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What Should I Actually Use Next Semester?

  1. Nov 17, 2008 #1
    My university has released their book list for the courses this Spring and I'd figured I'd check against people who know the topics about what books I should actually use to understand the material. My Physics department is usually pretty decent with their book choices, but I've yet to come across a satisfactory choice from my Math department.

    Mathematical Modeling
    Introduction to Mathematical Modeling Using Discrete Dynamical Systems, Marotto

    Mathematical Statistics
    Mathematical Statistics, Freund

    Severe and Hazardous Weather, Rauber

    Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
    Thermal Physics, Schroeder

    I've yet to see anything from my Analysis course and I'm probably going to need Quantum Mechanics and Optics references for my Advanced Physics Lab (Griffiths or Shankar for the Quantum, no ideas for the Optics) and a Linear Algebra reference wouldn't hurt either.

    Can anyone care to lend their advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2008 #2
    How do I know I will get my advice back?
  4. Nov 20, 2008 #3
    The only text I have any familiarity with on your list is the physics text (Schroeder)... and it's very good for an intro thermodynamics course. Sorry I don't have experience in the other texts.

    Griffith's is a decent quantum text; some people tend to think it glosses over things, I used it in undergrad and still was top in my grad classes. I also just simply had a very good (quantum optics) professor for my undergrad courses.

    With regards to optics, I'm not as keen on Hecht as a number of people are, although it's be a fine reference.... I tend to prefer Pedrotti and Pedrotti... although I haven't seen the latest edition with yet a third Pedrotti (the guy I had for quantum!... tho' I sadly didn't have him for optics despite using his relatives' text). In all actuality... if you really want to get into optics, Born and Wolf would be the way to go... but you may need more of an E&M background to really have it be useful.

    Sorry I can't help you on the math areas... :blushing:
  5. Nov 24, 2008 #4
    I am not a big fan of Schroeder's text for thermo. Something about the style of writing gets under my skin. Seeing diagrams that include wizards in a physics text just doesn't sit well.

    If you want something kind of dry for Thermo, I'd pick up pretty much anything by McQuarrie, though it is unlikely that you will find his stat. mech book useful.

    Actually, the best texts I found for thermo are often P.Chem books.

    As for quantum. Liboff! You really can't go wrong with Richard Liboff. It is a slightly advanced undergraduate text for quantum mechanics, but it is written far better than Griffiths.
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