Possible Duplicate:
Book recommendations

I am currently in the 11th grade (I am an Indian student) and I am looking forward to studying pure mathematics and theoretical physics in the future.

I therefore request you to tell me books/textbooks to study physics. I know some integration and differentiation and I plan to study Richard Courant's book "Introduction To Calculus And Analysis: Volume 1" from Tuesday onwards.Besides, I am studying Halliday-Resnick Walker for the moment.


marked as duplicate by David Z Nov 6 '11 at 0:29

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ -There are already a number of threads dealing with book recommendations, and a number of them will show up in the "related" sidebar here. Suggest you start with: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/12175/book-recommendations $\endgroup$ – Jen Nov 5 '11 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the link!But most of the books are way above my level.I request for some further advice, especially which books to use as text(I do not need a watered-down text) and which to use for reference and of course, how to use the books so as to challenge myself thoroughly and to learn the topics comprehensively. $\endgroup$ – Eisen Nov 5 '11 at 13:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hi Hermit, and welcome to Physics Stack Exchange! As Jen said, what you're asking here is already covered by the questions in our book recommendations list. If the answers you're looking for are not already posted to those questions, you're not going to get them by asking the same question again. $\endgroup$ – David Z Nov 6 '11 at 0:32

I'd suggest that you continue with Halliday & Resnick for the present. And don't read Courant for Calculus now. Not that its a bad book, but I don't think it is good introductory book. For a good introduction to calculus try Stewart or Thomas & Finney. And as for physics, you could probably read the classic Feynman Lectures as well.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the suggestion, but I am preparing for the mathematical olympiads and training at the highest level, so you could well understand that I am really motivated.(I doubt if Courant will be tough enough, but I will stick to it before I study Rudin.I do not seek some physics made easy books but rather those that will lay a solid foundation for serious research in Physics.I will keep the Feynman lectures in mind, but they are not really problem solving oriented, rather excellent reference resources .I request you to help me accordingly. $\endgroup$ – Eisen Nov 5 '11 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Hermit Hate to dampen your enthusiasm, but I really don't think Courant is at the right level for you, as you say that you know only 'some integration and differentiation'. I had Courant for my freshman year and it develops Calculus from analysis. I hardly think you need analysis for things like IMO. And frankly, books that lay a good foundation in Physics don't contain much problems. Problems you can find in many books. Try David Morin or Irodov for that. $\endgroup$ – Bernhard Heijstek Nov 5 '11 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the two books.However on a side note, people in our olympiad circuit do Spivak directly, which is not available here.(some of them).Is Spivak tougher than Courant? $\endgroup$ – Eisen Nov 5 '11 at 16:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Hermit Spivak? Really? Spivak is considered as one of the toughest books in undergrad math. Spivak is obviously tougher than Courant. Spivak is normally used in honors math courses at universities. There is a very good chance that your friends don't actually understand Spivak and use it to just 'show-off'. Again, I might be underestimating them :P If your primary aim is competing for IMO, I suggest you head over to artofproblemsolving.com or similar sites and see how you stand out against others there. $\endgroup$ – Bernhard Heijstek Nov 5 '11 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed you are underestimating them.He(an American) is an IMO gold medalist and when he says he's done with Spivak, I think he is not lying.I am sure he knows what an actual proof is.I am already on that website..A successful career in pure mathematics is a logical conclusion to a strong performance at the IMO.But I am interested in the mathematical aspects of physics. $\endgroup$ – Eisen Nov 5 '11 at 17:37

For mathematical aspects of mechanics I'd suggest S.L Loney's books. Note that this will get you familiar with the mathematics but does not offer much in terms of a conceptual discussion. The problems are quite hard. Also be aware that these books are circa 1800's, so the treatment is not modern by any means. However, I found them extremely useful and rigorous.

Wiki about the author and his books.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.