Need help regarding books

jacare
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:03 am

Need help regarding books

Postby jacare » Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:56 pm

Hi,

I was wondering which books would be the most useful for electronics
and experimental physics.
Also, I wanted to ask you. For the moment I am planning to study mainly on with the two Schaum's book: "Physics for Engineering and Science" (I am using it because it says on the cover that it is an ideal preparation book for MCAT and GRE and so far it looks like) and the 3000 problems book(I don't think I'll have time to complete all the 3000 exercise, so instead I do the ones that are recommended at the beginning of the book by the author, good idea?). However, they don't deal with some of the advanced stuff like lagrangian, hamiltonian and also laboratory methods, electronics.
First of all, would you think that these two books would be enough for the core preparation of the other stuff that are covered. What I like with them, is that they are more concise and to the point than say traditional textbooks like Serway.
Secondly, which book do you think is the best for the Lagrangian, Hamiltonian formalism and the central forces business? Bearing mind that I need to aim for a top score and that I have a theoretical physics background.

Grant
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Postby Grant » Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:36 am

I don't have much advice about electronics and experimental physics books that can help prepare for the Physics GRE. Hopefully somebody else out there can offer some recommendations.

I wouldn’t dissuade anybody from using 3,000 Solved Problems in Physics (isbn=0070257345) and [isbn=007008498X]Schaum's Outline of Physics for Engineering and Science[/isbn] but I personally wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend them to help prepare for the Physics GRE because I tend think most people have an ample supply of non-multiple-choice physics problems already with their physics textbooks. However, if you like them then I am sure the problems cover some good content to practice with. If you haven’t already done so then you might want to take a look at some multiple-choice physics problems referenced on the main site.

For Lagrangian and Hamiltonian and “central force” review I would suggest:
Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems (isbn=0030973023) by Marion/Thornton and their student solutions manual probably has solutions a few of those types of problems as well but I am not sure ([isbn=003097304X]Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems/Students Solution Manual[/isbn]). I am sure there are other books that cover all this material as well but I am just not familiar with them. Perhaps somebody else has a recommendation.

jacare
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:03 am

Postby jacare » Fri Sep 17, 2004 10:11 am

Grant, but would u say that the questions in the two Schaum's books are too easy for the GRE, or will they provide adequate preparation in the topics that the 2 books cover in terms of difficulty and variartion of different questions.

Grant
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Posts: 189
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Postby Grant » Fri Sep 17, 2004 6:23 pm

I don’t have those two books handy at the moment to make that evaluation. I could take a look in a couple weeks and offer my opinion. However, all I would do is look at the problems in the books and then look at the topics covered by the Physics GRE and then look at the previously administered exams and make a determination about the applicability of the practice problems from this (however they already have one strike against them since I do not believe those two books offer multiple-choice problems). You might want to try a similar approach to see if the books are worthwhile (Note: I did this process with a number of multiple-choice physics problems that I found and summarized my opinions on the following page about:
practice-problems.shtml ). Anyway, from my recollection the books cover primarily freshman and sophomore level physics and hence they are representative of much of the material on the Physics GRE. If you are working through problems in those books and getting a good review of the material and getting a good practice at working problems and identifying areas where you could use some improvement then I think that is a good thing. Anyway, I’ll take a look at those books in a couple of weeks and give you my opinions. However, keep in mind that my opinion is just as good as the opinion of your peers and teaching assistants so you might want to ask them as well - maybe somebody else could offer their opinions about the two books as well.

Mick
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:59 pm

Postby Mick » Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:54 pm

There are two Schaum's books.

Physics for Engineering and Science is an excellent prep for the GRE. I think Browne (the author) may have even written some of the physics gre problems because his are remarkably similar in style and presentation. There are some typos in his book, but they are pretty easy to spot.

The other Schaum book, 3000 problems in Physics by Halpern, is not useful for the physics GRE. It is full of "calculator" problems. And very few of them require the finesse and delicate touch that is required by the physics GRE.




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