# A good highschool level physics book

I have a book called Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt, and it's unclear in some spots, and not as conceptual as you'd hope it to be (doesn't explain where equations come from very well). I've been reading through it, and I got really stuck with its explanation of rotational motion.

However, I'm not ready for something like Arnold or Landau. While I know some calculus, I'd like to learn these concepts first without the calculus, like you would in a highschool physics course. The book also should have plenty of good problems (which rules out something like Feynman's lectures) and be at a reasonable level.

My current book covers: mechanics, properties of matter, heat, electromagnetism, nuclear physics/atomic physics, and relativity (all at a basic level, obviously).

• Heather, don't worry about it. Every first year physics student that I have ever taught has struggled with rotation. This struggle includes every level of physics, from conceptual physics to AP physics C. Get through that chapter, move on, and after some time has gone by, review the chapter on rotation again. Aug 18 '17 at 1:26
• Principles of Physics by David Halliday, Robert Resnick and Jearl Walker is a wonderful book for learning the fundamentals of physics, even though its calculus based. It covers topics in a well oriented manner and each chapter contains a collection of very good problems to work on with.
– UKH
Aug 19 '17 at 13:26
• I highly doubt a good physics book which discusses concepts rather than just handing out formulas can do without calculus. May 11 '20 at 13:20

## 9 Answers

I recommend Principles of Physics by David Halliday, Robert Resnick and Jearl Walker. Its a wonderful book for learning the fundamentals of physics (even though its calculus based). It covers topics (from measurements to big bang) in a well oriented manner and each chapter contains a collection of very good problems to work on with, which will really give you an insight into the practical way of physics (or seeing the world through physics type stuff).

The topics the book covers can be seen here. I should mention here that more the (good) books you read, the better it will be.

I liked Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Serway and Jewett. It was one of the first physics book which I read and it was really wonderful. It uses minimum of calculus (The only integral which I recall seeing was $\int x^n dx$), and also has a lot of problems.

Once you have a good grasp of calculus, I would recommend David Morin's mechanics book. It is quite Fantastic and has lots of really good problems. And also, his limericks makes his books fun to read!

If you want good problems, then 200 Puzzling Physics Problems and 200 More Puzzling Physics Problems With Hints and Solutions by Peter Gnadig is just the book for you. It gives you a lot of insight into physics, and also teaches you lots of wonderful tricks. Moreover, he actively shys away from using calculus (Though the latter book does use some calculus).

While this isn't a physics textbook, physicsclassroom.com is a great resource developed by my very own high school physics teacher Tom Henderson. It goes through most equation derivations and common misconceptions for people just starting to learn physics. It doesn't include any calculus, though.

1. While it's strictly a little more advanced than what you are asking, I very much like "College Physics" by Wilson, Buffa and Lou. The book is one of these "tomes" with too many pages to count. It is algebra-based, which allows the authors to stay away from too much technical details.

It deals with rotational motion in two steps: first circular motion and gravitation, then rotational motion per se. The worked out examples are pretty illustrative. The supplementary material (official and unofficial) is also useful. I've used this text as a complement when I taught a basic physics course to life science and other "math light" programs.

1. Although not textbooks, I also find great value in a series of conceptual exercises by O'Kuma, Maloney and Hieggelke. The books are called "Ranking tasks exercises in Physics" and "TIPERs" (there are multiple variations and subeditions). These are collections of problems that can be solved with little to no math: as the name implies you need to rank various situations rather than compute a numerical answer. The problems strongly emphasize concepts and are a very very very nice complement to any textbook. My students hate these problems because they are forced to think and have command of the qualitative aspect of the material rather than just compute.

you can also try using
Fundamentals of Physics , a textbook by David Halliday, Jearl Walker, and Robert Resnick

this is a really good book with illustrations

hope this helps

Sears and Zemansky's University Physics is great too. There are many real-world phenomena of a given topic briefly discussed before the start of a chapter and the chapter approaches the explanation to that phenomenon by the end. A lot of solved example problems are introduced too.

You can have a look at these books:

1. Concepts of Physics, Volume 1 and 2, by H. C. Verma.
2. Problems in General Physics by I. E. Irodov.
3. Fundamentals of Physics by Resnick, Halliday and Walker.

Irodov mainly has problems, but the other two are very good for theory as well.

This subject is best learned as part of a linear algebra course. So, a course where vector spaces, the concept of norm, inner product, orthogonal transforms (and unitary transforms in case of complex vector spaces), determinants etc. are introduced. Any comprehensive set of lecture notes or linear algebra book will be useful. Without this background, the mathematical description of rotations will look a lot more complicated than it really is.

Read the theory from NCERT physics as it explains everything in a lucid way.The examples will clear your doubts.For developing problem solving strategies,solve HC Verma's book and Fundamentals Of Physics by Jearl Walker.