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Science Book Reviews 2014

Theoretical Concepts in Physics. 2nd ed. by Malcolm Longair

Rating 10/10

This book teaches undergraduate level physics well not because it is used widely across academic institutions (believe me, books that claim to be the ultimate are not), but because it delivers the physics through the experience of famous physicists. This book introduces the elegant theories and experiments of notable physicists from Galileo to Planck, and explains how they were right or wrong. This book derives what is ultimately correct from basic thought experiments thought up by the great minds in physics. Read this book not only to learn about physics, but to learn how science really works.

The well-polished theories of today were the product of lifelong thinking, terrible mistakes, flawed models, and plain ignorance. What is most impressive is how physicists circumnavigate their problems and make discoveries.

Classical Mechanics: A Modern Perspective by V. Barger and M. Olssen

Rating 9/10

You want to learn mechanics, but most other texts are either too simple or too hard. The modern perspective of teaching mechanics using interesting objects is certainly a book for you. The math is understandable for advanced high school up to 2nd year undergraduate physics students, and the analysis of boomerangs and tippe tops are complicated enough to stimulate curious minds. This is a must have book for physics lovers.

Unfortunately there isn't enough exposition to Hamiltonians and Poisson Brackets.

Classical Mechanics by Herbert Goldstein

Rating 10/10

If you are finished with Classical Mechanics: A Modern Perspective but you want to learn more about Hamiltonian mechanics, Poisson Brackets and calculus of variations, then you ought to read this. This classic is definitely a lasting book on the shelves.

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Rating 10/10

Epic!

Two books by Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of Time

Rating 10/10

Universe in a Nutshell

Rating 9/10

These two titles by Stephen Hawking are probably his best popular science books. Definitely worth reading.

Understanding Physics by Michael Mansfield and Colm O'Sullivan

Rating 9/10

Do not treat this book as a textbook. Treat this book as a compendium of undergraduate physics. The worked examples are excellent and the exposition is quite advanced for the first two years of undergraduate physics. What this book needs are harder problems.

A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion: The Essential Scientific Works of Albert Einstein edited by Stephen Hawking

Rating 10/10

I have only read sections of this book including Einstein's famous book Relativity. This is a must have book for those studying modern physics, especially General Relativity. I find Einstein's clarity most intriguing – much better than textbooks today.

Darwin the Indelible Stamp: The Evolution of an Idea edited by James D. Watson

Rating 10/10

A complete collection of his four major works: The Voyage of the Beagle, On the Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. A must read for science students, especially biology students.

Note by Steven Zheng
2 years, 11 months ago

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do these books have only theories or they all have math to support the theories. Racchit Jain · 1 year, 6 months ago

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are these books recommended for iit jee Deepansh Jindal · 1 year, 1 month ago

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Thanks for the reviews! A lot of times, there are many similar books on the same topics, each with its own set of ardent supporters who 'swear' by it. This should help me in the future. Ameya Daigavane · 1 year, 4 months ago

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Any suggestions for electrodynamics. ? Mayank Shrivastava · 2 years, 1 month ago

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@Mayank Shrivastava Try griifith or purcell Satvik Choudhary · 2 years ago

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what volcanics eraption forms? Nicklabz Ladao · 2 years, 2 months ago

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@Nicklabz Ladao ? How is that related to my post? Steven Zheng · 2 years, 2 months ago

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