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What's the best advanced physics textbook for high school?

  1. Sep 28, 2014 #1
    Please physicsforums members, I would like help to find an advanced level textbook that covers up high school physics up to university entrance or maybe beyond that a bit.
    I would like a book that provides a very very strong FOUNDATION in physics.
    A one that provides clear, thorough, novel, deep and powerful expalantions.
    A one that will make me very confident with the principles and the essentials.
    I'm basically familiar with most of the physics topics so I would like it to be at an advanced level.

    By the way,
    I'm self studying physics, I don't know if that really matters when choosing a book.
    Thank in advance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2014 #2
    Just to clarify, do you want a book exclusively written to a rigorous high school/uni entrance standard, pretty much only covering the material as you would be expected to know in the course? Or one which covers high school-esque material but from a more advanced standpoint, encompassing and stretching beyond the course content? Also it would be useful if you could tell us what level of mathematics you have covered, as that will greatly influence the options available to you.
     
  4. Sep 30, 2014 #3
    I'm still a beginner in calculus, so I don't think I will be comfortable with a calculus based book.By the way, I'm very good at algebra and trigonometry.
    I've studied all physics topics before from terrible textbooks and with terrible teachers. So I have lots of problems with the basics and essential principles.
    But at the same time, I want an advanced highschool book that goes beyond the normal high school physics level to maybe college level.
    I want to build a strong foundation.
    I want a book with thorough,clear,sharp,thorough,intuitive and novel explanations.
    And full of misconception clarifications.
    And with justification to all concepts, ideas and laws, and not just throwing ideas.
    I respect and appreciate your reply and your help. :):)
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  5. Oct 1, 2014 #4

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    That's a problem. There are basically two types of college physics courses: engineering (calculus-based) and "physics for poets" (noncalculus based). Without at least some knowledge of calculus on the reader's part, the explanations have to be a lot more wordy and "hand-wavy." Some very basic concepts, such as the relationships between position, velocity, and acceleration, only make sense if you understand the calculus concept of the derivative.
    Based on your requirements, I don't think such a book exists. My advice is to get up to speed with the math (i.e., calculus) before you attempt to tackle engineering physics.
     
  6. Oct 1, 2014 #5
    Having given it some thought I have to concur with Mark and say that I think you're going to struggle in attempting to find any very clear non-calculus based Physics textbooks. You could perhaps try some of the books used in the UK's modern A-level physics course, which is now calculus free, but to be frank it would serve you better to first learn some elementary calculus. From the perspective of that being achieved a few options then open up to you - I would strongly suggest that "A-level Physics" by Roger Muncaster be taken into consideration. As a book it requires only limited calculus and whilst being written for a slightly older specification (I'd argue this is to its benefit as opposed to its detriment) it still delivers an appropriately thorough and lucid treatment of the subject. Of course depending on where you are located I cannot vouch that it will align perfectly with your course content. Is it Physics you seek to study at Univeristy? If so you could begin to look even further beyond the aforementioned text and at books like "Physics" by Halliday & Resnick (especially the older editions) which offer a reasonable treatment of some of the material covered in a 1st year Undergraduate course, though this would necessitate developing your skills with calculus further.
     
  7. Oct 1, 2014 #6

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    I thought of mentioning this book, but didn't. I still have my Halliday & Resnick from college years. It's the 2nd printing of the 1960 edition, and I bought it used in 1971 for $12.40. No doubt it's a bit more these days.
     
  8. Oct 1, 2014 #7
    What are the minimum calculus requirements ?
     
  9. Oct 1, 2014 #8

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    Differentiation and integration.
     
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