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Questions tagged [resource-recommendations]

Questions asking "What is a good book about X?" or more generally, "What should I read to learn about X?", typically where there is not a single authoritative reference. Please READ THE GUIDANCE IN META (http://meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/4697 or click Learn More) before asking.

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304 votes
1 answer
140k views

Resource recommendations [closed]

Every once in a while, we get a question asking for a book or other educational reference on a particular topic at a particular level. This is a meta-question that collects all those links together. ...
134 votes
21 answers
144k views

Books for general relativity

What are some good books for learning general relativity?
109 votes
19 answers
190k views

What is a good introductory book on quantum mechanics?

I'm really interested in quantum theory and would like to learn all that I can about it. I've followed a few tutorials and read a few books but none satisfied me completely. I'm looking for ...
102 votes
13 answers
63k views

Best books for mathematical background?

What are the best textbooks to read for the mathematical background you need for modern physics, such as, string theory? Some subjects off the top of my head that probably need covering: ...
91 votes
20 answers
192k views

What software programs are used to draw physics diagrams, and what are their relative merits?

Undoubtedly, people use a variety of programs to draw diagrams for physics, but I am not familiar with many of them. I usually hand-draw things in GIMP which is powerful in some regards, but it is ...
91 votes
11 answers
35k views

Quantum Field Theory from a mathematical point of view

I'm a student of mathematics with not much background in physics. I'm interested in learning Quantum field theory from a mathematical point of view. Are there any good books or other reference ...
91 votes
10 answers
99k views

What is a complete book for introductory quantum field theory?

There's a fairly standard two or three-semester curriculum for introductory quantum field theory, which covers topics such as: classical field theory background canonical quantization, path integrals ...
84 votes
24 answers
95k views

List of freely available physics books

I'm trying to amass a list of physics books with open-source licenses, like Creative Commons, GPL, etc. The books can be about a particular field in physics or about physics in general. What are ...
79 votes
21 answers
51k views

Comprehensive book on group theory for physicists?

I am looking for a good source on group theory aimed at physicists. I'd prefer one with a good general introduction to group theory, not just focusing on Lie groups or crystal groups but one that ...
77 votes
7 answers
13k views

Number theory in Physics [closed]

As a Graduate Mathematics student, my interest lies in Number theory. I am curious to know if Number theory has any connections or applications to physics. I have never even heard of any applications ...
56 votes
5 answers
16k views

Mathematically-oriented Treatment of General Relativity

Can someone suggest a textbook that treats general relativity from a rigorous mathematical perspective? Ideally, such a book would Prove all theorems used. Use modern "mathematical notation" as ...
55 votes
7 answers
17k views

A No-Nonsense Introduction to Quantum Field Theory

I found Sean Carroll's "A No Nonsense Introduction to General Relativity" (about page here. pdf here), a 24-page overview of the topic, very helpful for beginning study. It all got me over the hump ...
53 votes
5 answers
17k views

Good reading on the Keldysh formalism

I'd like some suggestions for good reading materials on the Keldysh formalism in the condensed matter physics community. I'm familiar with the imaginary time, coherent state, and path integral ...
52 votes
8 answers
43k views

Books for Condensed Matter after Ashcroft/Mermin

What are some good condensed matter physics books that can fill the gap between Ashcroft & Mermin and research papers? Suggestions for any specialized topics (such as superconductivity, CFT, ...
51 votes
14 answers
16k views

Suggested reading for renormalization (not only in QFT)

What papers/books/reviews can you suggest to learn what Renormalization "really" is? Standard QFT textbooks are usually computation-heavy and provide little physical insight in this regard - after my ...
49 votes
5 answers
27k views

Book covering differential geometry and topology for physics

I'm interested in learning how to use geometry and topology in physics. Could anyone recommend a book that covers these topics, preferably with some proofs, physical applications, and emphasis on ...
49 votes
6 answers
7k views

What physics paper would a high school student be able to read?

I'm looking for a physics paper which a typical high school student who is new to physics would be able to read and grasp the general idea of the purpose, setup and results, if not the details. To be ...
49 votes
8 answers
15k views

Classical mechanics without coordinates book

I am a graduate student in mathematics who would like to learn some classical mechanics. However, there is one caveat: I am not interested in the standard coordinate approach. I can't help but think ...
47 votes
2 answers
9k views

Rigged Hilbert space and QM

Are there any comprehensive texts that discuss QM using the notion of rigged Hilbert spaces? It would be nice if there were a text that went through the standard QM examples using this structure.
46 votes
2 answers
14k views

Introduction to AdS/CFT

AdS/CFT seems like a really hot topic and I'd like to start reading about. I am looking for the best introduction at my level, i.e. I have a background in QFT, CFT and general relativity at the level ...
44 votes
6 answers
10k views

How to write a paper in physics?

I really like to do research in physics and like to calculate to see what happen. However, I really find it hard to write a paper, to explain the results I obtained and to put them in order. One of ...
43 votes
9 answers
30k views

Online QFT video lectures

I'm aware of Sidney Coleman's 1975/76 sequence of 54 lectures on Quantum Field Theory. Are there any other high-quality QFT lecture series available online?
39 votes
6 answers
6k views

Formalizing Quantum Field Theory [duplicate]

I'm wondering about current efforts to provide mathematical foundations and more solid definition for quantum field theories. I am aware of such efforts in the context of the simpler topological or ...
37 votes
7 answers
9k views

Reading list in topological QFT

I'm interested in learning about topological QFT including Chern Simons theory, Jones polynomial, Donaldson theory and Floer homology - basically the kind of things Witten worked on in the 80s. I'm ...
36 votes
6 answers
96k views

What is the math knowledge necessary for starting Quantum Mechanics?

Could someone experienced in the field tell me what the minimal math knowledge one must obtain in order to grasp the introductory Quantum Mechanics book/course? I do have math knowledge but I must ...
36 votes
8 answers
69k views

Recommendations for statistical mechanics book

I learned thermodynamics and the basics of statistical mechanics but I'd like to sit through a good advanced book/books. Mainly I just want it to be thorough and to include all the math. And of course,...
36 votes
3 answers
33k views

Best Sets of Physics Lecture Notes and Articles [closed]

This post is inspired by this math.se post. Let me start by apologizing if there is another thread on phys.se that subsumes this. I often find that I learn best from sets of lecture notes and short ...
35 votes
11 answers
88k views

Recommended books for advanced undergraduate electrodynamics

What books are recommended for an advanced undergraduate course in electrodynamics?
34 votes
6 answers
27k views

Books for particle physics and the Standard Model

I know classical physics, quantum mechanics, special relativity, and basic nuclear physics. I would like to get into some particle physics. Where can I find a good introduction? It might be useful ...
34 votes
4 answers
27k views

Any good resources for Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics?

I'm taking a course on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Dynamics, and I would like to find a good book/resource with lots of practice questions and answers on either or both topics. So far at my university ...
34 votes
10 answers
3k views

Readable books on advanced topics [closed]

I realise that there are already a few questions looking for general book recommendations, but the motivation and type of book I'm looking for here is a little different, so I hope you can indulge me. ...
33 votes
4 answers
6k views

Physical and Geometrical interpretation of Differential Forms

I have a doubt about the physical and geometrical interpretation of differential forms. I've been studying differential forms on Spivak's Calculus on Manifolds, but my real intent is to use those ...
33 votes
8 answers
14k views

Introduction to string theory

I am in the last year of MSc. and would like to read string theory. I have the Zwiebach Book, but along with it what other advanced book can be followed, which can be a complimentary to Zwiebach. I ...
33 votes
7 answers
12k views

Where should a physicist go to learn chemistry?

I took an introductory chemistry course long ago, but the rules seemed arbitrary, and I've forgotten most of what I learned. Now that I have an undergraduate education in physics, I should be able to ...
33 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are there any modern textbooks on statistical mechanics which don't ignore Gibbs' analysis of the microcanonical ensemble?

I have lately been reading Gibbs' book Elementary Principles in Statistical Mechanics, and I'm surprised how much in that book seems to have been ignored by later textbook writers. In particular, ...
32 votes
14 answers
83k views

Recommendations for good Newtonian mechanics and kinematics books

What are some good books for learning the concepts of Kinematics, Newton laws, 2D Motion of Object etc.?
32 votes
8 answers
12k views

Crash course on algebraic geometry with view to applications in physics

Could you please recommend any good texts on algebraic geometry (just over the complex numbers rather than arbitrary fields) and on complex geometry including Kahler manifolds that could serve as an ...
31 votes
1 answer
11k views

Software for calculating Feynman Diagrams

Is there a software (open source preferred) where I would input something like "Ingoing: a fermion $(p1, s1)$ and a photon $(p2, s2)$. Output: A fermion $(k1, r1)$ and a photon $(k2, r2)$" and I would ...
30 votes
16 answers
7k views

Learning physics online?

I'm thinking of following some kind of education in physics online. I have a master degree in Computer Science and have reasonable good knowledge in physics. I would like a program of 1-2 years and I'...
30 votes
3 answers
9k views

Gentle introduction to twistors

When reading about the twistor uprising or trying to follow a corresponding Nima talk, it always annoys me that I have no clue about how twistor space, the twistor formalism, or twistor theory works. ...
29 votes
24 answers
51k views

Books that every physicist should read

Inspired by How should a physics student study mathematics? and in the same vein as Best books for mathematical background?, although in a more general fashion, I'd like to know if anyone is ...
29 votes
9 answers
25k views

Book about classical mechanics

I am looking for a book about "advanced" classical mechanics. By advanced I mean a book considering directly Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulation, and also providing a firm basis in the geometrical ...
29 votes
8 answers
10k views

Good book on the history of Quantum Mechanics?

Can anyone recommend a good book on the history of Quantum Mechanics, preferably one that is technical and not afraid to explain the maths (I did a degree in Physics many years ago) and also that ...
29 votes
5 answers
5k views

Rigorous approaches to quantum field theory

I have been reading Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development by L. Ballentine. I like the way everything is deduced starting from symmetry principles. I was wondering if anyone familiar with the book ...
28 votes
2 answers
7k views

Suggested reading for quantum field theory in curved spacetime

I want to learn some QFT in curved spacetime. What papers/books/reviews can you suggest to learn this area? Are there any good books or other reference material which can help in learning about QFT ...
27 votes
8 answers
11k views

References about rigorous thermodynamics

Can you suggest some references for rigorous treatment of thermodynamics? I want things like reversibility, equilibrium to be clearly defined in terms of the basic assumptions of the framework.
27 votes
1 answer
881 views

Sigma Models on Riemann Surfaces

I'm interested in knowing whether sigma models with an $n$-sheeted Riemann surface as the target space have been considered in the literature. To be explicit, these would have the action \begin{align*}...
26 votes
4 answers
7k views

Is there a physics Puzzles site like Project Euler?

I am looking for a site that publishing riddles and problems such as Project Euler publishes problems in computer science. Is there any similar site that is hardcore in the area of physics? This ...
25 votes
10 answers
11k views

Physics for mathematicians

How and from where does a mathematician learn physics from a mathematical stand point? I am reading the book by Spivak Elementary Mechanics from a mathematicians view point. The first couple of pages ...
25 votes
11 answers
11k views

Books that develop interest & critical thinking among high school students

I heard about Yakov Perelman and his books. I just finished reading his two volumes of Physics for Entertainment. What a delightful read! What a splendid author. This is the exact book I've been ...

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