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The Library

The library is a vital resource – use it! Alternative text books, journals, and more are housed in the shelves or are available online if you use your account. The reference section is a helpful starting point.
Uta Hussong-Christian (737-7278) is the physics specialist at the library and she can help you with information searches.

The SPS Room

The textbooks and many other reference books should be available in the SPS room, Weniger 381.

Textbooks (Required)

Reading and homework may be assigned from these books for many of the Paradigms and Capstone courses. Your initial outlay for textbooks may be large at the beginning of your paradigms classes, but we try to keep this list unchanged for your later courses. Some students prefer to use alternate books (particularly for math methods--see suggestions below). You might like to look through several options before purchasing.

  • (GEM) Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics, 4th ed., Pearson, 2013. ISBN 13:978-0-321-85656-2.
  • (BB) (Online, Free) Dray and Manogue, The Geometry of Vector Calculus.
  • (M) Main, Vibrations and Waves in Physics, 3rd ed., Cambridge, 1993. ISBN 0-521-44701-1.
  • (T) Taylor, Classical Mechanics, University Science Books , 2005. ISBN 978-1891389221.
  • (Boas) Boas, Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, 3rd ed., Wiley, 2005. ISBN 978-0-471-19826-0.
  • (McI) (Not needed until winter.) McIntyre, Quantum Mechanics: A Paradigms Approach, Pearson, 2012. ISBN-10: 0-321-76579-6. Errata may be found here .
  • (Dray) (Not needed until spring.) Dray, The Geometry of Special Relativity, AK Peters/CRC Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1466510470.
  • (Sch) (Optional, Not needed until spring.) Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison Wesley, 1999. ISBN-13: 978-0201380279.

Other References (Not Required)

  • (HRW) Halliday, Resnick, & Walker, Fundamentals of Physics, 7th ed., Wiley, 2004. ISBN 0-471-21643-7. This may have been your text for introductory physics.
  • (ST) Stewart, Calculus, Early Transcendentals, 5th edition, Brooks/Cole, 2002. ISBN 0-534-39321-7. This may have been your text for calculus.
  • (K) Krane, Modern Physics, 2nd ed., Wiley, 1995. ISBN 0-471-82872-6. This may have been your text for modern physics.
  • (TM) Thornton & Marion, Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems, 5th ed., Brooks/Cole, 2004. ISBN 0-534-40897-4. Alternative to Taylor. We used this text until fall 2007.
  • (GQM) Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 2005. ISBN 0-13-111892-7. Excellent intro quantum book. Easy to read, but not as many physical examples a Liboff.
  • (L) Liboff, Introductory Quantum Mechanics, 4th ed., Addison Wesley, 2003. ISBN 0-8053-8714-5. Excellent intro quantum book. Not as easy to read as GQM, but has many physical examples.
  • (G) Goswami, Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed., Wm. C. Brown, 1997. ISBN 0-697-15797-0. Excellent intro quantum book. Very theoretical. Quite modern approach.
  • (A) Arfken, Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 5th ed., Academic Press, 2000. ISBN 0-12-059825-6. Alternative to Boas. Starts at a fairly high level.
  • (RHB) Riley, Hobson & Bence, Mathematical Methods for Physics & Engineering, 3rd ed., Cambridge, 2006. ISBN 0-521-67971-0. Alternative to Boas. Not as easy to read. Encyclopedic.
  • (Schey) Schey, div, grad, curl and all that, 3rd ed., Norton, 2005. ISBN 0-393-92516-1. Very readabIle introduction to vector calculus in the context of E&M.

Handbooks (Not Required)

In the past, most professional physicists have found it useful to have one of the following handbooks available for reference. Many students now find that online resources are sufficient for their undergraduate needs.

  • Tallarida, Pocket Book of Integrals and Mathematical Formulas, 3rd ed., CRC Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8493-00263-3. Inexpensive, but not extensive.
  • Fischbeck & Fischbeck, Formulas Facts and Constants, 2nd ed., Springer-Verlag, 1987, ISBN 0-387-17610-1. Inexpensive, but not terribly extensive math and math-physics, also includes useful physical, chemical and electronics data. Adequate alone for upper-division if supplemented occasionally with other references in SPS. May be out of print.
  • Spiegel, Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables, 2nd ed., Schaum's Outline Series, McGraw-Hill, 1998, ISBN 0-07-038203-4. Inexpensive, but not terribly extensive. Easy to use. Adequate alone for upper-division if supplemented occasionally with other references in SPS.
  • Selby, CRC Standard Mathematical Tables, The Chemical Rubber Company, any recent year, ISBN 0-8493-2479-3 (This is probably the ISBN for 1996.). **Most students prefer this one. More expensive than Schaum's, but also somewhat more extensive. Easy to use. Adequate alone for upper-division if supplemented occasionally with other references in SPS.
  • Gradshteyn & Ryzhik, Table of Integrals, Series, and Products, Academic Press, 1965, ISBN 0-12-294750-9. Most extensive set of integral tables. No special functions. Hard to use. Expensive. If you go to graduate school, you will probably want it by then. Also available on a multiplatform CD which somewhat easier to use and less expensive.
  • Abramowitz & Stegun, Handbook of Mathematical Functions, Dover, 1972, ISBN 0-486-61272-4. Most extensive set of formulas, esp. special functions. No integral tables. Medium hard to use. Inexpensive in the Dover edition, expensive in hard cover. If you go to graduate school, you may want it by then.

Software (Not Required)

We will be using the computer algebra system Mathematica in many of the upper-division physics courses meeting in Weniger 304 or 212. The physics department computing lab (Weniger 412) and the physics majors' study room (Weniger 304F), with many machines running this software, are open at all times to enrolled students.
See Computers for more information.

Students who wish to use this software for their home computers contact COSINe for current academic licensing information.