Reddit reviews: The best dynamics physics books

We found 121 Reddit comments discussing the best dynamics physics books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 34 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.


Top Reddit comments about Dynamics Physics:

u/proffrobot · 1 pointr/AskPhysics

It's great that you want to study particle physics and String Theory! It's a really interesting subject. Getting a degree in physics can often make you a useful person so long as you make sure you get some transferable skills (like programming and whatnot). I'll reiterate the standard advice for going further in physics, and in particular in theoretical physics, in the hope that you will take it to heart. Only go into theoretical physics if you really enjoy it. Do it for no other reason. If you want to become a professor, there are other areas of physics which are far easier to accomplish that in. If you want to be famous, become an actor or a writer or go into science communication and become the new Bill Nye. I'm not saying the only reason to do it is if you're obsessed with it, but you've got to really enjoy it and find it fulfilling for it's own sake as the likelihood of becoming a professor in it is so slim. Then, if your academic dreams don't work out, you won't regret the time you spent, and you'll always have the drive to keep learning and doing more, whatever happens to you academically.

With that out of the way, the biggest chunk of learning you'll do as a theorist is math. A decent book (which I used in my undergraduate degree) which covers the majority of the math you need to understand basic physics, e.g. Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics and Electromagnetism. Is this guy: Maths It's not a textbook you can read cover to cover, but it's a really good reference, and undoubtably, should you go and do a physics degree, you'll end up owning something like it. If you like maths now and want to learn more of it, then it's a good book to do it with.

The rest of the books I'll recommend to you have a minimal number of equations, but explain a lot of concepts and other interesting goodies. To really understand the subjects you need textbooks, but you need the math to understand them first and it's unlikely you're there yet. If you want textbook suggestions let me know, but if you haven't read the books below they're good anyway.

First, particle physics. This book Deep Down Things is a really great book about the history and ideas behind modern particles physics and the standard model. I can't recommend it enough.

Next, General Relativity. If you're interested in String Theory you're going to need to become an expert in General Relativity. This book: General Relativity from A to B explains the ideas behind GR without a lot of math, but it does so in a precise way. It's a really good book.

Next, Quantum Mechanics. This book: In Search of Schrodinger's Cat is a great introduction to the people and ideas of Quantum Mechanics. I like it a lot.

For general physics knowledge. Lots of people really like the
Feynman Lectures They cover everything and so have quite a bit of math in them. As a taster you can get a couple of books: Six Easy Pieces and Six Not So Easy Pieces, though the not so easy pieces are a bit more mathematically minded.

Now I'll take the opportunity to recommend my own pet favourite book. The Road to Reality. Roger Penrose wrote this to prove that anyone could understand all of theoretical physics, as such it's one of the hardest books you can read, but it is fascinating and tells you about concepts all the way up to String Theory. If you've got time to think and work on the exercises I found it well worth the time. All the math that's needed is explained in the book, which is good, but it's certainly not easy!

Lastly, for understanding more of the ideas which underlie theoretical physics, this is a good book: Philsophy of Physics: Space and Time It's not the best, but the ideas behind theoretical physics thought are important and this is an interesting and subtle book. I'd put it last on the reading list though.

Anyway, I hope that helps, keep learning about physics and asking questions! If there's anything else you want to know, feel free to ask.

u/MetalMagnum · 4 pointsr/AskPhysics

Hiya! I'm a recent physics/computer science graduate and although I can't think of any super cool handmade options off the top of my head, there are some physics books that I find interesting that your boyfriend may enjoy. One solid idea would be just about anything written by Richard Feynman. Reading through the Feynman Lectures is pretty standard for all physicists, though there are free versions online as well. There are a few others, such as The Pleasure of Finding things Out and Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman. There's also a cool graphic novel that recounts the events of his life called Feynman by Ottaviani. If you're not familiar with who this guy is, he is a colorful and concise orator who won a nobel prize in physics. His biggest contributions were in nuclear physics and quantum computation, and his quirks make his explanations of these topics very interesting. The Feynman Lectures are more formal, while his personal books are a mixture of personal experience and explanation.

Something else that I typically gift all of my friends who are problem solvers interested in physics is the book Thinking Physics. This book is great for developing some high level intuition in every field of physics (mechanics, optics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, etc.). This book is great because it's broken into small digestible sections that build your knowledge as you solve more of the questions (solutions are given).

Good luck!

u/linehan23 · 10 pointsr/aerospace

/u/another_user_name posted this list a while back. Actual aerospace textbooks are towards the bottom but you'll need a working knowledge of the prereqs first.




1-4) Calculus, Stewart -- This is a very common book and I felt it was ok, but there's mixed opinions about it. Try to get a cheap, used copy.

1-4) Calculus, A New Horizon, Anton -- This is highly valued by many people, but I haven't read it.

1-4) Essential Calculus With Applications, Silverman -- Dover book.

More discussion in this reddit thread.

Linear Algebra

3) Linear Algebra and Its Applications,Lay -- I had this one in school. I think it was decent.

3) Linear Algebra, Shilov -- Dover book.

Differential Equations

4) An Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations, Coddington -- Dover book, highly reviewed on Amazon.

G) Partial Differential Equations, Evans

G) Partial Differential Equations For Scientists and Engineers, Farlow

More discussion here.

Numerical Analysis

5) Numerical Analysis, Burden and Faires


  1. General Chemistry, Pauling is a good, low cost choice. I'm not sure what we used in school.


    2-4) Physics, Cutnel -- This was highly recommended, but I've not read it.


    Introductory Programming

    Programming is becoming unavoidable as an engineering skill. I think Python is a strong introductory language that's got a lot of uses in industry.

  2. Learning Python, Lutz

  3. Learn Python the Hard Way, Shaw -- Gaining popularity, also free online.

    Core Curriculum:


  4. Introduction to Flight, Anderson


  5. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, Fox, Pritchard McDonald

  6. Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, Anderson

  7. Theory of Wing Sections, Abbot and von Doenhoff -- Dover book, but very good for what it is.

  8. Aerodynamics for Engineers, Bertin and Cummings -- Didn't use this as the text (used Anderson instead) but it's got more on stuff like Vortex Lattice Methods.

  9. Modern Compressible Flow: With Historical Perspective, Anderson

  10. Computational Fluid Dynamics, Anderson

    Thermodynamics, Heat transfer and Propulsion:

  11. Introduction to Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer, Cengel

  12. Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion, Hill and Peterson

    Flight Mechanics, Stability and Control

    5+) Flight Stability and Automatic Control, Nelson

    5+)[Performance, Stability, Dynamics, and Control of Airplanes, Second Edition](http://www.amazon.com/Performance-Stability-Dynamics-Airplanes-Education/dp/1563475839/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315534435&sr=8-1, Pamadi) -- I gather this is better than Nelson

  13. Airplane Aerodynamics and Performance, Roskam and Lan

    Engineering Mechanics and Structures:

    3-4) Engineering Mechanics: Statics and Dynamics, Hibbeler

  14. Mechanics of Materials, Hibbeler

  15. Mechanical Vibrations, Rao

  16. Practical Stress Analysis for Design Engineers: Design & Analysis of Aerospace Vehicle Structures, Flabel

    6-8) Analysis and Design of Flight Vehicle Structures, Bruhn -- A good reference, never really used it as a text.

  17. An Introduction to the Finite Element Method, Reddy

    G) Introduction to the Mechanics of a Continuous Medium, Malvern

    G) Fracture Mechanics, Anderson

    G) Mechanics of Composite Materials, Jones

    Electrical Engineering

  18. Electrical Engineering Principles and Applications, Hambley

    Design and Optimization

  19. Fundamentals of Aircraft and Airship Design, Nicolai and Carinchner

  20. Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, Raymer

  21. Engineering Optimization: Theory and Practice, Rao

    Space Systems

  22. Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications, Vallado

  23. Introduction to Space Dynamics, Thomson -- Dover book

  24. Orbital Mechanics, Prussing and Conway

  25. Fundamentals of Astrodynamics, Bate, Mueller and White

  26. Space Mission Analysis and Design, Wertz and Larson
u/HQuez · 2 pointsr/AskPhysics

For math you're going to need to know calculus, differential equations (partial and ordinary), and linear algebra.

For calculus, you're going to start with learning about differentiating and limits and whatnot. Then you're going to learn about integrating and series. Series is going to seem a little useless at first, but make sure you don't just skim it, because it becomes very important for physics. Once you learn integration, and integration techniques, you're going to want to go learn multi-variable calculus and vector calculus. Personally, this was the hardest thing for me to learn and I still have problems with it.

While you're learning calculus you can do some lower level physics. I personally liked Halliday, Resnik, and Walker, but I've also heard Giancoli is good. These will give you the basic, idealized world physics understandings, and not too much calculus is involved. You will go through mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and "modern physics". You're going to go through these subjects again, but don't skip this part of the process, as you will need the grounding for later.

So, now you have the first two years of a physics degree done, it's time for the big boy stuff (that is the thing that separates the physicists from the engineers). You could get a differential equations and linear algebra books, and I highly suggest you do, but you could skip that and learn it from a physics reference book. Boaz will teach you the linear and the diffe q's you will need to know, along with almost every other post-calculus class math concept you will need for physics. I've also heard that Arfken, Weber, and Harris is a good reference book, but I have personally never used it, and I dont' know if it teaches linear and diffe q's. These are pretty much must-haves though, as they go through things like fourier series and calculus of variations (and a lot of other techniques), which are extremely important to know for what is about to come to you in the next paragraph.

Now that you have a solid mathematical basis, you can get deeper into what you learned in Halliday, Resnik, and Walker, or Giancoli, or whatever you used to get you basis down. You're going to do mechanics, E&M, Thermodynamis/Statistical Analysis, and quantum mechanics again! (yippee). These books will go way deeper into theses subjects, and need a lot more rigorous math. They take that you already know the lower-division stuff for granted, so they don't really teach those all that much. They're tough, very tough. Obvioulsy there are other texts you can go to, but these are the one I am most familiar with.

A few notes. These are just the core classes, anybody going through a physics program will also do labs, research, programming, astro, chemistry, biology, engineering, advanced math, and/or a variety of different things to supplement their degree. There a very few physicists that I know who took the exact same route/class.

These books all have practice problems. Do them. You don't learn physics by reading, you learn by doing. You don't have to do every problem, but you should do a fair amount. This means the theory questions and the math heavy questions. Your theory means nothing without the math to back it up.

Lastly, physics is very demanding. In my experience, most physics students have to pretty much dedicate almost all their time to the craft. This is with instructors, ta's, and tutors helping us along the way. When I say all their time, I mean up until at least midnight (often later) studying/doing work. I commend you on wanting to self-teach yourself, but if you want to learn physics, get into a classroom at your local junior college and start there (I think you'll need a half year of calculus though before you can start doing physics). Some of the concepts are hard (very hard) to understand properly, and the internet stops being very useful very quickly. Having an expert to guide you helps a lot.

Good luck on your journey!

u/thebenson · 3 pointsr/AskPhysics

I think you posted something similar in the math thread right? Introductory physics is really just math and being able to plug into formulas. I'd say it'd be best to get a good math foundation before tackling physics (especially calculus). As far as book recommendations ... I Googled and found a very comprehensive list ( http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Administrivia/booklist.html).

There should be tons of stuff on Khan Academy or on YouTube for particular subjects. Sometimes this may be even more useful than just studying a book as both math and physics books can be dense. I guess I should just list the books I have. Maybe you'll find them useful. I'll list my physics and math books separately.

In general, the Feynmann lectures are considered to be like the physics bible. You can buy a hardcover boxed set of these lectures here: http://www.amazon.com/Feynman-Lectures-Physics-boxed-set/dp/0465023827/ref=asap_B000AQ47U8_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413342403&sr=1-1. Be forewarned that the lectures were intended for physics students, so it may be best to read a general physics textbook first.

Math (in no particular order):

-Advanced Engineering Mathematics by Greenberg

-Calculus: Early Transcendentals Multivariable by James and Stewart

-Thomas' Calculus Early Transcendentals (Single Variable) by Weir and Hass

-Linear Algebra and its Applications by Lay

-Differential Equations: Computing and Modeling by Edwards and Penney

-Mathematical Proofs: A Transition to Advanced Mathematics by Chartrand, Polimeni and Zhang

-A First Course in Partial Differential Equations with Complex Variables and Transform Methods by Weinberger

Physics (in no particular order):

-Intro to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths

-University Physics by Young and Freedman (prob a good starting place)

-Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler

-Analytical Mechanics by Fowles and Cassiday

-Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick and Walker

-Intro to Electrodynamics by Griffiths

-Heat and Thermodynamics by Zemansky and Dittman

-Statistical and Thermal Physics by Gould and Tobochnik

I hope this was helpful! If not, the physics subreddit has a dedicated thread each week to learning materials and I'm sure someone over there would be glad to help you.

u/Morophin3 · 1 pointr/answers

Here are some cool videos for you(not really informative about the makeup of cells but nonetheless might interest you enough to read the amazing books that I've listed below! The microcosmos really is a whole 'nother world!):

Kinesin Walking Narrated Version:


This is a better model. Notice how the 'legs' shake around violently until it snaps into place. Sometimes the random motion of the jiggling atoms(these aren't shown. Imagine the Kinesin molecules shown in a sea of water molecules, all jiggling about ferociously. The 'invisible' water molecules are bumping up against the Kinesin, and it's evolved to work with the random motions) makes it step backwards! But the ATP/ADP process makes it more likely to step forward than backwards(an evolved process). This is explained well in the book Life's Ratchet below.

Molecular Motor Kinesin Walks Like a Drunk Man:


Here are some amazing book to read. Seriously read all of these, preferably in the order listed to get the best understanding. They will blow your mind many times over. Many, if not all, may be at your local library.

QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter:


Quarks: The Stuff of Matter


Thermodynamics:A Very Short Introduction


Life's Ratchet:


The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution


The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives


I would also recommend taking a biology and maybe a chemistry class at your local community college, if possible. My biology class started with the smallest stuff, atoms(technically not the smallest, but whatever), and worked its way up through the chain of sizes up to the biosphere. It was very informative and there were a few people in their 40s(a guess) that really enjoyed the class. So you can do it, too!

u/SamWaterhouse · 1 pointr/Physics

The Feynman Lectures are a perfect introduction to physics from high school level all the way up to degree level.

A good understanding of maths is essential to more advanced physics and there is an excellent textbook written by two extremely qualified headmaster's called The Language Of Physics: A Foundation for University Study which is what's recommended to first year University students and poses questions at the end of each chapter.

If you're looking for something a little less intimidating, then the A Very Short Introduction series have a perfect range of short (and cheap!) books on Physics: [Quantum Theory]
(https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0192802526/ref=pd_sim_14_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=9A3MSV2XSQRYF880MYP6), Relativity, Particle Physics, Cosmology, Nuclear Physics, Black Holes, Thermodynamics, Astrophysics, Light and Magnetism. These are great little books that don't blow your head off!

Physics is an extremely interesting subject to read around and I wish you the best with it :)

u/airshowfan · 2 pointsr/AskEngineers

a. Stanford. But a lot of people who work with me did not go to big-name schools. UC Irvine, Iowa State, Oregon state, etc. Where I work, there's lots of UW. Where I used to work before that; lots of RPI and USC.

b. I got great grades in high school, but slipped a little bit in college. (This made my life difficult later. A good GPA makes it easier to be hired, and is practically necessary if you want a Masters, something that many many many engineers have today). Classes: I'm sure I'm not the first one to tell you this, but take all the math and physics you can. And try to learn some of this stuff outside of school (it can be more fun that way), pick up some books, try to get through the Feynman Lectures on Physics (or just Six Easy Pieces and QED to start off), some Martin Gardner, books like Euler's Gem, learn HTML, try your hand at programming, build LEGO robots... all that kind of stuff will make it easier to learn the stuff you need to learn to become an engineer.

u/songbolt · 1 pointr/GlobalWarming

> Don't get me started on "aluminium".

Interesting! Wikipedia indicates "aluminum" is the original spelling, but "aluminium" became more popular. I suppose Americans should respect the "International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry" and call it 'aluminium', if they want world peace (i.e. international cooperation) ...

> Are you saying it should be 1.0C°?

Yes. Perhaps Daniel Schroeder was trying to be a trendsetter with this instruction. I think the distinction is valuable as it adds clarity and beauty to language. However, perhaps it's pedantic, as I can't think of another example: We don't make a distinction when reporting differences in length, time, pressure, mass, volume, current, or radioactivity ...

u/Cletus_awreetus · 2 pointsr/astrophys

Square one...

You should have a solid base in math:

Introduction to Calculus and Analysis, Vol. 1 by Courant and John. Gotta have some basic knowledge of calculus.

Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Mary Boas. This is pretty high-level applied math, but it's the kind of stuff you deal with in serious physics/astrophysics.

You should have a solid base in physics:

They Feynman Lectures on Physics. Might be worth checking out. I think they're available free online.

You should have a solid base in astronomy/astrophysics:

The Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy by Frank Shu. A bit outdated but a good textbook.

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Carroll and Ostlie.

Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction by James Binney. I haven't read this and there are no reviews, I think it was very recently published, but it looks promising.

It also might be worth checking out something like Coursera. They have free classes on math, physics, astrophysics, etc.

u/Kimusubi · 1 pointr/photography

The quality and size of the mirror will only start to matter when you're doing real research. For example, what I'm doing requires me to resolve much smaller fluctuation in index of refraction than what you would get from "standard" optical equipment. This does not, by any means, mean that you can't observe Schlieren effects with cheaper mirrors and lenses. For simple demonstration/proof of concept purposes, you can get away with almost any optical grade.

For example, this is an image of shock diamonds formed outside of a compressible jet that I did as a demonstration for my lab:


This was done with two very cheap 2" plano-convex lenses purchased from Thorlabs (http://thorlabs.us/) and 1 very cheap 55 mm lens attached to a very cheap $300 camera. As you can see, the physical phenomenon is easily observed using rather low grade equipment.

I would highly recommend that anyone who is interested in Schlieren photography to go out and experiment with it. It is a lot of fun. You can observe some very cool physics with just a couple of hundred bucks for the setup. One other thing to keep in mind is that you can do Schlieren with off-axis parabolic mirrors OR lenses. I HIGHLY recommend that you start with lenses before moving to mirrors. They are significantly easier to align and setup than your typical "z-type" Schlieren mirror systems. Purchase yourself 2 lenses and an optical rail (you can find all of it on Thorlabs), and you will be able to setup your system quite easily. I don't have time to go through all the technical details, but you should read about different Schlieren methods online and learn how they work.

If you would like to see some amazing examples of Schlieren and Shadowgraph images, I HIGHLY recommend Van Dyke's book on Album of Fluid Motion (http://amzn.com/0915760029).

u/gmora_gt · 2 pointsr/gatech

Sorry that other people are being harsh critics, but yeah man. Respectfully, a couple of these are pretty overpriced.

Thing is, most people would rather buy a new book from the store than buy a used book for barely less than retail. I suggest you lower the prices, especially keeping this in mind:

Astrodynamics sells new for $17: https://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Astrodynamics-Dover-Aeronautical-Engineering/dp/0486600610

Propulsion sells new for $25: https://www.amazon.com/Mechanics-Thermodynamics-Propulsion-Philip-Peterson/dp/8131729516/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1526807320&sr=1-2&keywords=mechanics+and+thermodynamics+of+propulsion+2nd+edition

Your edition of COE 3001 sells new for $113: https://www.amazon.com/Mechanics-Materials-James-M-Gere/dp/1111577730/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1526807508&sr=1-2&keywords=mechanics+of+materials+goodno and it's also not the current edition

Best of luck. And if you find someone looking specifically for the current edition of the Mechanics of Materials book, please send them my way!

u/nodayzero · 3 pointsr/AskPhysics

I got the new millennium edition. While I was researching which one to get , a lot of people mentioned that millenium edition was glossy and had smaller print which made it harder to read. I must say it looks fine. I don't have any problems so far. The reason i picked the latest is because it was relatively cheaper (140ish vs 300+) and had over 900 erratas fixed with respect to older editions.

Bonus: Another book I started reading in tandem is Road to Reality by Penrose which is equivalent in excitement, inspiration and quality of material and gives a nice overview of math required for physics and relation between math and physics. Highly recommend.

u/zack1123581321 · 2 pointsr/PhysicsGRE

I am using Conquering the Physics GRE as an overview, but I really enjoy anything from David Morin and David J. Griffiths for the level of questions and explanations (and in-book/online solutions manuals that go a long way towards showing you how to think like a physicist). But my "library" for preparing for the physics GRE is:

CM: Morin, Problems and Solutions in Introductory Mechanics and Introduction to Classical Mechanics

Gregory, Classical Mechanics for extra explanations and problems

EM: Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics 3e

QM: Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 3e

Thermo/Stat.Mech: Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics

Kittel and Kroemer, Thermal Physics

Waves: Morin, on his website are ten chapters to what appears to be a Waves book in the making


Atomic, Lab Methods: Conquering the Physics GRE and any online resources I can find.


If you email Case Western, they send a link to some amazing flash cards!

u/Tobiasuru · 8 pointsr/AskPhysics

An Introduction to Thermal Physics https://www.amazon.com/dp/0201380277/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_s6BfAbNNZABF5

This is the standard undergraduate text. It's the one I used. Super easy to read and the problems are fun. Best of luck!

u/theearthisasphere · 47 pointsr/learnmath

I'm 2 years into a part time physics degree, I'm in my 40s, dropped out of schooling earlier in life.

As I'm doing this for fun whilst I also have a full time job, I thought I would list what I'm did to supplement my study preparation.

I started working through these videos - Essence of Calculus as a start over the summer study whilst I had some down time. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZHQObOWTQDMsr9K-rj53DwVRMYO3t5Yr

Ive bought the following books in preparation for my journey and to start working through some of these during the summer prior to start

Elements of Style - A nice small cheap reference to improve my writing skills

The Humongous Book of Trigonometry Problems https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1615641823/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach

Trigonometry Essentials Practice Workbook

Systems of Equations: Substitution, Simultaneous, Cramer's Rule

Feynman's Tips on Physics

Exercises for the Feynman Lectures on Physics

Calculus for the Practical Man

The Feynman Lectures on Physics (all volumes)

I found PatrickJMT helpful, more so than Khan academy, not saying is better, just that you have to find the person and resource that best suits the way your brain works.

Now I'm deep in calculus and quantum mechanics, I would say the important things are:

Algebra - practice practice practice, get good, make it smooth.

Trig - again, practice practice practice.

Try not to learn by rote, try understand the why, play with things, draw triangles and get to know the unit circle well.

Good luck, it's going to cause frustrating moments, times of doubt, long nights and early mornings, confusion, sweat and tears, but power through, keep on trucking, and you will start to see that calculus and trig are some of the most beautiful things in the world.

u/Mukhasim · 2 pointsr/learnmath

> I often see people say that the beauty of maths is that there are very rigid, well-defined rules, and when you know the rules, it's easy to use them to 'play the game'.

Bad advice, IMO. In math, as in life, you follow the rules because you understand why we have those rules and you come to agree with them. A teacher should aim to make you believe in the motivations for the rules, not just follow them. And sometimes we change the rules, when we can justify doing so.

Anyway, my advice is to pick up a different textbook, read through it and work the exercises. I was about where you are now and I picked up Apostol's Calculus (vol I) and I got a lot out of it. Spivak's Calculus is another popular recommendation. You might not be able to solve all of the problems, but that's OK: you're not pushing your limits if you never attempt something that you fail at.

Another thing you could try if you're not seeing how to apply calculus is to take some physics. You might try this course:


Shankar also wrote this book, which is supposed to be similar to the above-linked course:


Of course, I'm sure your university also teaches physics perfectly well if you want to enroll in a real course.

u/scalisee · 5 pointsr/EngineeringStudents

Read the book? Seriously.

Edit: I don't mean to come off like a condescending asshole but I feel like students are haste to ask others for help when they haven't even opened the book or approached the teacher. I was a TA for a while and this was the issue 9 out of 10 times.

For reference my thermo I & II classes used this book, I'm sure there's better out there.

u/TomatoAintAFruit · 1 pointr/Physics

For an undergraduate approach I recommend Schroeder. However, this book starts with thermal physics which is, well, a bit boring ;). The math is not hard, but developing that 'physics instinct' can sometimes be challenging.

For a more advanced, but very nice and systematic text, I recommend Toda, Kubo, et al.. Another graduate text is Huang.

There are also the books by Feynman and Landau and Lifshitz Pt. 1 (Pt. 2 is quantum field theory, which at this stage you probably will want to avoid).

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you'd like a book with plenty of pictures The Magic of Reality could be a good start, and if you'd really committed to learning more about science, The Feynman Lectures on Physics would be an excellent choice as well. There are a couple of simplified versions you can find here and here.

u/Dre_J · 3 pointsr/IBO

I know the university I'm headed to is using University Physics. I have a PDF of it, if you want it. It basically covers all the fundamental physics using calculus, so I would definitely regard it as a post-IB book.

I've heard many say that Resnick and Halliday's books are the best out there. They are perhaps a bit old, but seem to be the favorite among undergraduates.

If you want a more intuitive understanding of physics, then The Feynman Lectures are a must. He covers some material that requires knowledge of undergraduate level physics, but a lot of it I've found to still be enlightening. The intuition you'll get is invaluable.

u/thesmokingclaw · 5 pointsr/meteorology

An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology by James Holton is probably the most commonly used dynamics book. Another one that I really like is Mid-Latitude Atmospheric Dynamics: A First Course by Jonathan Martin.

As far as thermodynamics goes A First Course in Atmospheric Thermodynamics by Grant Petty is a good one.

u/cdstephens · 2 pointsr/AskPhysics

Read this book.

It's very short and introduces all the fundamental principles of thermodynamics.

The first two laws:
dU = dQ - dW. The change in energy of a system is equal to the amount of heat you put in (dQ) minus the amount of work the system does on its environment (dW).

Clausius statement for the second law:
"Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time." Basically a cooler object cannot spontaneously warm a hotter object (cooler and hotter described by something called temperature).

Then you have PV = nRT for an ideal gas, and W = integral P * dV.
S = entropy = integral dQ/T, and you can prove that entropy is a description of the state of a system using basic properties of differential equations (basically, if you take a closed integral of dQ/T, you'll get 0).

Also if you had a physics test coming up, wouldn't your physics classes have taught it? Or are you talking about some sort of standardized test? If it's the latter, you're better off getting a practice book and chugging away. I know at least for the physics SAT subject tests, the thermodynamics you need is not thermodynamics in the classical sense, but more about heat transfer and the like.

There's a reason whole semesters are devoted to thermodynamics and kinetic theory; it's a very broad topic.

u/HungOnGravity · 3 pointsr/PhysicsStudents

Take Physics Thermodynamics, it'll open your eyes. We use Schroeder 20 miles north of you. I had a Nuclear Energy Conversion course that was essentially our Thermo from our department and finally had the chance to see all of the theoretical physics applied to real world (well, 1970s reactors ;D) applications.

I'm up at SPSU finishing a Physics BS and just completed our Nuclear Engineering minor. I liked the similarities in curriculum because I had seen it before, but there were some ME/EE majors that weren't too thrilled with Physics Thermodynamics showing up in a Nuclear course.

Is your advanced lab course Modern, Electronics, or Adv Measurements?

By classical physics do you mean something similar to Intermediate Mechanics?

You should be able to relate Optics to Nuclear pretty well comparing it to what you've studied with neutrons passing through matter and moderators.

Sorry about the wall of text, I don't get to talk about both subjects much in either department.

u/DeeperThanNight · 2 pointsr/askscience

As with most things you gotta know the basics. Start with classical mechanics. The best book is Landau's Mechanics, but it's quite advanced. The undergraduate text I used at university was Thornton and Marion. If that's still too much I've heard Taylor's book is even gentler.

Also, make sure you know your calculus.

u/Araraguy · 1 pointr/askphilosophy

Assuming the first:

For an introduction, Shankar's Fundamentals of Physics is good, but it doesn't have workable examples and it covers a large range of literature in a short period. I'd recommend it if you just want an understanding of the maths, and not a fluency in doing it. University Physics is commonly used for classical mechanics. Moving on:

Light and Optics

Griffith's Quantum Mechanics

Schroeder's Thermal Physics


Those are just a few introductory books; not mentioned were statistical mechanics, solid state physics, nuclear, plasma, special and general relativity, quantum field theory, etc. These aren't all needed for an introductory study, though. This is what one would need if one hoped to understand the contemporary problems in the philosophy of physics. As I mentioned below, you need at least single and multivariable calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra; these can be developed as one goes.

u/lichlord · 1 pointr/chemistry

If you're refering to Adkins and de Paula then I have to agree as its my favorite Pchem book as well.

This supplement by Howard Reiss was very useful too.

u/nikofeyn · 1 pointr/Physics

i recommend the following books by shankar (who is also the author of a well known quantum mechanics book). the books are accompanied by the open yale courses on physics.

u/Overunderrated · 1 pointr/EngineeringStudents

For grad level, I'd go straight to the classics, Fermi's Thermodynamics. $6.47 with amazon prime, and excellent clarity and brevity.

u/NSardox · 3 pointsr/MechanicalEngineering

Well it is in english, and you can actually find it on amazon for a price way to expensive for an old book. HORLOCK 1966 I suggest you to check for the paper version in your engineer library instead of a digitalised version.

Edit: Thinking about it, if you wish to seek some paper, I can suggest you to go check "J.D. Denton" publications; his paper are usually on free access (at least on turbomachinery). But paper may not be suitable if you are only starting to learn turbomachinery.

u/spaceturtle1 · 1 pointr/Cosmos

The subreddits about the individual fields of science have usually a lot of helpful links in the sidebar.

Best and most universal example is /r/math

I bought myself the Feynman Lectures off Amazon. It touches almost all the fields of science and is famous for being an "easy" read.

this edition is huge in size, is relatively cheap if you consider the size and leaves room for your own notes at the outside border (can also be seen as a negative, but well). Or just read them online for free in HTML

u/one3seven · 2 pointsr/gifs

For anyone interested in finding about more about this type of stuff, I am reminded me of these super old videos of fluid motion, and I can't recommend the entire series highly enough.

There are also the books An album of fluid motion and A gallery of fluid motion which have a ton of cool pictures.

u/GapingNewb · 3 pointsr/askscience

For introductory physics, I think it's also well worth mentioning The Feynman Lectures on Physics which I think are widely regarded as great reading for any physicist, for example.

u/Zeitgeist420 · 2 pointsr/AskEngineers

I have a book that I got as a gift that most aero folks should love (I'm an aero guy too). It's called "An album of fluid motion" by Van Dyke. Amason has a paperback version. http://www.amazon.com/Album-Fluid-Motion-Milton-Dyke/dp/0915760029

u/WhataBeautifulPodunk · 1 pointr/Physics

IMO, the first edition of Thermal Physics, written by Kittel alone is superior to Kittel and Kroemer. Plus, it's super cheap! (~$5) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/047149030X/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The second edition expands a few pages of thermo that flows with the rest of the text in the first edition to a very opaque chapter.

u/Alekanekelo · 4 pointsr/math

> I was reading my Thermodynamics textbook, and the first line was "temperature is defined as that thing that is the same for two objects that have been touching for a long time" and then introduced more concepts such as relaxation time, etc.. the first chapter was 100% a layman's description of temperature.

It wouldn't happen to be Daniel V. Schroeder's An Introduction to Thermal Physics, would it? The simple definitions in the beginning and the following chapters that build upon that foundation really makes it one of the better physics textbooks. It helped me immensely to get a conceptual understanding of something that is quite complex. I can hardly imagine it being taught in another way now.

I can't say I have watched many of Khans videos. But the few I have watched, did to some extent leave some of the more rigorous 'nit-picking' for later. I see his videos as a good supplement to ones lectures and textbooks.

u/newton64 · 0 pointsr/montreal

Sure, it's ISBN 1572594918. Well, to be accurate, that's Volume 1 of the books, as shown here. I also have Volumes 2 & 3, and two solutions manuals (the first being solutions for Volume 1, the second being solutions for Volumes 2 & 3 combined).

u/FoWsUrDuress · 2 pointsr/UIUC

Thorton and Marion was the textbook when I took it and I would be surprised if it wasn't still. It's a solid undergraduate textbook. When I took it my professor more or less taught straight from it, but Makins will probably deviate a bit more (in a good way)

u/L0pkmnj · 16 pointsr/Lovecraft

I know a few people who would gladly nominate this text as an arcane text that only the most dedicated of sorcerers can understand......

u/Lemonkopf · 3 pointsr/Physics

Open Yale Courses Fundamental Physics I & II is a strong math-based introduction to physics https://oyc.yale.edu/NODE/206. The prof is Ramamurti Shankar whose books are available at amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Physics-Mechanics-Relativity-Thermodynamics/dp/0300192207/ref=sr_1_1? , https://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Physics-II-Electromagnetism-Mechanics/dp/0300212364/ref=sr_1_4? including a decent book called Boot Camp for Math: https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Training-Mathematics-Fitness-Students/dp/0306450364/ref=sr_1_5? Helped me a lot.

u/Banach-Tarski · 2 pointsr/Drugs

Like I already explained, the strong and weak force also play key roles. The strong force keeps the quarks bound together in nucleons, and keeps the nucleus bound together. The weak force is involved in radioactive decay, which occurs inside your body as well.

If you want to actually learn about physics, start here.

u/spockolatechipcookie · 1 pointr/math

Not exactly PDE focued, but I have this as a coffee table book:
An Album of Fluid Flow

Less math and more pictures of fluid flow demonstrations. Still pretty though.

u/tuctrohs · 2 pointsr/AskPhysics

Here's a little book by a pretty famous guy that was recommended back when I first learned it. I remember it was enjoyable to read and helpful, but I haven't looked at it in a really long time so I don't remember specially what it addresses.


u/weinerjuicer · 2 pointsr/Physics

i started with carter, which is a great book, and then used huang, baxter, and landau+lifshitz.

u/gronkkk · 1 pointr/chemistry

You're not clear about what you want to learn in chemistry -- do you want to do more practical stuff (organic synthesis / physical chemistry) or do you just want to know how molecules/atoms behave (organic chemistry ,biochemistry, physical chemistry , quantummechanics?

Wrt to doing synthesis 'on your own': these days, doing chemistry outside a lab is seen as something 'very dangerous', because only trrrrists and clandestine drug-making chemists are interested in chemistry.

u/Kroax · 1 pointr/science

Check out this text book:


It goes from simple understanding to the statistical mechanics of what's going on.

Steer clear of engineering books if you want a good understanding as they often cut corners(because alot of stuff that is deeper doesn't apply to them) to make it more applicable to their design work.

u/Puppy_Sandwich · 2 pointsr/askscience

I found this a very useful introduction; http://www.amazon.co.uk/Laws-Thermodynamics-Short-Introduction-Introductions/dp/0199572194

That whole series of books is quite useful if you're trying to get a taste of a particular topic before studying it in more detail.

u/BrononymousEngineer · 6 pointsr/options

Not if you buy this book brand new. Ask me how I know lol.

u/geneyus · 1 pointr/Physics

For thermo/stat mech, the standard undergraduate texts are Schroeder (http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Thermal-Physics-Daniel-Schroeder/dp/0201380277), and I guess Blundell & Blundell (http://www.amazon.com/Concepts-Thermal-Physics-Stephen-Blundell/dp/0199562105).

For Quantum Physics the standard undergradate books are the quantum mechanics books by Shankar, Griffiths, and sometimes Messiah. I personally didn't like any of them, I learned from Cohen-Tannoudji but it is more difficult mathematically. For more advanced books you can look at Sakurai or Landau's book.

There is no real standard book that I'm aware of for Nuclear/subnuclear physics for undergrads (because it is really a graduate level book). But I think Griffiths has a book on particle physics if you like his quantum mechanics book. He does like to talk alot though just so you know.

u/JWD147 · 1 pointr/Physics

If you have the cash to blow, the Feynman Lectures on Physics are a great resource, not just with EM, but everything you learn in undergrad courses.

u/WorfRozhenko · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

You could always try a physics book on the subject. One of the common books used in introductory thermodynamics courses for physics majors is Thermal Physics by Schroeder. https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Thermal-Physics-Daniel-Schroeder/dp/0201380277

It does a decent job at covering the physics behind thermodynamics and a good intro to statistical mechanics.

I am not sure if it meets your criteria of 'interesting' since it is geared at being a college textbook and reading it for leisure may be a bit tedious.

u/biochem12 · 3 pointsr/Physics

I'm a graduate student taking an undergrad Stat Mech class now (I was a biochemistry major and never took this in undergrad). We're also using Schroeder's Thermal Physics book. I also have Fermi's Thermodynamics which is a great supplement. (http://www.amazon.com/Thermodynamics-Dover-Books-Physics-Enrico/dp/048660361X)

For Stat Mech, the books I own have so far been inpenetrable to me (much more difficult than Schroeder's Thermal Physics) ... which is basically why I'm taking a Stat Thermo class. The Stat Thermo books I have Terrell Hill's Intro to Statistical Thermodynamics and Schrodinger's Statistical Thermodynamics.

u/admorobo · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

What you're looking for is The Richard Feynman Lectures on Physics.

EDIT: Just realized these might actually be heavier than you're looking for, but I think there's no better introdcution to the world of Physics than through Feynman.

u/NeuralLotus · 1 pointr/pics

No problem. As for the Boltzmann distribution, it has to do with thermodynamics. Here's the Wikipedia article for it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_distribution#Derivation

This article does a decent job of explaining what it is. The derivation that it links to, however, seems to be a little lacking (I only skimmed through it).

Just in case you want to learn more about thermodynamics, you could try this textbook: http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Thermal-Physics-Daniel-Schroeder/dp/0201380277/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369548035&sr=8-1&keywords=schroeder+thermodynamics

That's the textbook my school used, and it's actually one of the best textbooks I've used in physics or mathematics. It's also relatively cheap for a textbook.

u/InfanticideAquifer · 5 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

Have you looked into the Feynman lectures for Physics? As an EE you've probably had an intro physics sequence, so maybe you were looking for something further afield... But the Feynman lectures are a great second course on "basic" physics that's conversational, but goes into a lot of gritty details that are often glossed over. There aren't problems in the book, but there is a companion spiral bound booklet with problems designed to parallel the text; I can't speak for how useful they are. The quantum mechanics section takes a very different approach than what one usually sees.

He doesn't skimp on applications either... simple machines, lightning, crystal structure, wakes in non-ideal fluids. If the math required to analyze something is above the level of the book, he describes it accurately anyways, and explains why the problem is hard--not something you see everywhere.

Amazon; this is all three volumes in one.

u/pm_me_your_rockets · 1 pointr/aerospace

Skim over the Feynman Lectures on Phyisics. The first volume has is mostly relevant to what you are doing.

u/BloodFeces · 4 pointsr/fatlogic

The only citation in that whole paragraph is for this entry level Thermodynamics textbook:


u/orangepotion · 8 pointsr/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu

Get the Feynman lectures, and the Schaum physics series.

On the Schaum one, write ALL the exercises, so you actually get it.

u/rnally · 3 pointsr/Physics

So's literally anything else. Hell, I imagine wikipedia would make a better textbook than L&L Classical Field Theory. (Though I must say, I used their mechanics book for my undergrad mechanics course and really liked it. The class textbook was Marion and thornton, which I really didn't like. L&L was much clearer.)

u/xrelaht · 5 pointsr/AskPhysics

This should keep you busy, but I can suggest books in other areas if you want.

Math books:
Algebra: http://www.amazon.com/Algebra-I-M-Gelfand/dp/0817636773/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251516690&sr=8
Calc: http://www.amazon.com/Calculus-4th-Michael-Spivak/dp/0914098918/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356152827&sr=1-1&keywords=spivak+calculus
Calc: http://www.amazon.com/Linear-Algebra-Dover-Books-Mathematics/dp/048663518X
Linear algebra: http://www.amazon.com/Linear-Algebra-Modern-Introduction-CD-ROM/dp/0534998453/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255703167&sr=8-4
Linear algebra: http://www.amazon.com/Linear-Algebra-Dover-Mathematics-ebook/dp/B00A73IXRC/ref=zg_bs_158739011_2

Beginning physics:

Advanced stuff, if you make it through the beginning books:
E&M: http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Electrodynamics-Edition-David-Griffiths/dp/0321856562/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375653392&sr=8-1&keywords=griffiths+electrodynamics
Mechanics: http://www.amazon.com/Classical-Dynamics-Particles-Systems-Thornton/dp/0534408966/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375653415&sr=8-1&keywords=marion+thornton
Quantum: http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Quantum-Mechanics-2nd-Edition/dp/0306447908/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375653438&sr=8-1&keywords=shankar

Cosmology -- these are both low level and low math, and you can probably handle them now:

u/blalien · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

I can't stand Brian Greene. This is the book I got the idea from, I just added the bits about infinite and negative temperature.


u/throwaway30116 · 1 pointr/de

Mein armes Hirn, soviel Marketing, Namedroppingscheisse in einem Artikel, und das war nur der Bericht dazu?

Boah, erstmal Frühstück, Hauptgang und Dessert
und den Dorn Bader als Snack.

u/waveman · 1 pointr/Physics

Alternative to Schroeder "An Introduction to Thermal Physics" for self-study?


Overall this is quite a good book but I am trying to use it for self-study and the author refuses to release any answers to the problems. His explanation was that if he releases any answers he cannot later un-release them.

Compounding this, his problems are often multi-stage problems where parts of a problem depend on earlier parts and one problem depends on the result of previous problems. In some cases you have 3 multi-stage problems building upon one another. At some point you realize something went wrong but you have no clue where...

OK lesson learned: For self study you need answers so you can check your understanding. This is just basic learning theory - you need feedback.

I have looked at a few TP books but none have answers for checking eg Kittel Thermal Physics, Blundell "Concepts in Thermal Physics".

He does have an answer book for instructors only.