JP211
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Ok, so I'm planning to apply for Physics at a couple of universities, including some Russel Group ones. I think I've completely failed in the department of wider reading.
Currently, I'll have finished the following by the time I send off my application:
A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman.

Some people will have read more than this number, sure, but I'm mostly concerned with my actual choice of books.

Seven Brief Lessons seems a little simple and short to be regarded well, and a quick look on goodreads.com shows plenty of people who understand Physics berating it for its simplicity.

Six Easy Pieces was a good choice. It appears frequently on reading lists. No worries there.

However, Briefer History of Time may have been a bad choice. Perhaps including a more accessible version of a well known book doesn't exactly portray my attitude to learning in a brilliant light. Granted, the reason I actually read it before A Brief History is because it is supposedly more up to date and "expands on the original", but again, I'm worried it might look like I gave up because Brief History is more complex.

In fairness, I own both A Brief History of Time and Why Does E=mc^2? I might be able to put them on a form and finish them later, but I'm not 100% certain I'll be able to finish either of them. If anyone has suggestions for other books (if these ones aren't advisable) or advice on the length of these ones, that'd be great

So basically, I want to ask advice and/or see if the situation here really is as bad as it seems.

Sorry if this is intensely rambly or not on topic, never posted here before :)
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artful_lounger
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The only universities which are going to care what wider reading you've done, if any, are Oxford and Cambridge - and for Physics it's really not that important, compared to your actual academic achievement in mathematics (as the primary concern) and physics (following that) to date (including any assessment tests). I certainly can't see that they are going to care you read "A Briefer History of Time" vs "A Brief History of Time".

You might want to read through (some of Volume I of) the "Feynman Lectures on Physics" (available free online I believe), which is actually...physics (although it's not really going to teach you to solve exam questions in physics, it will help develop your physical intuition and in typical Feynman style is very readable). Ultimately though unless you're applying to Oxbridge, I really doubt your "wider reading" will matter at all, and even for those universities it's more important you can actually understand and solve mathematical and physics problems (which is what the interviews at Oxbridge actually entail, as far as I can understand - there seems to be little to no discussion of anything else and it's mostly just for them to see how you deal with applying your current knowledge to unfamiliar questions).
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JP211
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Thanks! Helpful response all around. Kind of a shame considering I didn't apply to the one place where they might've looked at it though. I guess I don't have to worry too much about any further reading then, which is good considering how much revision I'll have to do.
(Original post by artful_lounger)
The only universities which are going to care what wider reading you've done, if any, are Oxford and Cambridge - and for Physics it's really not that important, compared to your actual academic achievement in mathematics (as the primary concern) and physics (following that) to date (including any assessment tests). I certainly can't see that they are going to care you read "A Briefer History of Time" vs "A Brief History of Time".

You might want to read through (some of Volume I of) the "Feynman Lectures on Physics" (available free online I believe), which is actually...physics (although it's not really going to teach you to solve exam questions in physics, it will help develop your physical intuition and in typical Feynman style is very readable). Ultimately though unless you're applying to Oxbridge, I really doubt your "wider reading" will matter at all, and even for those universities it's more important you can actually understand and solve mathematical and physics problems (which is what the interviews at Oxbridge actually entail, as far as I can understand - there seems to be little to no discussion of anything else and it's mostly just for them to see how you deal with applying your current knowledge to unfamiliar questions).
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