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Would like some advice on physics books

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Posted

So one of my favorite hobbies to talk about space and reality with my friends. Alternate universes, why things are the way they are etc. I love to watch documentaries on space and of course Through the Worm Hole with Morgan Freeman(God). I've read Carl Sagan's Cosmo's and books like Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku.

 

Anyway I find this stuff interesting. More so than the average bear I think. But I would honestly like to learn more about space and physics in general. I took physics in high school and I only went up to Statistics in College. So I am by no means a wiz kid. But I would like to read something that explains  the laws of physics. Something that  reads like a book but also breaks down formulas and explains processes.

 

I figure there had to be some space lovers out there or perhaps some physics majors that could put me in the right direction.  Any suggestions?

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Actually, the "For Dummies" books might be something to look into. I used them to refresh for my Calculus classes since they go into the basics and provide mathematical formulas and examples when necessary. Only good for the shear basics, though. If you get past all that and want to dive into relativity or quantum mechanics, you'll probably want a college textbook. Which you can find for dirt cheap if you pick out the older editions. Hell, I got a few lying around from a couple years ago that I don't use anymore, and wouldn't mind parting with for the cost of shipping. But probably easier just to go to a local used bookstore, especially if you live close to a campus.

 

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anything that is in your standard higher ed level course will be available online for free, and probably written better.  A typical 1st year undergrad class will spend the first half of the year on classical mechanics, and then the second semester on modern physics.  It's a good idea to get a grasp of mechanics basics before diving into modern concepts, even at the entry level.  Classical mechanics is the foundation upon which all other classes are based.

 

Second semester modern physics will introduce you to Einstein's theory of relativity, quantum mechanics and get into the physics of the really, really small and the really, really big.

 

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_physics

 

Follow this standard, and you will have a good baseline understanding to help you dive into specialized topics.  You can learn all of the intro level stuff online, and then you will have a better idea of what you are actually looking or in terms of further theoretical topics.

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just to elaborate a little more...I got my BS in physics, and we spent the entire course of study on foundational stuff on a laundry list of topics, and lots of math that didn't have any numbers in it.  Without getting into boring details, the point is to get your base line, then you can direct yourself more effectively.  Following a higher ed curriculum past the first year will spread you out for a long time on a very broad spectrum...which is kind of the whole idea behind undergrad school in general.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Brief_History_of_Time

 

Good but I don't think it gets into formulas.

 

hahah....I think Hawking specifically mentions that he will only use 1 formula because for each equation you lose half of your audience according to his publisher.

 

Honestly when I tried reading it, I only made it to chapter 8 I think before 'the Hawk' lost me. I still have it on my book shelf....may pull it back out.

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