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Recommended Physics Reading

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    (Original post by iTalya)
    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.

    Or ask your chemistry teacher, one of the teachers at my school let me borrow some to read over before some of my interviews

    And they might have some other things they can let you read
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    OK, quite a specific request, but can anyone recommend a pop-sci book on the history of the instuments used in physics and how they work? If possible not just those used for astronomy.

    I live in York, home of Vicker's instruments who supplied Newton and the like and so have become interested in this.

    ag
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    (Original post by dark_link)
    another book, thats really worth a read!

    General:

    A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
    A really interesting read that tells the story of science, right back from the beggining when the philosophers were thinking about the stars to the latest theories on unifying quantum mechanics with general relativity. its filled with all sorts of anecdotes and really makes you interested in how all these discoveries came about!
    It's more of a layman's book... not much explaining of the science itself mind... :confused: but it is a good read
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    (Original post by F1 fanatic)
    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.
    I have come across another book by the same author as 'Quantum Physics: Illusion or Reality?' (Alastair I.M. Rae) called 'Quantum Physics-A Beginners Guide'. I think this will suit me better than the 'undergraduate textbook'
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    I'm thinking of buying these books, as according to your opinions these seemed like the best ones (excluding Feynman)
    Singh Simon: Big Bang
    Smolin, Lee: 3 Roads to quantum gravity
    Einstein, Albert: Relativity
    Rae, Alastair I. M.: Quantum Physics: Illusion or Reality
    Gribbin, John R.: In search of Schrodingers cats

    Which of these have overlapping themes (f.e. two books argumenting for the same theory and/or having information that is very much alike). And if two books overlap oneanother, could you advise me on which one is the better one
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    i think i read about half of these by the time i was 16
    but thanks for the other suggestions, now i know what i have to read this summer!
    *blissfully ignoring the fact that she spends way too much money on books*
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    Just for anyone who didn't know - the Feynman lectures are available as audio books on the internets . . . in all the usual places (for, ahem, significantly less ). Its quite funny to put a voice to the pictures (they are the original recordings of his lectures).
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    Can anyone recommend any good books on Modern Statistical Mechanics (Monte Carlo simulations etc.) other than Chandler (which i thought was great)?
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    The Elegant Universe is incredible because everything is explained so well that even I can understand it pretty easily.
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    ^^ I would agree with that, I am currently about a third of the way through it and it has been very useful so far in solidifying some concepts in quantum mechanics and relativity.
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    Far and away the best books you can read in preparation are the Feynman Lectures on Physics.
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    Ive read schrodingers cat, and i book called Quantum enigma, i think reading bout philosphy is quite good if your going for oxford interveiws if you put down quantum physics as being somthing your intrested in, its closly linked. Maths books are quite good too, i read flatlands recently, theres no relevence to physics, but you never no where it can come in handy :cool:
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    The list in this thread is now available on the Wiki: Reccommended Physics Reading.

    Anyone can add new books and comment on the ones there, so please do do this!

    There is also a similar page on the wiki: Physics Textbooks, which you can too too.
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    The Brian Greene book is a good read, and also his sequel The Fabric of the Cosmos'

    also, I'm in agreement with the endorsers of the Feynman books, especially The Character of Physical law. I've read that through once or twice and its a nice little number
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    If you can finish "The Road To Reality" and honestly say you understood it all, you don't need this thread.

    You also probably don't need to revise for your A-Level physics or Fmaths... anything you forget you should be able to work out from first principles.

    "Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman" is worth having on the list somewhere too, not because it'll make you any better at physics, but because it's a brilliant book.
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    Just thought I'd add Fundamentals of Physics-Halliday, Renick (and later editions Walker) it is a good all round book textbook.
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    I'd deffs say 'a brief history of time'. i don't do physics but found it fine to follow. Then maybe try some Marcus Chown - 'quantum theory cannot hurt you' etc
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    I was wondering which books, if any, would be considered cliche except for Hawkings?

    I've just finished reading A Brief History of Time and atm plan to read In Search of Schrodinger's Cat and Feynman's Six Easy Pieces before applying. I know a lot of people applying will have also read these though :/

    (I'm not JUST reading these books for my PS, and I'll be reading a fair few more afterwards. Just wondering which ones to avoid mentioning :p: )
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    (Original post by InsaneFandom)
    I was wondering which books, if any, would be considered cliche except for Hawkings?

    I've just finished reading A Brief History of Time and atm plan to read In Search of Schrodinger's Cat and Feynman's Six Easy Pieces before applying. I know a lot of people applying will have also read these though :/

    (I'm not JUST reading these books for my PS, and I'll be reading a fair few more afterwards. Just wondering which ones to avoid mentioning :p: )
    Avoid mentioning Stephen Hawking, so many applicants put him in their PS.
    I'm currently reading The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene - it's really good!
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    *Watches thread for future reference* :P

    I'm rereading Hyperspace by Michio Kaku. Pretty good, accessible while still being in-depth.

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Updated: October 20, 2014
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