Saturday, 22 May 2010

Guide to an independent study in Physics

After considerable research over a few years, I have been able to put down a list of books that must be read by anyone aspiring to pursue a research/teaching career in physics. The list is created keeping in mind the single most essential assumption - you are going to sincerely learn the subject. You are not going to read these books just so you can clear an exam. I'll reiterate - These books are for those who want to get an admission into a graduate school and then go on to pursue a physics career.

General Physics :
1. Fundamentals of Physics - Halliday, Resnick, Walker
2. Physics for Scientists and Engineers - Serway, Jewett
3. University Physics with Modern Physics - Young, Freedman

Classical Mechanics
1. An Introduction to Mechanics - Kleppner, Kolenkow
2. Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems - Marion, Thornton

Electricity and Magnetism
1. Electricity and Magnetism - Edward M. Purcell
2. Classical Electricity and Magnetism - Panofsky, Phillips

1. Introduction to Electrodynamics - David J. Griffiths
2. Classical Electrodynamics - Jackson J D

Modern Physics
1. Principles of Modern Physics - Ashby, Miller

1. Understanding Thermodynamics - H.C. Van Ness
2. Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics - F. Reif
3. Thermal Physics - Kittel

Quantum Physics
1. Quantum Physics - Eywind H. Wichmann
2. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics - David J. Griffiths
3. Principles of Quantum Mechanics - R. Shankar
4. Quantum Mechanics - Eugen Merzbacher
5. Quantum Mechanics - Cohen-Tannoudji C., Diu B., Laloe F.

1. Special Relativity - A. P. French
2. Gravity, an introduction to Einstein's General Relativity - James B. Hartle

Mathematical Physics
1. Basic Training in Mathematics - R. Shankar
2. Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences - Mary L. Boas
3. Mathematical Physics - Butkov
4. Mathematical Methods for Physicists - Arfken, Weber

Important Reference Books
1. Theoretical Concepts in Physics - M.S. Longair
2. Feynman Lectures in Physics - Richard Feynman
3. Landau, Lifschitz series
4. Classical Mechanics - Goldstein, Poole, Safko

The above list is light years away from being a complete one. It is a list intended to encourage undergraduate students to prepare well in order to get an admission into a graduate school, so he/she can feel confident in going about a physics career.

Good luck!

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