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    I will be applying for Physics Undergraduate course and was wondering on which books to study and mention in my Personal Statement.

    What are some good Physics reads?

    Which books are too common so are better avoided?

    Would you mention textbooks like Feynman Lectures, University Physics or Mathematics for Physics and Engineering if those were the only books you've been studying?

    Please give your opinions.

    Thanks in advance !!!!
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    Feynman lectures might be cliche territory :unsure:

    I'm a bit skeptical about how much good namedropping books in a PS does but if you've decided to go that way it's probably better to show subject interest rather than knowledge (which they'll be judging mostly off your predictions and references)

    so possibly
    Feynman's 'autobiography' - surely you're joking
    Darkness at night, Harrison, E. (a 300p book on Olber's paradox)
    Not even wrong, Woit, P. (critique of some directions in theoretical physics)

    which are all worth a read whether or not you want to mention them in a PS
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    Six easy pieces/Six not so easy pieces by Feynman are pretty good books to read up on.

    A few of the oxford chemistry primer books are pretty good (mainly for chemistry, although there are some more physical ones). These are more textbook style.

    In search of schrodinger's cat is quite a fun one to read if you're interested in the quantum world.

    Some of the oxford university press 'A short introduction to...' books if you want to read up on a specific topic/field.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Feynman lectures might be cliche territory :unsure:

    I'm a bit skeptical about how much good namedropping books in a PS does but if you've decided to go that way it's probably better to show subject interest rather than knowledge (which they'll be judging mostly off your predictions and references)

    so possibly
    Feynman's 'autobiography' - surely you're joking
    Darkness at night, Harrison, E. (a 300p book on Olber's paradox)
    Not even wrong, Woit, P. (critique of some directions in theoretical physics)

    which are all worth a read whether or not you want to mention them in a PS
    Thank you very much. Just downloaded, 'surely you're joking'
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    (Original post by Protoxylic)
    Six easy pieces/Six not so easy pieces by Feynman are pretty good books to read up on.

    A few of the oxford chemistry primer books are pretty good (mainly for chemistry, although there are some more physical ones). These are more textbook style.

    In search of schrodinger's cat is quite a fun one to read if you're interested in the quantum world.

    Some of the oxford university press 'A short introduction to...' books if you want to read up on a specific topic/field.
    Thanks. I will have a look at "Relativity: a very short introduction"
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    A list of books is dull and mostly ignored - my son was advised to mention only one book but only so he could expand on an idea contained therein that he found very interesting. In the end he didn't list any books - he started watching interesting lectures on the Imperial College website and discussed one on micro black holes. He got 4 offers, Bath, Warwick, Bristol and Surrey - declined by Oxford.

    Dont fret too much about the statement - at Warwick the Head of Admissions told me they didnt look at personal statements before they make offers - its all about the predicted grades and the reference.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Feynman lectures might be cliche territory :unsure:
    The Feynman Lectures are certainly not a cliché. If a university applicant had managed to get through a decent portion of those it would be damned impressive.
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    I listed a couple things in my Natsci application (bio not phys) but I wrote about them - explaining what topics appealed and so on.
    Not sure simply name dropping helps much.
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    (Original post by alow)
    The Feynman Lectures are certainly not a cliché. If a university applicant had managed to get through a decent portion of those it would be damned impressive.
    How are you so sure what's a cliche or not, are you an admissions tutor?
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    How are you so sure what's a cliche or not, are you an admissions tutor?
    Because I don't know a single person who read anything that advanced before university.
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    A Brief History of Time may be a good book to mention.
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    If you have seen the Mr Reid physics website ( a site/blog by a physics teacher) its worth a look. This was an interesting post after he wrote to many unis admissions tutors and asked what they were looking for in a personal statement:

    http://wordpress.mrreid.org/tag/personalstatement/
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    Mention whatever you fully understand because they will ask you about it rather grill you about it to find out if youre bluffing or not, so name dropping isnt a big deal as long as you understand what youve read with interest
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    I mentioned literally zero and got all offers. How can you fit stuff like that in? Just read ones that interest you and be honest about them.

    The only place that interviewed me was Cambridge, I had 4 interviews in total, and not ONE of them cared in the least about anything in my personal statement. They all went like this: "Hi, I'm BLAHHHH (Proceeds to do stuff to clam the interviewee down), lets do a problem!" *Talks more about problem afterwards* "Do you have any questions about the university or college? Bye!"
 
 
 
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