What's a good book for selfstudying second semester physics?
May 4, 2012 3:38 PM   Subscribe

What's the best book to self study semester second of algebra based physics with?

I need to get a very good grasp of what's covered in a typical second semester physics course (I've done 1 semester) in 1 month. This includes optics, electromagnetism, waves, etc.. It can be a textbook or something a little lighter, but it needs to be accessible and have adequate explanations for someone who doesn't remember much from 1st semester. What would you recommend?
posted by tomtheblackbear to Education (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Math-wise, physics at that level involves a fair amount of trigonometry and differential calculus, and less algebra.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:55 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Most schools offer a calc-based course usually taken by engineerning majors and an "algebra"-based course taken by everyone else, even if the algebra based one does include some trig and a little bit of calculus too. What I'm looking for is a review of the latter.
posted by tomtheblackbear at 4:08 PM on May 4, 2012

I can't point you to a particular book right now because I'm on my phone, but it might help you to search for any of the study guides for the Physics B AP exam. At least 5 years ago, the "physics b" exam was algebra based, and the "physics c" was calc-based.
posted by tinymegalo at 4:39 PM on May 4, 2012

How about the Cartoon Book of Physics?
posted by plinth at 5:06 PM on May 4, 2012

Khan academy.
posted by empath at 5:23 PM on May 4, 2012

We used Serway and Faughn College Physics when I taught AP Physics (algebra based). I liked it a lot and my students were able to learn from this book (they worked hard though).

Giancoli is another good bet.
posted by jeffch at 8:32 PM on May 4, 2012

Purcells book on electromagnetism is probably the best book you could ever read on the subject. Clear and insightful explanations, beautiful prose. It's not really "problem oriented" like a modern book, so if you're looking for test prep, I wouldn't use it, but to learn the ideas, you'll do no better.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:02 PM on May 22, 2012

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