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Top 3 physics textbooks for high school students

By Applied Electronics - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 No Comments
According to American Institute of Physics the following books are the most widely used physics textbooks-

1. Holt Physics
2. Conceptual Physics
3. Physics Principles and Problems

You can download these books free, just click the above links.

1. Holt Physics

The Holt Physics is written by two Emeritus Professors- Raymond A.Serway and Jerry S.Faughn. It covers lot of high school required physics and the content are as follows- The Science of Physics, Motion in One Dimension, Two-Dimensional Motion and Vector, Forces and the Laws of Motion, Work and Energy, Momentum and Collisions, Circular Motion and Gravitation, Fluid Mechanics, Heat, Thermodynamics, Vibrations and Waves, Sound, Light and Reflection, Refraction, Interference and Diffraction, Electric Forces and Fields, Electrical Energy and Current, Circuits and Circuit Elements, Magnetism, Electromagnetic Induction, Atomic Physics and Subatomic Physics.

Each topic are explained with real world pictures, illustrating how physics comes about and how forces, velocity, energy etc are measured. Following is one example from the book which illustrates how the book explains the topics.


Besides the core topics that are explained, the book provides lab materials that is meant to enhance your practical experience.

2. Conceptual Physics

Conceptual Physics is another popular physics textbook. This book is written by Paul G. Hewitt and the current edition is the 12th edition. So from the edition number you can see how popular this book is. Also this book is mentioned in Wikipedia. As the name of the book suggest, this book is more leaned to teaching physics conceptually rather than mathematics. And this is not at all bad method. Actually, to understand science you need to develop concepts which is related to developing observation. Then mathematical model can be developed. So the author righteously emphasis teaching physics conceptually.

Below is an example of the book where the meaning of a constant in physics taking example of gravity g and pi is taught.




3. Physics Principles and Problems

This is the 3rd most popular textbook in Physics for high school students. This book is written by by Paul W Zitzewitz and also reached 7the edition, which means people like it. It is similar to Holt Physics but topics chosen are different, a little more advanced and the focus is on problem solving. In short it covers the following chapters- mechanics, states of matter, waves and lights, electricity and magnetism and modern physics.

One example of explanation of a topic is shown below.






So which one to read?

Each book has its own aim and each book is little bit different. The best is to read all the 3 books. It is best to start with Holt Physics because it contains nice explanation with real world pictures. In short, it is easy to follow. Then read the conceptual physics because this book helps you develop how to observe and understand physical phenomenon. At last, read the Physics Principles and Problems because this book mybe a little bit difficult to understand because the topics are little bit advanced. Once you have covered the Holt Physics and Conceptual physics this book will become easy to follow and you will master more difficult problems in physics.



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