Which optional texts to supplement required texts?

  • Thread starter bjnartowt
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In summary, the student is taking three classes next semester: classical mechanics, solid state physics, and electrodynamics. They are looking for additional textbooks to supplement their courses, specifically for electrodynamics and solid state physics. They own Jackson and Landau/Lifshitz for electrodynamics and Ashcroft/Mermin and Phillip Phillips for solid state physics. They are interested in finding more affordable options, such as Dover books, and have found Neff's Introductory Electromagnetics and Hook & Hall's Solid State Physics to be helpful supplements in the past. They are also looking for suggestions for textbooks on classical mechanics, with a preference for modern perspectives such as Frankel's Geometry of Physics or Jose & Saletan's Classical
  • #1
bjnartowt
284
3

Homework Statement


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"

Homework 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).

The Attempt at a Solution



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

Graduate
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... : )
 
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  • #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.
 
  • #3


I would recommend exploring other textbooks or resources that may supplement the required texts in a way that suits your learning style. It's always helpful to have multiple perspectives on a subject, especially in complex topics such as classical mechanics, solid state physics, and electrodynamics. Here are a few suggestions for each subject:

Classical Mechanics:
- "Classical Mechanics" by John R. Taylor
- "Classical Mechanics" by Herbert Goldstein
- "Classical Mechanics" by David Morin
- "Classical Mechanics: A Modern Perspective" by Vernon Barger and Martin Olsson

Solid State Physics:
- "Introduction to Solid State Physics" by Charles Kittel (alternative to the required text)
- "Solid State Physics" by Neil W. Ashcroft and N. David Mermin (alternative to the required text)
- "Solid State Physics: Essential Concepts" by David W. Snoke
- "Solid State Physics: An Introduction" by Philip Hofmann

Electrodynamics:
- "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by David J. Griffiths (alternative to the required text)
- "Classical Electricity and Magnetism" by Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky and Melba Phillips
- "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by Peter Dourmashkin and David P. Jackson
- "Electromagnetic Theory" by Oliver Heaviside

It may also be helpful to consult with your professor or other students in the class to see what resources they recommend. Additionally, online resources such as lecture notes, videos, and practice problems can also be valuable supplements to your required texts. Good luck with your classes!
 

Related to Which optional texts to supplement required texts?

1. What are optional texts?

Optional texts are additional readings or materials that are not required for a course, but may provide further information or insights related to the subject matter.

2. Why are optional texts included in some courses?

Optional texts are included to provide students with a deeper understanding of the subject matter and to supplement the required readings. They may also offer alternative perspectives and broaden the scope of the course.

3. How do I know which optional texts to choose?

The best way to choose optional texts is to consult with your professor or instructor. They can provide recommendations based on your interests and the course material. You can also read reviews and ask for recommendations from classmates.

4. Do I need to purchase all of the optional texts?

No, you do not need to purchase all of the optional texts. You can choose to read only the ones that interest you or are relevant to your studies. Your professor may also provide access to some of the optional texts through the school's library.

5. Can I use optional texts for assignments or exams?

It depends on the specific course and your professor's requirements. In some cases, optional texts may be used as sources for assignments or exams. However, it is always best to confirm with your professor before using optional texts for any graded work.

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