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Thread: What is the best physics textbook in the market?

  1. #1
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    What is the best physics textbook in the market?

    What is the best physics textbook in the market which especially puts more emphasis on electricity and magnetism?

    I heard of Resnick and Halliday, Hugh D. Young and Roger A. Freedman and Giancoli. I guess each one of them has its weaknesses and advantages but which book is the most recommended?

  2. #2
    Physics is a 4-year degree, not a textbook.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenner View Post
    Physics is a 4-year degree, not a textbook.
    I know but each university uses a freshman physics textbook that assists the students in learning physics and gives them exercise problems. So which one is the most recommended?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by pluto2 View Post
    I know but each university uses a freshman physics textbook that assists the students in learning physics and gives them exercise problems. So which one is the most recommended?
    If you're looking to learn the basics then it doesn't matter. You really can't go wrong with the fundamentals. Just go to your local bookstore and find what appeals to you as a learner. A visual learner? Maybe go with the book with a lot of images or comes with a disc complete with animations.

    Once you finish learning the fundamentals you'll have a better idea of where you want to take your education, but don't go in expecting to learn EVERYTHING physics has to offer. You won't make it out alive.

  5. #5
    Any of the books you mention are ok. Different books are pitched at different levels of prior math knowledge, though, so be careful.

    How much maths did you do at school and/or at tertiary level?

  6. #6
    Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love BenTheMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pluto2 View Post
    I know but each university uses a freshman physics textbook that assists the students in learning physics and gives them exercise problems. So which one is the most recommended?
    They're all equally shitty.

    Well, that's overly harsh. They're probably more or less the same. You can learn from any of them, but you actually have to read them. From the dedication of my Dissertation:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Gospel of Thomas
    Let he who seeks not stop seeking until he finds. And when he finds, he will struggle. And after having struggled, he will be amazed.
    I've taught classes based on all of the canonical textbooks you listed, and students all did about the same. The ones who wanted to learn did, and those who didn't want to learn failed.

  7. #7
    Griffiths - An Introduction to Electrodynamics is one I've seen on various university recommended reading lists and its fairly straight forward in the beginning. It's no replacement for wider reading and lecture notes but it's a step in the right direction.

  8. #8
    Ben's comment is true.
    It is quite difficult to learn physics aor math from textbooks.
    They put so much in there trying to impress their peers that it is
    very hard to see the forrest among the many trees. Or one has
    to work quite long and hard to get the essential ideas.

    I learned form Resnick & Halliday at Robert Resnick's lab at Rennsselaer.
    So I have to recommend his books in all honesty.
    He emphasized experiment and demonstration to vividly bring the ideas in to the open.

    But my favorite book, deeply insightful, fascinating to read like no other text
    you will ever find is Richard Feynman's Lectures on Physics. It is 4 books.
    This is available in mp3 form for listening too. Also an 85MB file in pdf format is on the net.
    Feynman had a way of explaining that made the most complex ideas understandable
    very quickly. He was perhaps the greatest teacher of the 20th century IMO.
    Can not recommend it more highly.

  9. #9
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    Physics for Dummies.

  10. #10
    man of no words temur's Avatar
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    To supplement whatever book your class is using, Feynman's lectures and Motion Mountain maybe worth looking at.

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