1. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Physics books

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by thirdwind, Dec 3, 2013.

    I started reading Michio Kaku's Hyperspace this morning, and I'm really enjoying it so far. This is only the second book on physics I've ever read (the first being A Brief History of Time by Hawking (I'd like to say I've read my college physics textbook, but who am I kidding? No one reads those things.)). I really want to read more physics books like those two (i.e., aimed at the general audience). So does anyone have any recommendations?
     
  2. O. Snow
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    O. Snow Member

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    The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind is quite fun, On The Shoulders of Giants by Hawking is neat because it delves into history, and How To Teach Physics To Your Dog by Chad Orzel and it's sequel are quite good. Or perhaps that's just my weakness for dogs...
     
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  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Awesome! Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check them out.
     
  4. AJC
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    AJC Active Member

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    Hi thirdwind,

    I would recommend Kaku's other books in addition to the one you are reading. He does a lot of outreach to educate the general public. Neil deGrasse Tyson is another great guy you should check out. His books deal more with astrophysics, but they are still aimed at the general public.

    Richard Feynman is a big name in physics and has written a book called QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. It deals with quantum electrodynamics (QED) and uses a lot of diagrams to help you understand what's going on. Just make sure you don't buy his textbook on QED, which is obviously a lot harder to understand because it's geared towards the physics student and is also more expensive.

    What sorts of physics classes did you take in college? How much calculus do you know? If you understand the basic concepts and equations, you could move on to harder books.

    Cheers.
     
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  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I only took one semester, which was really basic stuff. I also took 3 calculus courses, but I don't remember any of it. If you asked me to integrate even the simplest function, I wouldn't be able to do it. So for now I think I'll stick to the basic stuff. Thanks for the recommendations.
     
  7. AJC
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    AJC Active Member

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    If you ever relearn it, you should consider some of Feynman's other books. They are more advanced, but Feynman is a good writer who makes everything clear. For the books I'm thinking of, 3 semesters of calculus should be adequate.
     
  8. lex
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    lex Contributing Member

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    This is a stunning book, if you can pick up a used copy somewhere cheaply - it's for non-scientists (though some familiarity with math - with or without calculus - will certainly help) but aims to impart a level of understanding of the concepts of physics equivalent to that possessed by a physics graduate: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0045300208/?tag=postedlinks04-20
     

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