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Best Undergraduate Physics Textbook?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by premed414, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. premed414

    premed414 7+ Year Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Hey all,

    My professors for both Physics I/II don't require textbooks at all. They give a few suggestions, but that's it.

    What, in your opinion, is the best calculus based Physics textbook? Their recommendations include:

    “Physics for Scientists and Engineers” by Knight
    “University Physics” by Young and Freedman
    “Fundamental of Physics” by Halliday, Resnick and Walker
    “Physics for Scientists and Engineers” by Giancoli

    Thanks in advance!
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  3. macsta

    macsta 2+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    I took non-calc based physics and I used "Fundamental of Physics" by Halliday, Resnick and Walker. I thought it was a well written, easy to understand book.

    I've seen some of the books you listed on torrents...jus' sayin.
  4. nysw

    nysw 2+ Year Member

    May 20, 2011
    I've used both the Halliday and the Giancoli.. The Halliday was much better at explaining, had good practice problems and had interesting stories/pictures (I only remember b/c our bonus questions were based off the pictures/stories.) Giancoli was alright.
  5. byaaaaaaah23

    byaaaaaaah23 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2011
    I recommend Halliday. Great applications and practice problems. Solutions manuals are also abundant online. It was used in my hs AP C course as well as my intro college course. You can get a modern edition (7th+) for less than $20 and it's identical to the newest one (9th I think) except for problem numbers.
  6. macsta

    macsta 2+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    That is correct
  7. FSUchess99

    FSUchess99 unproven wanna-be

    Aug 14, 2010
    I used University Physics. Very average book in my opinion (all my professors said it was the best), but in the chapter on torque, they use a character named Throckmorton, which is a very good reason to purchase a textbook.

    Relevant information in blue. Silliness in red.
  8. TheMightySmiter

    TheMightySmiter 7+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2009
    I took calculus-based physics and used Essential University Physics by Richard Wolfson. It's the text used by the University of Colorado physics department (where I did my post-bacc). I strongly, strongly recommend this text! It is clear and concise, won't kill your back/shoulders, and comes with plenty of excellent practice problems. To be honest I don't think I've ever had a college text this good in ANY subject.

    JESSFALLING 2+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    For conceptual understanding, the Feynman Lectures on Physics are hard to beat.
  10. MD Odyssey

    MD Odyssey 2+ Year Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    The Feynman Lectures on Physics is an excellent text, but it honestly doesn't teach the physics all that well for someone that hasn't had physics yet. I completed my physics degree several years ago and going back to the Feynman Lectures, I get a lot out of them, but I'm not sure a first-year student would have the same experience. Serway seems to be the one that most schools use, but I've always hated that book - it comes across too formulaic.

    The book I used was University Physics by Harris Benson, which even though it is not commonly used, it remains an excellent text. Also, I would recommend getting an MCAT review book now and using it during your class. There is a LOT of information covered in introductory physics which isn't covered on the exam, angular momentum being the most obvious omission.

    Best of luck to you in your first foray into physics - it completely changed my life and shaped me more than just about anything I can think of.
  11. BMEN

    BMEN Bow ties are cool. 2+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    don't panic physics

  12. ElCapone

    ElCapone Don't Lawyer Me 5+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2011
    I'm only going to say this once, so pay attention:TIPLER
  13. premed414

    premed414 7+ Year Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Thanks for all the responses guys!

    Is the Halliday book Calculus based? Because my course is..
  14. torshi

    torshi Squirrel 5+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2010
  15. 13132

    13132 7+ Year Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    I used Giancoli for the first physics and thought it was terrible.

    Used College Physics (Knight, Field, Jones) for the second physics and it was a fun read actually.
  16. Long Way to Go

    Long Way to Go 7+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Halliday and Resnick wasn't bad, but if no textbook is required, get whatever you can get cheapest off of Amazon. Introductory Mechanics hasn't changed very much even in the last 50 years.

    And yes, Halliday and Resnick is calculus-based.

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