What are the best books on engineering physics in 2019?Admin | January 23, 2019
If you are an engineering student, you will obviously have to learn physics well. Physics is taught in the first two or three semesters in most engineering colleges across India. Whichever stream you may be enrolled in, you will always be required to master the basic sciences like Physics, Maths and Chemistry. This is so as concepts from these subjects will remain useful to every specialization of engineering, be it electrical, computer science, electronics, mechanical or instrumentation. It is expected that you will have a liking for these subjects, since you have chosen to pursue a course that is entirely based on the core sciences.
If you are interested in improving your theoretical knowledge, you should definitely read books by Russian physicists as well as those by Resnick, Halliday and Walker. Resnick’s books present the subject matter in a very enjoyable manner, which makes studying physics fun. The best thing about this book is that it can be used by students ranging from high school to undergraduate level, since the matter is presented sequentially in increasing order of complexity. Numerous examples from real life have been presented to explain the theories in chapters on mechanics, simple harmonic motion, electromagnetism and the like. Since physics is all about applying abstract concepts to concrete real world problems, it is really helpful to follow a textbook that makes frequent references to live examples.
The books by several Russian physicists like Zubov have earned fame among Indian students for the straightforward, to-the-point approach and high degree of clarity. If you like the author to come to the point, instead of just beating about the bush, like many Indian textbooks tend to do, you should definitely try Russian physics books from Mir Publishers or publishers from the erstwhile Soviet era. Just be a little careful about one thing – these physics books for engineers can sometimes contain some spelling or grammatical mistakes, most probably due to the fact that they are translations. While Resnick and Haliday tend to elaborate on the theory in a conversational tone, much like a very friendly professor in class, the Russian books make for a comparative “drier” read. So pick the one that suits your style better.
If you have already clarified the theoretical concepts, you need to start solving problems. Unless you solve problems, you cannot be sure if you have mastered the chapter thoroughly. Once you are able to solve numerical questions on engineering physics, you will get a clear idea about the level of understanding that you have achieved. The best books for engineering physics from quantitative problem solving point of view are Concepts of Physics by HC Verma and Problems in Physics by IE Irodov. These books are well-known among every engineering student, so much so that even their solved versions have appeared in the book market over the years. However, just resist the temptation to buy those solved versions of these two engineering physics classics. This is because the solutions are full of errors, not just in basic calculations, like in solving a simple quadratic equation but also in concepts.
To sum up, physics happens to be a very important subject for all engineering aspirants. But its importance does not subside after securing a berth in one of the engineering colleges. On the contrary, you must keep reading from the best physics books in order to improve your understanding of the subject, which forms bedrock of almost all branches of engineering.