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What is a best physics textbook?

  1. Sep 25, 2014 #1
    what is the best textbook to learn physics. i need to learn physics really good(i want to test out usa physics olymipad, and i really want to perform well). so really looking for a book that is indepth and teaches things to a advanced leve.. if there is no such one book, and you want to suggest 2 books, in order for more advanced understanding, please list the(but tell me that i need the 2 books)

    Also, recommend one with practice problems. A textbook with practice problems or a book dedicated to practice problems. thanks

    (also, dont worry about math, dont let mathmatics be the reason to not recommend someting, if it requires hard math(cal 3 or under) thats fine.

    also, what level would you consider these books, will any of them work for me?

    please list, from top priority to down.,, multiple recommendation is desired because it will allow me flexibility in terms of availability, prices, etc.

    thanks for the help :)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2014 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  4. Sep 27, 2014 #3
    fras, Aayam wants a book to prepare him for olympiads, I think Morin is too advanced for that. The standard introduction to physics is Physics by Halliday and Resnick (which should not be confused with Fundamentals of Physics).

    As for books with problems, I can't help you there. I just did a search for 'physics olympiad' on amazon.com, which is a start:

    There's also the book in the Schaum's series, but those books tend to be not-too-difficult, so it may not help with olympiads:

    Edit: smiley in the link removed
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  5. Sep 27, 2014 #4
    In case you're wondering, no that smiley isn't meant to be there. Replace it with a semi-colon and a 'p'.
  6. Sep 27, 2014 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Oh, that's not a comment about the book? :D
  7. Sep 27, 2014 #6


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    Science Advisor

    I don't know about the US physics olympiad, but I think the problems in Halliday and Resnick are too elementary at the international level (they are fine for learning physics, but olympiads are strange things). The US usually does quite well, so I would be surprised if the standard in the US olympiad were much lower. I think one should try problems at the level of Kleppner and Kolenkow. From what I've heard, the problems in Morin are harder, so it would probably be ok.

    From googling, here are some books recommended in 2011, and Morin is among them. Of course, if one is not ready for the problems in Morin, one should start with problems at the level of Halliday and Resnick. http://mpec.sc.mahidol.ac.th/ipho2011/node/158
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Sep 27, 2014 #7
    I was under the impression Aayam wanted to start learning physics. For that, Morin is inappropriate, indeed that link puts it after a general physics book like Halliday and Resnick.

    "The extensive use of the calculus (differentiation and integration) and the use of complex numbers or solving differential equations should not be required to solve the theoretical and practical problems."
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