus by Spivak is an example... ?
What is the level of math that you already know? Algebra? Calculus? Vector Analysis? If you post what you know and what is it that you are trying to do, I am sure many will chime in. Your question is too open ended and broad as 'best picks' depend on the current level of knowledge and the intended purpose.
 
  • #4
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What is the level of math that you already know? Algebra? Calculus? Vector Analysis? If you post what you know and what is it that you are trying to do, I am sure many will chime in. Your question is too open ended and broad as 'best picks' depend on the current level of knowledge and the intended purpose.
Ok :) so the last physics book i read was the Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Serway and as the book is too broad and deals with every subject i wany now to go deeper than this. Concerning Mathematics im at Calculus level so good Calculus or Differential equation book...
 
  • #5
vanhees71
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I wouldn't use Goldstein to expand your knowledge based off of a high school education, it is a graduate level text.

At the level you should be able to read and understand, I'd start off with Halliday and Resnik.
Well, and it's sometimes misleading (note the discussions on vakonomic dynamics in this forum!).
 
  • #7
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Ok :) so the last physics book i read was the Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Serway and as the book is too broad and deals with every subject i wany now to go deeper than this. Concerning Mathematics im at Calculus level so good Calculus or Differential equation book...
I would recommend the following books (not in any specific order for a set)
1. Verma - Concept of Physics vol 1 - http://www.abebooks.com/products/isbn/9788177091878
2. Verma - Concepts of Physics vol 2 - http://www.abebooks.com/products/isbn/9788177092325
3. Shankar Volume 1- https://www.amazon.com/dp/0300192207/?tag=pfamazon01-20
4. Shankar Volume 2 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/0300212364/?tag=pfamazon01-20 (will be released soon)
5. Haliday Resnick Krane Volume 1 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/0471320579/?tag=pfamazon01-20
6. Haliday Resnick Krane Volume 2 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/0471401943/?tag=pfamazon01-20
7. Savov - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0992001005/?tag=pfamazon01-20

The first set by Verma is not very well known but is really good.
 
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  • #8
QuantumQuest
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Could you name your best picks of books that expand on the high school knowledge. Example is the Goldsteins Classical Mechanics which is a classic. What do you recommend for Electricity and Magnetism, Optics, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics?
Also what would be the same criteria for some Math books? Calculus by Spivak is an example... ?
I definitely agree to what Dr Transport and vanhees71 said. I think that the best thing to do about textbooks, is to go with Halliday - Resnick in order to build some foundations to work further and solve lots of problems in order to sufficiently understand the topics. I would also recommend Leonard Susskind's "Theoretical Minimum" lectures, in order to check for yourself if you can follow along and see a bigger picture on the topics of theoretical physics. There is much way to go to reach understanding of advanced / graduate texts in theoretical physics and it must be done in the right way using appropriate steps.
 

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