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I am currently a first year Ph.D. student in Applied Math. As an undergrad, I did not have the opportunity to take a calculus based physics course and the one I took was a general physics course where emphasis was on the concepts (most of which I already forgot).

Given my mathematical background, I honestly think that I would've understood and appreciated physics more had it been taught to me from a calculus perspective. Now I am still unsure about my research interests but I definitely want to work on applications of pde, statistics, and probability (all 3) in engineering applications. Right now, I am hoping to work in stochastic differential equations or maybe stochastic inverse problems, totally unsure but I am exploring my options!

That said, I am taking graduate level courses in the math fields relevant to my interests. But because a lot of courses is required to learn pdes/probability, I do not have time to take courses in engineering or at least a physics course! So during my winter break, I am hoping to read up on a calculus based physics book to enhance my understanding of physics as well as to be able to have a grasp of the engineering applications I will be working on in the future. At the moment, the book I have is University Physics by Sears, Zemansky, Young, Freedman, and Ford.

Now I am primarily looking at civil engineering applications, specifically in earthquake engineering and materials science involved in structures. I am also open to fluid mechanics. For those unfamiliar, this book is divided into major fields in physics: Mechanics, Waves/Acoustics, Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism, Optics, and Modern Physics. Which fields should I focus on and which ones do you recommend I should skip? Honestly, I feel that electromagnetism is not relevant but I am unsure about the others.

Any suggestions? I'd greatly appreciate it! Thanks for the help.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by tpg2114, jinawee, David Z Dec 25 '13 at 19:26

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I study fluid dynamics and I hated solid mechanics for the longest time. But then I realized that it's really all the same types of PDE's and so if you know one, the others are easy to learn. Which means, if you pick any of them that interest you, and you understand the math of the equations, you can pick up any other PDE-based physics pretty easily! –  tpg2114 Dec 25 '13 at 18:16
That said, answers to this question will be primarily opinion based and I voted to close... I'm sure if you find people in the chat room they will happily discuss their work and knowledge of the areas and give you a better idea of what you're looking for. –  tpg2114 Dec 25 '13 at 18:17