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Which optional texts to supplement required texts?

  1. Dec 20, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I'm taking 3 classes next semester: classical mechanics, solid state physics, and electrodynamics. Respective textbooks:

    Percival/Richards "Introduction to Dynamics"
    Kittel "Solid State Physics" (?)
    Griffiths "Electrodynamics"

    2. Relevant equations

    - Kittel's text does not have favourable reviews on Amazon.com, and I have tried self-study from Griffiths books before (which have merit as compendiums of clever problems and nice casual explanations of things, rather than as systematically laying out the facts one can cling onto in the midst of a difficult problem).

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Electrodynamics books:
    Principles of Electrodynamics - Melvin Schwartz ($10)
    The Electromagnetic Field - Shadowitz ($16)
    Electrodynamics - Fulvio ($25)

    Classical Electrodynamics - Schwinger ($45)
    Electrodynamics - An Introduction with Quantum effects - Muller-Kirsten ($60)
    Classical Electrodynamics - Ohanian ($33)

    I own: Jackson and Landau/Lifgarbagez

    Solid state physics books:

    ??? most look too specialized to supplement Kittel.

    I own: Ashcroft/Mermin and Phillip Phillips (Adv. solid state; don't ask how).

    Classical mechanics: the prof does things his own way and has his own lecture notes. He'll be teaching about chaos. I suspect a Hamiltonian approach. Not sure, though...

    Any additional ideas for books? The lower the cost (Dover?), the better.... : )
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2009 #2
    I've found Neff's Introductory Electromagnetics is pretty good (albeit a little pricey on Amazon: ~$75 USD) and is a good supplement to Griffith's text. I've heard Schwartz was a good supplement, but I don't think I'd suggest Fulvio's text as it is not (as a whole) something that would be covered in the first year of E&M theory.

    Kittel's text may not find good reviews because it is dense. I used Hook & Hall's Solid State Physics and it was okay. I often referenced to either Kittel's text or J Christman's Fundamentals of Solid State Physics.

    As for Classical Mechanics, I'm a modern kind of guy; so I suggest Frankel's Geometry of Physics and/or Jose & Saletan's Classical Mechanics. These books both utilize differential geometry to explain mechanics (which, from my advisor's perspective, is how it should be taught). If you (or your professor) aren't interested in that perspective, I think Marion & Thornton's Classical Dynamics or Hand & Finch's Analytical Mechanics would be the way to go for supplements. Be warned: All of these books are expensive, but you can find most of them through Google books.
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