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I'm looking to be able to digest and comprehend some basic fundamental concepts, so that I may apply them in my hobby of electronics.

I got a copy of "Fundamentals Of Physics" by Halliday & Resnick. The teaching style is pretty bland,lacking very little detail, and most concerning is the fact that right out the gate your comprehension of concepts is tested by over the top questions, basically the level of complexity excels to quickly.

I have self-studied out of books that get real complicated, but its after proper instruction, and your not that worried about anything when you get there cause you know you have digested all the prerequisite subjects well.

Im looking for a high-school level physics book like that, it gets complicated, but it's very instructional and progressive. Does anyone know of any good physics books that fit the description?


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marked as duplicate by Qmechanic Sep 3 '17 at 19:34

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  • $\begingroup$ I'd go for a book called something along the lines of "Conceptual Physics" - I have Conceptual Physics by Hewitt; its chapter on rotational motion isn't great, it doesn't include practice problems (I was lucky enough to get ahold of a copy of the instructor's manual) and I have other nitpicks about it, but it's working for me. Hewitt's book does cover electromagnetics and all that entails (along with heat, mechanics, properties of matter (fluid/gas flow, etc), relativity, light/optics, etc, all on a basic-ish level). $\endgroup$ – heather Sep 3 '17 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ In my opinion, Hewitt is unclear and imprecise. The language is ambiguous. There is no math in Hewitt. What is your math background? $\endgroup$ – garyp Sep 3 '17 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ @garyp Yes, I can tell by heather's comment/description of the book that it's nothing too good. I have been searching for a good physics book for a while, the problem with most is that there just guide post to "what you need to know" and don't actually "teach you what you need to know". I have learned more about physics online than in an actual textbook. $\endgroup$ – Iam Pyre Sep 3 '17 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ General tip: When a question only contains meta tags, it is often off-topic or too broad. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Sep 3 '17 at 20:25

The challenging thing about finding high school level textbooks is that the primary customers for such books are public and private schools, so they're not as easy to find as the books most commonly purchased by individuals - introductory college level books. It's been a long time, but I believe I used a Prentice Hall textbook when I was in high school, and the first result from Amazon by them is Hewitt's "Conceptual Physics: The High School Physics program".

Another route you might try is to look into popular physics books written for the laity. I haven't read Khun's "Basic Physics", but it's inexpensive and highly rated on Amazon. Since it's labeled as a "Self teaching guide" it might be more appropriate to your needs, though I cannot vouch for it being high school level.

Also, what do you mean by high school level? Conceptual where you don't have to do any algebra (at most, you plug some numbers into a few formulas)? Quantitative where working knowledge of algebra and geometry are prerequisite (where you are expected to combine formulae to make new ones)? Or undiluted, where you don't just learn the formulas, but also the calculus that defines how they're related to each-other? When I think of high school level, either of the first two are eligible. College level can fall into either of the last two.

Giancoli's "Physics: Principles with Applications" straddles the latter two and is probably the leading textbook for the big introductory courses where instructors want the jack of all trades, but the master of none. A lot of people swear by the The Feynman Lectures on Physics, but I don't know how much people actually use them as their primary learning resource instead of as supplementary material. If you want introductory texts solidly in the third category, then you can't go wrong with Kleppner and Kolenkov's "An Introduction to Mechanics" followed by Purcell and Morin's "Electricity and Magnetism", though they don't cover any of the introductory fluid dynamics or thermodynamics that is in most introductory courses.

Suskind's "Theoretical Minimum" series (including: "What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics", "Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory", "Quantum Mechanics"), combined with his online lecture series, might also appeal, though they're targeted at someone who's interested in achieving a calculus level understanding of the material, if memory serves.

Also, I would recommend you do your best to get things to do some experiments - like a meter stick, stop-watch, etc. You only really get a grasp of what this stuff means, and it's limitations, when you put it in to practice. Watching videos and simulations are helpful, but not enough. There's no substitute for going hands on, making the predictions yourself, and experiencing the challenges in performing a quality experiment.

  • $\begingroup$ I know a lot of algebra, it's nothing that scares me. I'm about to complete an Algebra Book by Lial Hornsby called "Intermediate Algebra", it progresses very well, and very amazing in its $\endgroup$ – Iam Pyre Sep 3 '17 at 20:05

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