Theoretical Physics

Lets reboot with a strong passion of mine, Theoretical Physics. At the clinic, I was approached by a young patient who wanted to know more about Quantum Mechanics. We had a very interesting conversation today and that brings me to this post.

You see, I am mostly self-taught in Theoretical Physics. Professionally, I did a one year Advanced Diploma in Theoretical Physics in a top research school. But, as I had mentioned earlier, I couldn’t get into a Doctoral Program in Physics, since, most rejection letters cited the fact that I had done Physics only for one year. Although disappointed, I carried on with my work in Theoretical Physics.

If anyone is interested in digging Theoretical Physics yourself, there are three important books that I think are crucial in grasping the concepts and developing a wholesome appreciation for the field. They are as follows:

1. A Unified Grand Tour of Theoretical Physics by Ian D. Lawrie.

A very important aspect of any textbook in Theoretical Physics is the introduction and establishment of core concepts of Modern Physics. The book should deal with Relativity theories, Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory, Cosmology, Statistical Mechanics, to name just a few. In this regard, the book comes out with flying colors. The book is structured and well presented.

A grasp of classical mechanics, thermodynamics and elementary quantum mechanics is required to appreciate this book in its entirety. The presentation is lucid and impressive.

If you wanna begin learning Theoretical Physics yourselves, this book is a must read.

2. The Road to Reality.

If anyone is deeply interested in Physics and doesn’t know the name Roger Penrose, then there is something amiss! Penrose is one of the most original thinkers of our time. All his books are mind blowing and so is this one.

Although the book covers all important aspects of Modern Physics, it is completely unique in the fact that almost one-third of the book is focused on Mathematics. Theoretical Physics would not work without the Math. For the interested , this book is extremely important. Penrose’s style is well known and he doesn’t disappoint. All in all, this is a must read book as well for anyone interested in Theoretical Physics.

3. Feynman’s Lectures on Physics.

Feynman was a magician in the league of physicists. There is only one Feynman! This compilation is probably the most well known amongst the three books. You will not be disappointed when you read this book. Trust me, you will come out completely enlightened. Don’t think twice about buying this book.

Note: Owning these books a religious experience. Whenever I am down, I tend to reread one of these books. Money spent on these books is more than worth it. As far as FLP is concerned, the editor of the Millennium Edition informed me that a digital version of the book is currently under preparation.

10 comments on “Theoretical Physics

  1. Hi! I’d love to have a digital version of The Feynman’s Lectures on Physics. (Thanks so much for making it available!)

    • Hi Mike. No problems mate. I started uploading it. Wait for around 15 minutes. Then you can right click on the image of Feynman lectures and save the pdf. Hope that helps.

      • Perhaps you are unaware that The Feynman Lectures on Physics is under copyright, and not in the public domain? In fact, Feynman, Leighton and Sands gave their FLP copyright to Caltech under the agreement that funds from its sale would be spent on the undergraduate physics program. By violating Caltech’s copyright, you are going against the wishes of FLP’s authors, and hurting Caltech undergraduates. I should advise Caltech and Perseus, who would send a DMCA notice to wordpress (aka Automatic), who would disable your post, and perhaps take further actions, including banning you from their websites. However, after writing to you initially, I noticed your post saying that you are in the hospital now, and I don’t want to add to your burden, so I am giving you this warning, and a chance to make amends. Michael A. Gottlieb, Editor, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Definitive and New Millennium Editions.

      • I am sorry Mike.That was bone-headed on my part. I have made amends and have removed the links. I own the New Millennium Edition myself. It is by far the holiest of the holiest books that I ever had under possession. Thanks for your incredible work and I am sorry that we had to communicate under these circumstances.

  2. You write that “Digital versions [of FLP] can be bought at major book stores online. My colleagues and I are currently developing electronic editions of FLP, but they have not been published yet, so there are no (legal) digital versions of FLP available anywhere, at this time. If you know of an online bookstore selling an electronic edition of FLP, we would be very interested to hear about that.

    • P.S. Thanks for removing the link to that (horrible-looking!) illicit copy of FLP, and for your compliments on the New Millennium edition.

    • I am located in Germany and last week, I was at a book store here with a patient of mine. We were looking for FLP and accessed the information machine, where we saw that it could be bought digitally as well. Whether it was the Millennium Edition, I cannot recall now. I will go to the store tomorrow and check it out again and revert back to you. Please note, the English version was not available on the store. So, I am talking about the German version.

  3. I stand corrected. I checked the website again and the download orders are meant for other Feynman titles and not for FLP. FLP can be only bought as hard copies. Sorry about the misinformation earlier.

    • You scared me for a second! The German edition of FLP is published by Oldenbourg, and I know for a fact they don’t have electronic rights because we just corresponded about that last week! Thanks for the correction. In any case, I sincerely hope that there WILL be electronic editions of FLP available online in the not-too-distant future.

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