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Recommended Physics Reading

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    (Original post by Andregide)
    You've basically just described the content of "In search of Schrodinger's Cat" by John Gribbins. Obviously needs to be taking with a pinch of salt from what those above have said, but I found it an entertaining as well as informative read, and I was recommended it by my interviewer for PhysPhil at Bristol so it can't be all that bad.

    ag
    thanks so much! i will look into it
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    (Original post by Andregide)
    You've basically just described the content of "In search of Schrodinger's Cat" by John Gribbins. Obviously needs to be taking with a pinch of salt from what those above have said, but I found it an entertaining as well as informative read, and I was recommended it by my interviewer for PhysPhil at Bristol so it can't be all that bad.

    ag
    yeah, it's a good book. That book is a big part of the reason I'm doing physics at university. It got me hooked.
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    (Original post by F1 fanatic)
    yeah, it's a good book. That book is a big part of the reason I'm doing physics at university. It got me hooked.
    im convinced! might as well order it right now lol.
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    Universe in a Nutshell - Stephen Hawking
    The sequel to the above, written in 2001 it brings the reader up to date, focussing mainly on the theory of branes and M-theory, which leads on from string theory. A lot more pretty pictures in this one, but again quite involved conceptually, and somewhat biased towards set theories.


    i so didn't know the string theory existed
    i just read it in a star trek book hahah
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    I know we've got the thread above full of recommended books, but I wanted to ask a few more specific questions.

    I was planning on starting on some proper preparation for my degree (due to commence in October ). I've got a full set of notes from my A Level Physics studies, and I'm going to finish off my A Level Maths/Further Maths notes and brush up on some techniques (mostly integration, vectors and differential equations) before I go.

    Any recommended books for delving into some of the higher level maths or physics I'll be coming up against in my first year? The 'Recommended Reading' thread is full of popular science books, but I'm not after easy reading, more like good textbooks that'll help cover the transition and get me in the mood for starting the course.

    Not 'The Road To Reality' though, I gave that a go and after a few chapters it became completely unfathomable. :p:
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    Just enjoy the summer!
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    The Feynman lectures are pretty good. Quite expensive though, so I wouldn't recommend buying them new.
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    (Original post by durshley)
    Universe in a Nutshell - Stephen Hawking
    The sequel to the above, written in 2001 it brings the reader up to date, focussing mainly on the theory of branes and M-theory, which leads on from string theory. A lot more pretty pictures in this one, but again quite involved conceptually, and somewhat biased towards set theories.


    i so didn't know the string theory existed
    i just read it in a star trek book hahah
    string theory is all the rage, and gets far more attention than it really deserves in terms of the public eye and pop science books.
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    Are books on the String Theory really complex? It sounds so interesting but I don't think it would be good as a first Physics book would it?
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    (Original post by MathematicalMind)
    Are books on the String Theory really complex? It sounds so interesting but I don't think it would be good as a first Physics book would it?
    if you get a pop science type one, like Brian Greene's Elegant Universe then it's fairly easy to understand. Personally though, I object to string theory because it has no proof of any form, and in my view isn't therefore proper physics
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    I thought for a minute that this was a thread about going to Reading to do physics, I was all ready to tell you that was a bad idea!

    Don't sit inside during the summer reading textbooks - they are all dull.
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    (Original post by jazznaz)
    I know we've got the thread above full of recommended books, but I wanted to ask a few more specific questions.

    I was planning on starting on some proper preparation for my degree (due to commence in October ). I've got a full set of notes from my A Level Physics studies, and I'm going to finish off my A Level Maths/Further Maths notes and brush up on some techniques (mostly integration, vectors and differential equations) before I go.

    Any recommended books for delving into some of the higher level maths or physics I'll be coming up against in my first year? The 'Recommended Reading' thread is full of popular science books, but I'm not after easy reading, more like good textbooks that'll help cover the transition and get me in the mood for starting the course.

    Not 'The Road To Reality' though, I gave that a go and after a few chapters it became completely unfathomable. :p:
    It's very much a work in progress, has been for months truth be told, but there is this, in a similar vein to the recommended reading list. All I've really done is copied and pasted something I wrote for someone else, so it's very incomplete

    http://thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Physics_Textbooks

    If I were you I'd get some cheap second hand 1st year undergraduate textbooks if you're that keen, and just have a flick through them, particularly the maths ones perhaps, but don't worry too much beyond making sure you have a good grasp of A-level maths/ further maths/ physics.
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    Does this book look good? Anyone read it?

    http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk/catalogue/p...542661&print=y

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    (Original post by MathematicalMind)
    Does this book look good? Anyone read it?

    http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk/catalogue/p...542661&print=y

    Yeah, I know of it/ have skimmed it. It tends to be used as an undergraduate course textbook as an introduction to quantum mechanics. I think it's supposed to be quite good. There's a similar one we used in first year, I'm trying to think what it was called now... but at the moment it won't come to me, I'll let you know if it does.

    Edit: The Strange World Of Quantum Mechanics by Daniel F Styer. Both are pretty decent I think, but bear in mind that they are textbooks for undergraduates, and so occupy a halfway house between the easy reading casual pop science books and the full on maths treatment of a full QM textbook.
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    Thanks for the help. It sounds like a good book I don't read much literature at all so am not really looking for a 400 page novel lol
    Another book I've heard about is 'Introducing Quantum Physics' but I have heard that it's in a 'comic book' format so that's put me off Should I be put off?
    I have also come across a series of books called 'A Very Short Introduction to...' Are these any good?
    Sorry for all the questions but you're good at this
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    (Original post by MathematicalMind)
    Thanks for the help. It sounds like a good book I don't read much literature at all so am not really looking for a 400 page novel lol
    Another book I've heard about is 'Introducing Quantum Physics' but I have heard that it's in a 'comic book' format so that's put me off Should I be put off?
    I have also come across a series of books called 'A Very Short Introduction to...' Are these any good?
    Sorry for all the questions but you're good at this
    Not heard of the comic book, but I know a few people who've read the "short introduction to..." and praise them as a good well... introduction :p:
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    Is there anything I should read to aid my chemistry university application?

    Thanks


    Chris
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    My favorite two textbooks i used this year (first year) were:

    Mathematical methods for physics and engineering (Riley, Hobsen, Bence)

    An Introduction to Mechanics (Kleppner, Kolenkow) [also includes special relativity]
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    Can't go wrong with reading some relevant articles from New Scientist.
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    I get a magazine called Chemistry World sent to me now I'm at uni.

    ..But it's ridiculously expensive to get if you are not a student. They might have some online stuff though.

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Updated: January 5, 2014
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