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Some useful Physics Books



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,629 ✭✭✭raah!

    I'm gonna add my vote for David Griffith. His book on electrodynamics is one of the best I've ever read. It covers the maths to a very good level, often doesn't go into proofs but always gives a good intuitive grasp of the maths involved. Nearly every question I've had or apparent paradox I've encountered in the topic of electrodynamics had been anticipated by him in the book. He had taught the course for up to 40 years before after all!

    His enthusiasim for the subject also comes across very well and the book is very enjoyable to read.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,148 ✭✭✭✭KnifeWRENCH

    Definite +1 on Eisberg and Resnick's catchily titled "Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei and Particles." Excellent text, covering everything you need to know about.....well, atoms, molecules, nuclei and particles! :p

    I also found Dunlap's book "An Introduction to the Physics of Nuclei and Particles" quite useful. Our 3rd year course on Nuclear & Particle Physics was basically that book from beginning to end.

    As for electromagnetism (a most hated area of mine) I can't comment on Griffiths book but the years below me who used it all seemed rather impressed with it. We used Cheng's "Field Waves and Electromagnetics" and quite frankly it may aswell have been written in Ancient Hebrew for the amount of sense it made to me.
    One electromag book I can wholeheartily recommend though is Daniel Fleisch's " A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations". It's short and sweet, does exactly what it says on the tin and comes with many helpful worked out examples. And it's a small book, so quite cheap too!

  • Registered Users Posts: 23 nunu123

    hi, this has nothing to do with physics books and stuffs, but i was wondering about leaving cert physics. do you know which experiment question are mechanics experiments and which experiment question is a heat experiment question etc etc???

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Brillantstar

    I am interested in purchasing this book. If any one is selling it please contact me.
    Real World Physics - Textbook & Workbook Set
    Thank you

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,457 ✭✭✭Morbert

    I have combined the links from the previous sticky threads (here and here). It still needs a little updating but it's a good start.

    I will update the list as people post suggestions in this thread.

    For normal people

    Sixty Symbols (Physics)
    Periodic Videos (Chemsitry)
    Numberphile (Mathematics)
    A great set of short youtube videos produced by the University of Nottingham with compelling and concise explanations of principles in physics, chemistry, and mathematics.

    The Theoretical Minimum
    Lectures on the heart of theoretical physics from one of the fathers of String Theory, Leonard Susskind. I cannot recommend these lectures enough.

    MIT Open Courseware
    "MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity."

    How Stuff Works
    "HowStuffWorks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications, is the award-winning source of credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works. Founded by North Carolina State University Professor Marshall Brain in 1998, the site is now an online resource for millions of people of all ages."

    Physics for Future Presidents
    "Professor Richard A. Muller. Physics for Future Presidents The most interesting and important topics in physics, stressing conceptual understanding rather than math, with applications to current events."

    Feynmann (Douglas Robb Memorial) Lecture Series
    "Chosen by the New Scientist - best on-line videos 2007. A set of four priceless archival science video recordings from the University of Auckland (New Zealand) of the outstanding Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman - arguably the greatest science lecturer ever. Although the recording is of modest technical quality the exceptional personal style and unique delivery shine through."

    Feynmann: The Character of Physical Law
    Feynmann's Cornell lectures.

    What if?

    How does quantum mechanics change our description of reality?
    A series of short, accessible videos by string theorist Brian Greene on quantum physics.

    For students and the fearless

    Physics StackExchange
    The definitive resource for any technical questions you might have.

    Physics Forums
    For a more casual environment than StackExchange

    Institute of Physics Magazine

    Britney Spears's Guide to Semiconductor Physics
    The name says it all.

    Eric Weisstein's World of Physics
    Eric Weisstein's World of Chemistry
    "Eric Weisstein's World of Science contains budding encyclopedias of astronomy, scientific biography, chemistry, and physics. This resource has been assembled over more than a decade by internet encyclopedist Eric W. Weisstein with assistance from the internet community."

    "HyperPhysics is an exploration environment for concepts in physics which employs concept maps and other linking strategies to facilitate smooth navigation."

    A collection of online resources.

    Harvard Quantum Field Theory Lectures
    "Professor Coleman's wit and teaching style is legendary and, despite all that may have changed in the 35 years since these lectures were recorded, many students today are excited at the prospect of being able to view them and experience Sidney's particular genius second-hand."

    Khan Academy
    "Start learning now."

    " is the premier place for computational nanotechnology research, education, and collaboration. Our site hosts a rapidly growing collection of Simulation Programs for nanoscale phenomena that run in the cloud and are accessible through a web browser. In addition to simulation devices, nanoHUB provides Online Presentations, Courses, Learning Modules, Podcasts, Animations, Teaching Materials, and more. These resources help users learn about our simulation programs and about nanotechnology in general. Our site offers researchers a venue to explore, collaborate, and publish content, as well. Much of these collaborative efforts occur via Workspaces and User groups."

    Particle Physics from the Beginning
    Annotated Chronological Bibliography of the Key Papers.

    On Quantum Theory
    Compelling article on the minimalist interpretation of quantum mechanics.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,457 ✭✭✭Morbert

    Added two links:

    How does quantum mechanics change our description of reality?
    A series of short, accessible videos by string theorist Brian Greene on quantum physics.

    On Quantum Theory
    Compelling article on the minimalist interpretation of quantum mechanics.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,552 ✭✭✭roosh

    The Problem of Time: Quantm Mechanics versus General Relativity by Dr. Edward Anderson.

    This book is a treatise on time and on background independence in physics. It first considers how time is conceived of in each accepted paradigm of physics: Newtonian, special relativity, quantum mechanics (QM) and general relativity (GR). Substantial differences are moreover uncovered between what is meant by time in QM and in GR. These differences jointly source the Problem of Time: Nine interlinked facets which arise upon attempting concurrent treatment of the QM and GR paradigms, as is required in particular for a background independent theory of quantum gravity. A sizeable proportion of current quantum gravity programs - e.g. geometrodynamical and loop quantum gravity approaches to quantum GR, quantum cosmology, supergravity and M-theory - are background independent in this sense. This book's foundational topic is thus furthermore of practical relevance in the ongoing development of quantum gravity programs.
    Google Books (

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,909 ✭✭✭CtevenSrowder

    Mary Boas - Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences. Gives you all the Maths background you need!

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,646 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    Some get you started books that you'll want to keep.

    K A Stroud - Engineering Mathematics and Further Engineering Mathematics.

    Simple no nonsense 'teach your self by working through them' maths books. Highly recomended for STEM courses.

    Schaum's Outline of Theory and Problems of Modern Physics, - Schaum's Outlines vary a lot in quality. This one is a hit. So many classic experiments , with values. Contents :

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,646 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    Materials for the Engineering Technician - Higgins 

    It explains a lot about the properties of metals. Intersting reading for the layman/laywoman too

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,800 ✭✭✭take everything

    No love for Landau and Lifshitz Mechanics? It's a while since I've looked at it, but it's a concise, beautifully written look at Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics. Of course, it's only really appreciated after you know the material. 😝

    Tough going the first time around but it's so easy to appreciate the development of the argument when you're more familiar with the material.

    Has anyone mentioned Jackson Electrodynamics yet. Does anyone actually like or find that book easy?

    Kleppner and Kolenkow for Newtonian Mechanics is nice: it's not perfect, but it gives a thorough insight into Newtonian Mechanics and special relativity.

    University Physics, as mentioned, is a nice foundational, general-purpose Physics text.

    I liked that Kreyszig mathematical methods book mentioned above. Covers an awful lot including Fourier Analysis/Complex Analysis and the usual diffEQ/vector calculus stuff.

    Can't really recommend any QM/diff geom/GR books; just used notes but Sakarai was recommended for QM. Griffiths is more elementary.

    For anyone interested in combinatorics, Bona's A walk through Combinatorics is a decent text. Nice section on graph theory.