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Thread: Books to read?

  1. #1 Books to read? 
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    Hello. I am interested in physics and would like to hear some reccomendations for reading material. I started with 'A Brief History of Time' and already read that. Performed a search and didn't find a thread similiar to this.
    Thanks!


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  3. #2 The Feynman lectures on Physics 
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    Read The Feynman lectures on Physics.
    Alas only the course there - an excellent one -, no exercises at all.


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  4. #3 Re: Books to read? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volts
    Hello. I am interested in physics and would like to hear some reccomendations for reading material. I started with 'A Brief History of Time' and already read that. Performed a search and didn't find a thread similiar to this.
    Thanks!
    Are you interested in physics books or popularizations ?

    What is your background in physics and mathematics. ?
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  5. #4  
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    Well, I just finished 10th grade, but I am planning to specialize in some sort of physics later on. Hopefully astronomy, so I'm interested in that obviously.
    I'm looking for a book that will boost my interest, since physics is very interesting, ofcourse. So it shouldn't be anything very specifical, or hard, nor should it be too populized. Although popularizations might be the only way to go at the moment. I think Hawking's book was a good start, now I just need something to keep going.
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  6. #5  
    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
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    I am in the middle of and quite enjoying, Murray Gell Mann's "The Quark and the Jaguar".
    http://www.amazon.com/Quark-Jaguar-A...7509883&sr=8-1
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
    -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.-
    Cat's Cradle.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volts
    Well, I just finished 10th grade, but I am planning to specialize in some sort of physics later on. Hopefully astronomy, so I'm interested in that obviously.
    I'm looking for a book that will boost my interest, since physics is very interesting, ofcourse. So it shouldn't be anything very specifical, or hard, nor should it be too populized. Although popularizations might be the only way to go at the moment. I think Hawking's book was a good start, now I just need something to keep going.
    OK.

    The Feynman Lectures on Physics already recommended by J.C, Lavau is excellent, but it is beyond you at the moment. You need some calculus and at least algebra of complex numbers to follow it. But when you are prepared there is nothing better.

    At this point, try Feynman's The Character of Physical Law.

    Feynman's QED might also be interesting. Weinberg's books and 'tHoofts book on elementary particles are also good.

    Avoid all of the very popular, but misleading junk on string theory. Those popularizations wildly overstate what is really known.

    For more serious stuff, you need to concentrate on mathematics -- algebra and geometry. Physics is dependent on mathematics and until you hace a facility with algebra, and you really need calculus, you won't be able to follow the basics of physics. You can do simple calculations with only algebra, but the concepts require calculus.

    Good calculus books are hard to come by. The only one that I like is Mike Spivak's book, but it is rarely used. If you can, learn calculus at a university. High school teachers who really understand the subject are rare.

    There are some video lectures from a Berkeley class called "Physics for Future Prresidents" that are very good and not very demanding in terms of mathematics. You can find them on YouTube with a search.
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  8. #7  
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    Volts: I recommend Richard Feynman books too, such as The Pleasure of Finding Things Out and QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter.
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  9. #8  
    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    Even though it really doesn't get too intense, I would suggest reading "The Grand Design," By Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. You should definitely enjoy it, if you enjoyed A Brief History of Time.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
    - Yagyu Munenori

    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360
    Even though it really doesn't get too intense, I would suggest reading "The Grand Design," By Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. You should definitely enjoy it, if you enjoyed A Brief History of Time.
    A Brief History of Time is Excellent.

    The Grand Design isv a waste of paper. It is basede on M Theory, and NOBODY, not even Witten, knows what M Theory is, or if it even exists.
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  11. #10  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Here's a good list, sorted by category then by date:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011...ks?INTCMP=SRCH
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  12. #11  
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    I unreservedly recommend Dewey Larson's The Case Against the Nuclear Atom for all prospective scientists. It will stimulate your critical thinking skills and give you the means to think independently about the basis of this theory. It is only to be hoped that some academic publisher will finally have the guts to give this book the recognition it deserves, by putting out a 50th anniversary edition in 2013 (also the 100th anniversary of the Bohr atom).

    If possible, I suggest getting your hands on a hard copy through your library's inter-library loan service, though it can also be read online. A good preview is contained in Larson's 1961 memorandum "Just How Much Do We Really Know?: http://www.mediafire.com/?nowtqyadmdw

    “The books, lectures, and articles that Dewey Larson left behind offer exhilarating food for thought even for readers with modest
    scientific training. His writings challenge us to think critically and not take anything for granted.”
    --Richard Heinberg, “The Smartest Person I've Met,” Museletter, No. 183, July 2007

    “If my work does nothing else in the long run, it will at least accomplish a worth-while purpose in calling attention to such weaknesses in
    present-day theory. This is probably what Dr. Fracastoro of the Catania Astrophysical Observatory had in mind when he concluded a
    review of my book in the journal 'Scientia' with the statement: 'The work furnishes a useful exercise for those who wish to review
    objectively their scientific ideas and beliefs.'”
    --Dewey B. Larson, letter to astrophysicist Martin Harwit, August 30, 1961

    “As an iconoclastic work, Larson's book is refreshing. The scientific community requires stirring up now and then; cherished
    assumptions must be questioned and the foundations of science must be strenuously inspected for possible cracks. It is not a popular
    service and Mr. Larson will probably not be thanked for doing this for nuclear physics, though he does it in a reasonably quiet and
    tolerant manner and with a display of a good knowledge of the field.”
    --Isaac Asimov, review of The Case Against the Nuclear Atom, Chemical and Engineering News, July 29, 1963

    "Larson does us a service in reminding us that from an operational point of view, we don't know what is in an atom..."
    --Arthur W. Adamson, (distinguished research chemist, later Chair, Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, 1972-1975),
    Chemical and Engineering News, September 9, 1963

    “Mr. Larson shows himself to be well-informed on the current status of physics research and there is very little in the book that is
    factually wrong.”
    --R. D. Redin, Department of Physics, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, review of The Case Against the Nuclear Atom,
    Chemical Engineering, July 22, 1963

    “I had been favorably impressed with Beyond Newton. Its explanation of gravitation made more sense than anything I had ever seen on
    that subject. But I was horrified by the title and even more so by the contents of The Case Against The Nuclear Atom. How, I wondered,
    could anyone have the nerve to argue that there is no such thing as an atomic nucleus, and that the nuclear model of atoms is based on
    incorrect inferences from experimental data?”
    --Paul deLespinasse, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Adrian College, Michigan, in “Linus Pauling's OSU Classmate:
    Outstanding, Unknown,” February 2001: http://www.proaxis.com/~ddeles/oped/larson0201.html (link broken)

    “To all of us, steeped in the unquestioning adoration of the contemporary scientific method, this is rude and outspoken book, which
    sometimes hurts. The frightening thing about it is that it rings true.”
    --Discovery Magazine, review of The Case Against the Nuclear Atom, July 1963

    “I have never before seen anybody with such an independent and absolute logic.”
    --Hans F. Wuenscher, former Assistant Director for Advanced Projects, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA, letter to the then-current
    Director, November 1, 1979, reprinted in Reciprocity, Spring 1981, p. 6

    "I consider Larson to be one of the most brilliant and devastatingly logical
    thinkers I have run across in my 40 years as a scientist-engineer-educator."
    --Frank A. Anderson, Associate Dean Emeritus, School of Engineering, Founding Chair, Department of Chemical Engineering, University
    of Mississippi, letter January 31, 1984, reprinted in ISUS News, Autumn 1988, pp. 11-12
    "Science is not properly organized unless and until it sets up procedures which ensure prompt recognition of meritorious new ideas even if they are poorly expressed, timidly presented, and without adequate factual support at the time they first appear." (Dewey B. Larson, The Case Against the Nuclear Atom)
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  13. #12  
    Forum Freshman Pokey's Avatar
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    I would suggest you go to your local library and look for the following books by Isaac Asimov or see if the PDF files are still available on the internet:


    • Understanding Physics Volume 1 Motion Sound Heat
    • Understanding Physics Volume 2 Light Magnetism and Electricity
    • Understanding Physics Volume 3 Electron Proton Neutron

    I also have the “simpleton” books Physics Demystified and Physics For Dummies in my library that I refer back to at times as well that are good reads.
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  14. #13  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    since this thread has been resurrected after almost one year, I have a query.

    Has anyone read, scanned, become aware of Motion Mountain by Christoph Schiller, available free online. It appears to offer a comprehensive, but simple introduction, but I'm too ignorant to ba able to judge? Help.

    Motion Mountain - The Free Physics Textbook for Download
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volts View Post
    Hello. I am interested in physics and would like to hear some reccomendations for reading material. I started with 'A Brief History of Time' and already read that. Performed a search and didn't find a thread similiar to this.
    Thanks!
    Thats the book I first read when getting into Physics! Great read! I am motivated that you are in the 10'th grade and interested in the sciences!
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  16. #15  
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    Brief History of time- Hawking, Relativity- Einstein, Elegant universe- Brian Greene. I have read these all and theyre great.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volts View Post
    Well, I just finished 10th grade, but I am planning to specialize in some sort of physics later on. Hopefully astronomy, so I'm interested in that obviously.
    I'm looking for a book that will boost my interest, since physics is very interesting, ofcourse. So it shouldn't be anything very specifical, or hard, nor should it be too populized. Although popularizations might be the only way to go at the moment. I think Hawking's book was a good start, now I just need something to keep going.
    Looks like we are in the same boat! I also just finished 10th grade and am looking into a career in astronomy or astrophysics. Goodness, i love these forums.
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  18. #17  
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    Well, 'The Black Hole War' by Leonard Susskind is a good one. It's not actually Sci-Fi, it is in fact a physics book. It's about Leonard Susskind and how he disagrees with Hawking's theory that information is lost in a black hole. I thought it was a good read, and I hope you get the same amount of enjoyment as I did from reading it, if you plan to buy it! Anyway, enjoy!
    Pssst --<br>
    Click this:http://dragcave.net/image/HUsDQ
    Go on, have a heart! Don't let my dragon baby die!
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  19. #18  
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    Has nobody hear heard of Brian Cox? I love him
    he's a physics book called "The Quantum Universe"...He also has some on astronomy
    Facts don't care if you believe in them or not...
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