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List of freely available physics books

+ 22 like - 0 dislike
948 views

I'm trying to amass a list of physics books with open-source licenses, like Creative Commons, GPL, etc. The books can be about a particular field in physics or about physics in general.

What are some freely available great physics books on the Internet? edit: I'm aware that there are tons of freely available lecture notes online. Still, it'd be nice to be able to know the best available free resources around.

As a starter: http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/theorist.html


jump to list sorted by medium / type


Table of contents sorted by field (in alphabetical order):

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user pcr
asked Mar 1, 2011 in Resources and References by pcr (65 points) [ no revision ]
retagged May 4, 2014 by dimension10
Most voted comments show all comments
I think we should note that we should only include non-copyright-protected material.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Mark C
Some other good places to look are: "How to learn math and physics" by John Baez and StringWiki

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Simon
See also the old post by Jacques Distler

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Simon
@Simon the stringwiki link doesn't work

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Approximist
See also freescienceonline.blogspot.com

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user pcr
@all I posted this in META how-to-organize-a-list-of-free-resources to seek a better organization of this material. The help of all of us, with ideas, could be important. My list is not mine it can be improved by anyone.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Helder Velez
I suggest we try putting some order into this post by turning the question into a table of contents (inspired by the meta.SO community FAQ. That will also require grouping the answers, but I think if we work on this together it will soon be worth the effort

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Tobias Kienzler

24 Answers

+ 12 like - 0 dislike

Books

Galileo and Einstein very interesting book, 200 pages, by Michael Fowler , Text for Physics 109, Fall 2009 (from Babylonians and Greeks to Einstein)

Physics Made Easy Karura notes

Classical and quantum mechanics via Lie algebras by Arnold Neumaier, Dennis Westra , 502 pages, (arxiv)

by Hans de Vries: 'Physics Quest' Understanding Relativistic Quantum Field Theory
- I love this 'book in progress' to understand Special Relativity, and beyond. To see how a real Lorentz contraction do happen (ch. 4) and how magnetic field is induced by electrostactic field and Non-simultaneity (it is like a Coriollis effect)

by Benjamin Crowell: 'Light and Matter' - General Relativity
explore other physics topics here http://www.lightandmatter.com/

by Bo Thidé: Electromagnetic Field Theory - advanced Electrodynamics textbook

Elecromagnetic Fields and Energy MIT Hypermedia Teaching Facility, by Herman A. Haus and James R. Melcher (with media)

HyperPhysics - everything, in short.

the physics hypertextbook detailed online book, very interesting Work in Progress.

Relativity - The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein (1920)

Feynman Lectures (pdfs) (final index)

Wikipedia Physics a portal to start digging. A colaborative gigantic work.

WikiBooks -SR a textbook on Relativity.

WikiSource - Relativity Portal find here "The Measure of Time" by Henri Poincaré and many other original sources.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy a plethora of info related to physics (for ex. singularities)

EXPLORING THE BIOFLUIDDYNAMICS OF SWIMMING AND FLIGHT David Lentink
The Physics of Waves by HOWARD GEORGI of Harvard
The Physics of Ocean Waves (for physicists and surfers), by Michael Twardos at UCI
Photonics - The Basics and Applications 92 pages , University of Pennsylvania
Photonic Crystals: Molding the Flow of Light 305 pages, Joannopoulos et al, Princeton Univ Press
Computational Genomics Algorithms in Molecular Biology, Lecture notes by Ron Shamir (pdfs)

Motion Mountain by Christoph Schiller


Journals open access and online collections

PSE-list-open-access-journals

Directory of Open Access Journals free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals (6286, been 2735 searchable at article level)

MathPages - lectures on various subjects in physics and mathematics.

livingreviews journal articles by invitaton on relativity and beyond

livingreviews blog about the journal articles

Calphysics research on the electromagnetic quantum vacuum (with care, controversial material)

MIT - OpenCourseWare Several courses available
MIT OCW fundamentals-of-photonics-quantum-electronics download pdfs


Sources to use with precaution

Preprints

ARXIV door to papers that I cannot afford (sometimes good ideas) -- Cornell univ controlled
I follow this archive thru this MIT's blog The Physics arXiv Blog

VIXRA free to post the ugly, the bad, the crazy, and sometimes good ideas
Independent researchers can publish here. The arXiv is usually closed to authors without academic affiliation.


Portals

Archive.org Access to a world of original digitized books, and much more.
NASA ADS Absctract Data Service search
Scribd - a generic social publishing site where I find books (scientific/technical) with full or partial access.
scholar.google.com from the giant that is changing the observable universe of Human beings
Cosmos Portal from Digital Library
Encyclopedia of Earth from Digital Library
NanoHub - A resource for nanoscience and technology


Multimedia

youtube Berkeley Chanel with courses

Richard Feynman - Science Videos - 4 original videos (recorded at Auckland) arguably the greatest science lecturer ever.

Videos for Shiraz's lectures on String Theory

Leonard Susskind - Modern Theoretical Physics from his "physics for everyone" blog

Fundamentals of Nanoelectronics NanoHub - Lectures (Purdue Univ ref. ECE 495N) including Lecture 10: Shrödinger's Equation in 3-D (mp4)


Math

Multivariable calculus and vector analysis A set of on-line readings (Interactive click and drag with LiveGraphics3D) ; explore tab Topics

KhanAcademy (videos) mission: to deliver a world-class education to anyone anywhere

Math and physics online tools:

Online Latex Equation Editor (right click the result and apply anywhere)
wolframalpha - computational knowledge engine, do you want to calculate or know about?
sage online - support a viable open source alternative to Magma, Maple, Mathematica, and MATLAB.
Euler Math Toolbox free software for numerical and for symbolic computations
geogebra - Free mathematics software for learning and teaching


Modeling and simulation

OpenModelica Physical modeling and simulation environment
Elmer Open Source Finite Element Software for Multiphysical Problems (examples)
Mason Multiagent based simulation (IA)
ECJ Evolutionary Computation (IA)
Breve A 3d Simulation Environment for Multi-Agent Simulations and Artificial Life (IA)
NanoHub-Periodic Potential Lab solves the time independent Schroedinger Equation in a 1-D spatial potential variation

demonstrations.wolfram 7050 applets


Astronomy and astrophysics

Books and reviews

Cosmology today-A brief review (arxiv 2011) This is a brief review of the standard model of cosmology. We first introduce the FRW models and their flat solutions for energy fluids playing an important role in the dynamics at different epochs. We then introduce different cosmological lengths and some of their applications. The later part is dedicated to the physical processes and concepts necessary to understand the early and very early Universe and observations of it.

review of Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) (arxiv 2008)

Portals

astro-canada Introduction to astronomy, light, instruments, etc.

Data

simbad search data on celestial bodies with the proper tools.
NASA PDS: The Planetary Data System data related to Nasa missions

Sky viewers

Skyview , Nasa SkyView is a Virtual Observatory on the Net
WWT World Wide Telescope, Microsoft

Simulation and presentations

Celestia free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions.
astrolab presentations_astronomiques (FR)


Other resources

Kirk McDonald page at Princeton.edu a handful of resources on EM,QED,QM (+-5Gb ;-)

Springerlink's LaTeXsearch you can search articles by using latex formulas input

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Helder Velez
answered Mar 2, 2011 by Helder Velez (-130 points) [ no revision ]
Most voted comments show all comments
I will use this question, and my post, as an ongoing list of resources, books and other material, that are accessible in the net, irrespective of the license.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Helder Velez
My list is not mine it can be improved by anyone.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Helder Velez
American Journal of Physics Resource Letters is not open access and imo it shoud not be listed.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Helder Velez
This is a great post! But might I suggest splitting it into per-field answers so we can use the question body as table of contents? Although I also like your sorting by resource type. Maybe this should be discussed in the meta thread though

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Tobias Kienzler
I asked in meta with 2 answers. The better I think is to make the OP a table of contents that link to others posts (to be) separated by subjects. I invited everyone to add in this post because it is simpler to organize in the future by spliting it.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Helder Velez
Most recent comments show all comments
The second link (Quantum Mechanics For Advanced Beginners. R. Golub and R. Ince) is dead, so it should probably be removed or replaced by a working link.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Dalker
Feynman lectures are down

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Alyosha
+ 8 like - 0 dislike

Quantum field theory

Fields, by W. Siegel

Quantum Field Theory, by Mark Srednicki

Superspace, or One thousand and one lessons in supersymmetry by S.J. Gates Jr, M.T. Grisaru, M. Rocek and W. Siegel

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Simon
answered Mar 1, 2011 by Simon (325 points) [ no revision ]
The first two parts of Srednicki's book are also on the arXiv: Spin 0, Spin 1/2.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Simon
+ 7 like - 0 dislike

Mathematical Tools for Physics, James Nearing

Also available in paperback from Dover. Undergraduate-level math methods book. Clear writing, many problems and exercises (usually without solution). IMHO better than Boas.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Mark Eichenlaub
answered Mar 1, 2011 by Mark Eichenlaub (100 points) [ no revision ]
+ 7 like - 0 dislike

Structure and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics Sussman, Wisdom, Mayer

A No-Nonsense Introduction to General Relativity, Sean Carroll

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user pcr
answered Mar 1, 2011 by pcr (65 points) [ no revision ]
Sean Carroll: also available on arxiv arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/9712019

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user pcr
SICM style, differential geometry groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/gjs/6946/calculus.pdf

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user pcr
Can anyone who has read this book tell us what does it have in common with SICP? Just a great title or does the analogy go deeper? I don't believe they use Scheme to teach classical mechanics, but still... :)

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Marek
@Marek Well, it at least shares an author (I haven't read the book, though).

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Mark Eichenlaub
@Marek Yes, they use Scheme to teach classical mechanics.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user dfan
Sussman talks about the motivation for the book here.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user datageist
+ 6 like - 0 dislike

Applications of Classical Physics, Kip Thorne and Roger Blandford

Unpublished so far, this book covers special relativity, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, continuum mechanics, and some general relativity at the graduate level. I've read about a third of it. It's well-written and surprisingly-polished for being a freely-available preprint.

Problem sets and solutions are available on the website as well.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Mark Eichenlaub
answered Mar 1, 2011 by Mark Eichenlaub (100 points) [ no revision ]
Yeah! These notes are great for plasma physics (dispersion of waves in plasmas), among many other things.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Keenan Pepper
Note that an updated version is available: pma.caltech.edu/Courses/ph136/yr2011

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Alex Nelson
+ 6 like - 0 dislike

The art of computational science, Piet Hut and Jun Makino

A computational lab for N-body experiments. Includes books and source code for doing simple N-body simulations.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Platypus Lover
answered Mar 1, 2011 by Platypus Lover (80 points) [ no revision ]
+ 6 like - 0 dislike
This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user Janne808
answered Mar 1, 2011 by Janne808 (50 points) [ no revision ]
+ 6 like - 0 dislike

Sidney Coleman's QFT lecture notes and videos

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:39 (UCT), posted by SE-user pcr
answered Mar 1, 2011 by pcr (65 points) [ no revision ]
+ 6 like - 0 dislike

Earth System Physics

Radiative Transfer in the Earth System, Charlie Zender (All of Zender's books are GNU FDL)

Natural Aerosols in the Climate System, C. Zender

Particle Size Distributions: Theory and Application to Aerosols, Clouds, and Soils, C. Zender

Introduction to Physical Oceanography, Robert Stewart open source, accepting contributions

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user David
answered Mar 28, 2011 by David (15 points) [ no revision ]
+ 4 like - 0 dislike

Street-Fighting Mathematics, Sanjoy Mahajan

Short book covering dimensional analysis, estimation, and visualizing mathematics. The goal is to make mathematics easier and more useful for scientists and engineers, specifically physicists. (Mahajan is a physicist/educator). Uses mostly undergrad and high school level math.

A version is available free as a pdf under the creative commons license.

The paper version is available for purchase from the MIT press.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Mark Eichenlaub
answered Mar 1, 2011 by Mark Eichenlaub (100 points) [ no revision ]
@David Don't be ridiculous. The PDF is free. The point is to make a list of resources people can access for free. Do you think that fact that it's possible to get a paper version makes the PDF less-informative?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Mark Eichenlaub
I've updated your answer with a link to the free pdf download. Nice book.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user David
@David Okay thanks.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-05-04 15:38 (UCT), posted by SE-user Mark Eichenlaub

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