The best physics magazines and the best physics books?

  • #1
Does anyone know how to sign up to check answers for correctness for new textbooks? From the ones I been using they usually ask the graduate students as a task or project of some sort to check their respective professor's texts for errors... And the Giancoli physics text they duffed up again! 5th edition the chapter on fluids... My friend and I spent 45mins arguing over a problem concerning a ship in the Caribbeans... P=F/A... we had it all correct and then it didn't come out right... the P was correct the A was correct but wrong F... then I said I go look up the pressure of the caribbeans waters online! Next day we found out that the solution was invalid in the back of the book! Darn back of the book incorrections! Lots of errors in Finney and Kennedy's book on calc... They contradicted themselves in the graph chapter that introduced the local max/mins! Args... Hindrences!

Anyone know of where you sign up to check/do these problems for the correct answers for the new books to be published?

Answers and Replies

  • #2
13 Going On 7 (Books)

Alright, my uncle is coming to visit us from the US again so it's time to order some books for him to bring along. The only problem is that this time he's also bringing me a new laptop, so there's not much space left for the books. I have these 13 books in the wish list currently, and I need to reduce the list to around 6-8. Maybe the rest I will ship normally, but Amazon wants $7 per shipment plus $4 per book (grrr!). I have a few books on the same subject so I'm sure some of them could be discarded.

So if anyone read any of these books, I wouldn't mind to hear your general opinion (just rate it or something) so I can choose the right ones. And one of you lucky posters will win a FREE email greeting card from ME. :tongue2: No but seriously, any help you can offer would be great.

All links are to and taken directly from my wish list, no affiliation ID or anything is included.

Why Flip a Coin? : The Art and Science of Good Decisions
- by H. W. Lewis
In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics And Reality
- by John Gribbin
Quantum Physics : Illusion or Reality?
- by Alastair I. M. Rae
Quantum Reality : Beyond the New Physics
- by Nick Herbert
Does God Play Dice: The New Mathematics of Chaos
- by Ian Stewart
The Essence of Chaos (The Jessie and John Danz Lecture Series)
- by Edward N. Lorenz
- by Gideon Bosker
Understanding Relativity: A Simplified Approach to Einstein's Theories
- by Leo Sartori
Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified
- by Richard Wolfson
Relativity Visualized
- by Lewis Carroll Epstein
The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
- by Brian Greene
Flatland : A Romance of Many Dimensions
- by Edwin A. Abbott
The Quantum World : Quantum Physics for Everyone
- by Kenneth William Ford

(I've posted this here because, well, the books are all about physics!)
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  • #3
Tom McCurdy
I don't know why I am putting this up since I am summarizing the chapters in the book, but I figured it might be useful or just interesting.

Glossary of Terms
Chapters 0-1
Calendar Round: Mayan calendar system with zero that had a different name for every day in a 52 year cycle.

Decade: 10 day long week in Egyptian calendar.

Devourer: Beast that would eat your heart as punishment for stealing someone’s land in Egyptian myth.

Placeholder digit: Digit used like zero only to distinguish what value a particular symbol would have by designating its location.

Sexagesimal: Numbering system with base 60 used by Babylonian people. Borrowed by the Greeks who preferred more Egyptian style mathematics for advance mathematics then converted back to their numbering system.

SS Yorktown Huge ship with 80,000 horsepower that was brought dead in the water when its on board computers tried to divide by 0.

The Greek Universe: There is no such things as nothing, there is no universe. Created by Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Ptolemy.

Vigesimal: Base 20 system used by Mayans
  • #4
Combinatorics and discrete math has always been a hard subject for me...

I recently discovered the New Mathematical Library series. It's an older series that was written by mathematicians to help develop some concepts and was written for high school students. Thats when I found the book called "The Mathematics of Choice, How to Count Without Counting."

This book develops a lot of the common areas covered by a discrete math class but offers solutions and answers for even the most complicated problems.

In case anyone is wondering the Author is Ivan Niven...

  • #5
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  • #6
Hey guys, I'm looking for a good book on Probability.

I have "Advanced Engineering Mathematics," by Erwin Kreyzig, which I used for my differential equations class, but it is more of a reference book than a strong text to study and learn from.

I'm taking a Communication theory class this spring and I'd like to brush up on my probability. The book I used in my probability class was utterly useless.

If possible, I'd like the book to be geared towards engineers.

Here is one I have in mind:
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  • #7
I am a big application guy. I am trying to find some book with a lot of applications, proofs, and examples. I am able to read undergraduate real analysis and matrix algebra text. Recently, I am working on Calculus of Variation, Differential Equations and Exterior Differential Forms. Moreover, I want to prepare for my postgraduate work for next year, thus I am wishing if anyone could give me some recommandation on:

Introduction of Optimization
Introduction of Linear Control
Introduction of PDE
Introduction of Stochastic Calculus in Fianace
Introduction of Time Series Analysis
Introduction of Mathematical Foundations of Option Pricing
Advance Variational Calculus
Advance Exterior Differential Forms
Advance Financial Mathematic
Advance ODE (heavy emphasis on Existence and Uniqueness)
Advace Mathematical Economics (Anything beyond the use of elementary Calculus)

If needed, I can give further informations for each topic.

Any though will be truly appreciated.
  • #8
I'm a Cal2/Physics 1 Undergrad and, largely due to Asimov and the show Numbers, have an interest in Applied Mathematics as a whole. My two areas of particular interest are Fuzzy Logic and Game Theory, but the only resources I can find are either undetailed or complex and technical above my current level, taking me an inordinately long time to grasp.

Are there any books, textbooks or otherwise, on Fuzzy Logic or Game Theory, or Applied Mathematics as a whole, that cover their subjects as well as Halliday & Resnick covered Physics?
  • #9
I am planning to purchase 1 Physics book.
Can anyone here suggest me which one of the following texts is best?

Title: PSSC Physics, 7E
Author: Uri Haber-Schaim
Publisher: Kendall Hunt

Title: Foundations of Physics
Author: Robert Gowdy
Publisher: Kendall Hunt

Title: Physics - An Incremental Development
Author: John H., Jr. Saxon
Publisher: Saxon Publishers

Title: College Physics
Author: Robert W. Stanley
Publisher: Harcourt

If anyone knows better than above list of Physics book, please let me know.
But please don’t kind of Halliday, Giancoli, and Serway alike. I own Giancoli’s Physics book, and I’ve read the rest of them. Just want to read the other one.

Please advance
  • #10
I would like to read a book about semiconductor devices. Ultimately I
want to understand thin film transistors (MOSFETs in particular). Many years ago I read the
majority of Ben Streetman's book: Solid State Electronic Devices.
Now, I want to revisit the subjects covered there. I have probably
forgotten everything I learnt. At the time I read his book, I found
it a bit tricky to understand and I also found his diagrams a bit
lacking. This may be heresy but I was hoping that someone might be
able to recommend to me a book that they think is easier to understand
and is generally better.

Thank you
  • #11
I want to find out the book which I've read some time ago. Now i don't remember who were the authors and exact title.

This book was on scattering theory or S-matrix or something similiar. I remember, that there are chapters with titles like S-matrix for scattering of spin 0, spin 1.
The authors of the book were 4 or 5 people, most of them italians. Surnames were like De Benedetti, Bernardini or like this.
The pub date - 196x or 197x.

Anyone knows about this book or maybe point out where can i look for it.

Thanks in advance.
  • #12
Boost my chances?


I'm in the UK and I'm taking a Bachelors in Materials Science, but after graduation I hope to do an MSc (master of science) post graduate degree. My course lacks some physics content (relativity, particle physics, quantum mechanics, etc) but covers most solid state physics topics, as well as crystallography, microstructure, polymers, and steels. I have some basic maths courses but I can't say how they relate to physics course maths content. The description of my maths courses is:

Maths 1:

Module content:
Number system: numbers, algebra and geometry, representations of numbers, definition of errors.
Functions: inverse and composite functions, polynomial functions, rational functions, circular functions, exponential, logarithmic and hyperbolic functions, continuous and discontinuous functions.
Complex numbers: the number j, real and imaginary parts, manipulation of complex numbers, Argand diagram, polar form of a complex number, Euler's formula, De Moivre's theorem.
Differentiation: basic ideas and definition, elementary functions, rules of differentiation, parametric and implicit differentiation, higher derivatives, optimum values.
Integration: basic ideas and definition, definite and indefinite integrals, techniques of integration, integrals of partial fractions, integration by parts, integration by substitution.
Vectors: Physical meaning, components, magnitude, scalar product, cross product, Equations of lines and planes.

Maths 2:

Linear Algebra: simultaneous equations, Gauss elimination, matrices, rules of matrix algebra, rank and linear dependence, calculation of determinates and eigenvalue problems.

Functions of more than 1 variable: visualisation, partial differentiation, integration of lines, surfaces and volumes.

Sequences and Series: review of arithmetic and geometric sequences and series, limit of a sequence, infinite series and tests of convergence, power series of common functions.

Ordinary differential equations: classification of differential equations, solutions to first order ODE's including separable, linear and more specialised types. Solution to second order ODE's with constant coefficients.

I was wondering what people's suggestions would be to catch up on the essentials for physics, would it be maths content I should concentrate on?



EDIT: I want to do the MSc in Theoretical Physics.
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  • #13

I'm currently a junior EE student and I am just finishing up my 300 level intro to power course. The focus of the course was mostly electric drives - AC/phasor power, electromagnetism (basics), transformers, dc/ac drives, but not the control system mechanisms (thats for another course).

I am looking for another book or source that perhaps any of you might be able to recommend to learn more about the topic? I'm only reproducing and manipulating equations and that is getting me a good grade in the class, but I am unsatisfied and would actually like to learn while I'm on winter break.

Without getting into much detail, my professor and book are quite honestly the worst I've had. I would have done some research on other books on the side and 'figured it out' but I took 18 units of 300 level courses this time and that has been the least of my priorities with that load. I intend to spend winter 'learning' what I didn't this fall.

Before I go diving into random books, does anyone have any particular suggestions?

Thank you!
  • #14
Hello everyone, I just joined the forums. In the past few months, I've really been getting into physics, I've been reading lots of books on all sorts of topics involving physics, but I was interested in subscribing to a physics magazine. I was looking around to see what the world had to offer in ways of this, and I found only two main physics magazines, Physics World, and Physics Today. I was wondering what the better of the two is, or if there are other magazines that are better. Also, any suggestions on interesting physics books would be helpful too. Thanks.
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  • #15
Hey all. I just wanted some advice on what supplementary materials to pick up. I start uni in a week but I'd like to have decent support material available in case I run into trouble. Here are the courses I will be taking over the next two years to three years:

Introduction to Calculus - full year course.
Interdediate Calculus - full year course.
Differential Equations 1 - half year course.
Several second and third year physics courses.

Like most Canadian universities, the precalculus and calculus courses use the Stewart textbooks. I think the differential eqns course uses one by Boyce. Not sure about the physics ones.

I was thinking about picking up Calculus Made Easy by Thompson OR The Calculus Lifesaver OR How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide as a study companion in case I got stuck. Which do you think would be the most useful out of these 3?

I'm also considering picking up Spivak's Calculus book, but not until I've finished first year Calculus. I've heard this book is good for people taking math and physics courses.
  • #16
I'm looking for a college-level comprehensive earth/planetary science book(s) for self-study. I would prefer something that is very detailed, especially if it delves into the history of the science.

I also welcome any recommendations for books that are highly detailed with respect to the history of atomic physics, quantum mechanics, and/or statistical physics, something that gives specifics about the foundational experiments conducted and theories developed and maybe even relates them to what one would find in a typical quantum mechanics textbook. A textbook with a huge amount of context, basically, but it's the history I'm most interested in. It should be written for a physics-grad level reader, not one of those popular science sorts of things.
  • #17
I need some suggestions on books for self study in the fields of Special Rel, Electricity and Magnetism, and Electrodynamics. My current math level is on par with Calc 3 (vector analysis and multi-v cal), ordinary diff eq, and linear algebra. I am looking for books on starter courses of each of the subjects listed above for self study. I would like a special rel book that is somewhat rigorous (but not so much as to be a lead into G-rel, although that is my main goal ;P), again this is a first course for me. For the E&M book I am looking for more of a book that introduces Maxwell's equations and non-relativistic electromagnetic theory. And finally a book on Electrodynamics that brings together special rel and E&M. I would like to emphasize this is a first for me, so please no books that assume more mathematics than I have listed (unless it is self contained and teaches what I need), or prior knowledge of the material at hand.
  • #18
Hello, this is my first attempt at posting a thread and this is the only “place” that allowed me to post. The others displayed a message saying i wasn’t allowed (that’s the summary). So my question is if any of you have good math or physics book recommendations. I have a couple but would like some more. To give you guys a better idea of what level books i’m looking for i’ll tell you courses i’ve completed.

Mechanics, Fluids, Waves, Heat, E&M
Calculus and Analytic Geometry
Intro to differential Equations
Vector Calculus
Linear Algebra

I’m basically about to complete the 2 year intro to physics with only Special Relativity, Quantum Physics, and Optics left (which will be completed by the end of the year)
So i would greatly appreciate any good recommendations. Thank you.
  • #19
Hello, first off, thank you for viewing my thread. My main concern is in how difficult the topic of Optics is going to be. I took Physics B in high school, and Optics was very easy for me there, but I think it’ll be wise to assume the 2nd year Optics course in college will be much more difficult. For now, the required text is Giancoli 4th edition. Provided i do run into some trouble with Optics, do any of you have any good supplement texts. I’ve seen “Introduction to Modern Optics" by Fowler. Do any of you have any thoughts on that book? It is only ten dollars, but those are ten dollars I can spend elsewhere if the books is not good. Thank you very much, and I greatly appreciate any advice/comments. :smile:
  • #20
(I hope this post is okay to have in this thread, I tried to post it at the sub-forum "Math & Science Learning Materials, but it kept say: RobinSky, you do not have permission to access this page, feel free to move this if it's placed wrong - sorry if I did cause any faults).

I wonder if anyone could recommend any books (physics is what I'm looking for the most, math is also OK) to read that is not just pages full of facts, but more a book for self paced study. To make things a bit more clear, I can show you one example I'm thinking about to work through:

Geometry by Harold R. Jacobs (Seeing, Doing, Understanding)

Regarding my knowledge of physics/math, I think it will easiest if you come with your tips and I'll see if it's anything I can handle (I'm very excited to learn more due to a very high interest). However I can tell you I'm not doing quantum xxxx physics, multiple variable analysis, differential equations and such things.
Yet, I've recently finished my first course in classical Mechanics, basic thermodynamics, derivative and such basic things at university level, and this autumn I'm starting with my bachelor's degree in engineering physics.

Thanks for the move, I never thought of looking in "academic guidance"...
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  • #21
Heya, could I bother you fellows for some nice books to read?

My education level is 2-year associate in math. I'm going to go back to school for a 4-year in physics after the summer, and am currently dreaming about graduate school.

I'm looking for books to help me decide my chances for getting through graduate school along with what field to choose (The second part is a mixture of current job demand and personal interest, while the first part is my fear of not being smart/devoted enough or finding the money needed.)

High level math is fine, but I would also appreciate some books without numbers (or at least are readable without needing a pen and paper) so I can read them throughout the day.

I'll go ahead and recommend a few books to others that I've found interesting so far (Maybe will try to edit this later as well to add more):

Black Holes and Warped Spacetime by William J. Kaufmann (Jun 1979)
-- No mathematics, beginner.
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard P. Feynman and A. Zee (Apr 4, 2006)
-- No mathematics, intermediate.
  • #22
I would like a book that has at least a full chapter on this type of question:
A seperable differential equation where the most difficult part is the algebra to find the constants of integration.

A lot of books focus on solving the seperable differential equation, which is not difficult.

I ask this because I find it the hardest part of fluid mechanics, I got a B- and am taking the Heat and Mass Transfer with the same professor. We use the Middleman books, which seem to take a very unique approach-which make some of the other books less relevant to the course.
  • #23
I need books on Hydroelectricity! Please Help :)

Hello there everyone,

I am searching for great books that cover the physics and mathematics behind hydroelectricity/hydropower generation.

Can anyone help me out? I am quickly researching this topic to see if I want to write a final paper on it.

I have been searching google, amazon, and my university's online database but I am having some trouble finding more physics oriented sources. I am mainly finding resources on the politics or economics of hydroelectricity.

So if anyone has any recommendations, that would be greatly appreciated.

I only ask that the sources be reputable. I would prefer that they are in the form of a published paper, a book by an expert in the field, from a reputable university/institution, or maybe even a university textbook dedicated to the subject.

Thanks everyone!

  • #24
Can anyone recommend me a good book or online resource for embedded system's software design? Preferably a book that is either written for ARM or platform independent. I am already familiar with C programming and how to program microcontrollers (UART, SPI, timers, registers, volatile, assembly, etc..).

I'm finding that the books I am coming across are geared too much towards beginners. What I am looking for is a book(s) that covers things like design methodologies, data structures and algorithms, and structuring software. I am working on building a robot that will do path finding autonomously, and I'm finding that I am really lacking in software design knowledge. For reference, I am a 4th year EE student and have taken one class on embedded systems, and I'm going on a year long internship before going back to school to finish my degree and take a second embedded course.

Some topics I would be interested in:

-Software design methodologies and how to structure embedded programs
-Control algorithms (PID and path finding).
-Data structure applications for embedded systems
-Written for ARM, or platform independent
-Programming for robots (working with sensors..)

If anyone knows of some good resources for me, It would make me very happy. :D

Thank you!
  • #25
4a) An oil drop of mass 3.3 x 10-15 kg falls vertically, with uniform velocity, through the air between two vertical parallel plates with zero potential difference that are 3.0 cm apart. Explain this motion.

(b) When a potential difference of 2.0 x 103 V is applied between the plates, the drop is observed to move with uniform velocity at an angle of 45o to the vertical. Explain this result, with a diagram, indicating the forces acting on the drop, and calculate the charge on the drop.

(c) The path of the drop suddenly changes, becoming inclined at 18.43o to the vertical. Subsequently the path changes again and is inclined at 33.70o to the vertical. Explain these results.
Deduce from these observations the best estimate of the elementary unit of charge.

(d) The plates are now arranged horizontally, 12 mm apart, with no potential difference. A drop of oil, mass 10-14 kg, is observed to fall vertically with constant velocity of 4.0 x 10-4 ms-1. When a pd of 1.5 kV is applied to the plates the drop rises vertically with a velocity of 8.0 x 10-5 ms-1. How many electrons are present in the drop?

The drop experiences air resistance proportional to its velocity

6a) If the radius of the Earth RE = 6.38 x 103 km and g = 9.81 ms-2 is the acceleration of free fall, obtain an expression for the minimum launch speed required to put a satellite into polar orbit, over the poles, and calculate its magnitude.

(b) What is the ratio of the minimum launch speed required to put a satellite into polar orbit, over the poles, to the minimum launch speed for an equatorial orbit, around the equator, when they are in close Earth orbits?

(c) What minimum initial speed must a space probe have if it is to leave the gravitational field of the Earth?

(d) What minimum launch speed is required for a probe to hit the Sun? Neglect the Earth’s gravitational field.

(e) Ignoring the Earth’s gravitational field, what minimum launch speed is required for a probe to leave the solar system?

Distance of the Earth from the Sun, RES = 1.50 x 108 km
Mass of the Sun, MS = 1.99 x 1030 kg
Mass of the Earth, ME = 5.98 x 1024 kg

What I want to ask is, what books or websites will give me good practice for solving problems of this style? What websites cover the necessary theory in good detail? (my knowledge of mechanics is fine but other than that recommendations would be good) I have I.E. Irodov's problems but I don't know if they cover the classes of problem being asked here (e.g. orbits around a rotating body).
  • #26
Feel free to add your own links to free books. Let me know if there are broken links or copyright issues.
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  • #27
David Timothy
Hi guys. I am preparing for physics olympiad in my country and i am searching for good books just like david morin's red book. Any suggestion to find other books but at the same level as morin's problem? Thanks a lot guys
Note: especially for mechanics topic

Suggested for: The best physics magazines and the best physics books?

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