Which books to keep

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dlenmn
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:19 pm

Which books to keep

Postby dlenmn » Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:00 pm

I just got back from school last week, and I'm going through my stuff and deciding what to keep. Dilemma number one is about my freshman physics books -- Kleppner & Kolenkow's Introduction to Mechanics (isbn=0070350485) and Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism (isbn=0070049084). The question is whether later books (Taylor's Classical Mechanics (isbn=189138922X) and Griffiths' Introduction to Electrodynamics (isbn=013805326X)) have made them redundant (a separate issue is the money I could recoup by selling them).

I think that Griffiths covers most everything I want in Purcell, but that I might want to keep Kleppner & Kolenkow because it does everything Newton style, while Taylor does not.

I've also got a copy of Shankar's Principles of Quantum Mechanics (isbn=0306447908), but I never ended up using it. I'm already planning to keep Griffiths' Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (isbn=0131118927) and Sakurai 's Modern Quantum Mechanics (isbn=0201539292), so another QM book seems like overkill. Is it worth saving?

Thoughts? Anyone else making these kind of decisions? I know what the Great Garden said, but I like my books on dead trees...

christopher3.14
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:19 am

Re: Which books to keep

Postby christopher3.14 » Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:35 pm

dlenmn wrote:Thoughts? Anyone else making these kind of decisions? I know what the Great Garden said, but I like my books on dead trees...


I agree. Dead trees are definitely easier on the eyes. (Unless you get a Kindle from Amazon -- that is the coolest thing ever. But expensive.)

I never used Purcell or Taylor, but I have met people who love the Shankar book. My philosophy on good texts is "the more the merrier." (I have 2 different graduate EM books and 3 grad QM books and then several others in .djvu format on my comp.) Multiple view-points, examples, problem sets are always a good thing.

So you should sell off the books that you KNOW you'll never use again. And thanks for the idea, I've been so busy thinking of packing that I haven't thought about selling off all those books that will be rotting in my garage.

VT
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:30 pm

Re: Which books to keep

Postby VT » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:24 am

Taylor's CM is the ugliest CM book I have ever read. I do not think you will ever need that book. I did not even bother selling that book and threw it away ( thro the window) though I would not recommend you to do this :)
I would suggest keeping Griffith's EM and QM. You should definitely keep Sakurai's QM book because that is what we will be using in grad QM class here at Madison. Here is the list of books that we will be using in different grad classes(core); if you have any of them, you should definitely keep them with you:
1) QM Sakurai req. (additional Landau-Lifschitz )
2) SM Landau-Lifschitz ( additional Kardar and Huang)
3) CM Landau-Lifschitz and Fetter-Walecka Mecahnics ( both req.)
4) EM we all know

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dlenmn
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Re: Which books to keep

Postby dlenmn » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:36 pm

I liked Taylor's book, although I did think it was a little too "talkey". Is your beef with it more than aesthetic? Thanks for the list. I recently had a chance to get a bunch of the Landau-Lifschitz books cheap... Now I regret that I didn't.

VT
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Re: Which books to keep

Postby VT » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:20 pm

Yes, to me Taylor's book was like reading a novel. He could go on and on and made me feel dizzy every time I tried to read that book. I like to start things with equations, but Taylor would never do that, so it was not a right book at all. Thanks to my Prof who also used Goldstein( though it was also a bit verbose, but overall it was far better than Taylor), o/w I would have flunked that class and lost interest in physics.

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fermiboy
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Re: Which books to keep

Postby fermiboy » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:18 pm

Personally, I would keep my Shankar, but I think it's one of the greatest physics texts ever. Griffiths seemed really muddled after reading Shankar, I think it's a good book to supplement your grad QM studies, sort of a bridge between Griffiths and Sakurai.

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will
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Re: Which books to keep

Postby will » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:58 am

I don't even know why people use Griffiths for QM. Shankar is written just as an undergraduate text should be.




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