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I'm freshman of Math major, because we don't have any physics course. But I'm very interested in Physics. But I'm not very sure which is better or say, more suitable for me.

  1. Sears and Zemansky's University Physics (10th Edition)

  2. Berkeley Physics Course Series (Vol 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Because I have talked to some of my friends who are in the major of physics.

Some said that Sears physics is more oriented to High school level, with lots of pics, examples, hence to recommand me the Berkeley series which is more 'academic'.

Some others said that the Berkeley Series is too beyond for me, because I'm in major of maths, with very limited foundation of physics.

As I'm more into math, a book which focuses on the physical intuition would be nice. This leads me to my question

"Which of these books is better for gaining physical intuition? Which uses a more indtuitive approach, in other words."

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Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please write substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book, paper or other resource. Explain the nature of the resource so that readers can decide which one is best suited for them rather than relying on the opinions of others. Answers containing only a reference to a book or paper will be removed!

closed as too localized by mbq Apr 19 '11 at 15:32

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Sears/Zeemansky and Resnick Halliday are better than Feynman lectures for an absolute beginner. Feynman lectures are best appreciated once you've already mastered the material from other sources, done problems etc. – yayu Apr 19 '11 at 17:12

I'd suggest you instead consider Feynman Lectures on Physics. Also, note that Stanford have many freely-available lecture course videos online (their website, as well as their youtube channel.) All the best :)

EDIT: In keeping with the comments posted to this answer, I felt I could add something by elaborating - To begin with, I agree with @Ted Bunn that the FLoP are best suited to give the reader a deeper insight, provided they have "the basics" covered beforehand. Whilst this may be true in general I feel that for graduate mathematicians, developing a new-found interest in physics, it is certainly worth consideration.

As such, and to expand my answer, I'd like to suggests an alternative option: 'The Road to Reality' by Professor Sir Roger Penrose could well be exacly what you're looking for. For starters, he began his academic career as a mathematical physicist. Therefore, it is by his very nature that he presents concepts and also physical intuition from a mathematical standpoint. Secondly, Professor Penrose is undoubtably a deservingly reputable physicist and his text book has served many-a-PhD-student well in gaining a deeper understanding of physical concepts; together with maintaining a firm mathematical foundation. Indeed it is true to say that many (PhD students) see it as a physicists 'bible' for reviewing basic physics that they may have misunderstood or merely overlooked, during their undergraduate study.

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@qftme : Is there a prerequisite for Feynman ? Or I could just use it for the intro physics textbook of self-learning ? – Xingdong Apr 19 '11 at 15:47
Xindong Since you are a mathematics major I do not think you will have problems with the Feynman series. He is great for giving physical intuition, which is what you need. – anna v Apr 19 '11 at 16:05
This question is already closed, but I'll add this comment anyway. I want to respectfully dissent from this answer. The Feynman lectures are great for additional insight once you've got the basics down, but I would definitely not recommend them for a first pass through the subject. – Ted Bunn Apr 19 '11 at 16:32
Again despite this question's closure, I feel inclined to comment. @ted bunn Whilst generally I would agree with your sentiment, I feel that in this instance FLoP would be an appropriate read for the OP. Given that he / she is majoring in mathematics, I would surmise that an introductory physics text book would only serve to waste time for someone who could / should be able to appreciate the more obvious mathematical implications of physical equations 'at first glance.' In other cases I agree that they (the FLoP) would better suit a 'physicist' seeking deeper insight, but not in this case. – qftme Apr 28 '11 at 15:14
@mbq Whilst I appreciate that the rules and regulations of this site are constructed in such a way as to further the standard and reputation thereof, I fail to see why closing a "specific" question such as this, in any way, conteracts that endeavour. To paraphrase, this question simply asks - what would be a good physics text book for a mathematician? Whilst it may be a 'soft' question, I do not feel it is at all too "specific". Answers to this could clearly aid alot of people. I therefore vote for it's re-opening (Although of course I don't currently have the reputation to do so, formally.) – qftme Apr 28 '11 at 15:21

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