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Hey. I'm starting an astronomy degree in October and was wondering if someone could recommend physics books. Astro and quantum. I've looked at hundreds but I'm not wanting to spend loads of money on books that are going to be useless to me. Just wanting to get my head around it all before starting. :-)

Thank you. x

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Hey. I'm starting an astronomy degree in October and was wondering if someone could recommend physics books. Astro and quantum. I've looked at hundreds but I'm not wanting to spend loads of money on books that are going to be useless to me. Just wanting to get my head around it all before starting. :-)

Thank you. x

Quite often your course will send you a reading list. Don't buy all of them but certainly the ones at the top of the list for each subject. The lecturers will usually base the lectures on these books so reading them will give you a head start.

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As gtec said, often there will be reading lists, but they might be ready until the start of term. If, however, a specific text is chosen for a particular course, so that a university bookstore cant stock them before lectures begin.

I am quite familiar with programs at universities in North America, but not very familiar with programs in the UK,, so I am not sure about course/module progression for your university. Do you want references for first-year, or references for upper years, or both?

A couple of nice undergrad references for astro are

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Carroll and Ostlie, a 1400 page book that is a standard,

http://www.amazon.co...e=UTF8&n=266239

Foundations of Astrophysics by Ryden and Peterson, a very nice, shorter book,

http://www.amazon.co...64465695&sr=1-1

Ryden's Introduction to Cosmology is a lovely little undergrad book on cosmology,

http://www.amazon.co...64466609&sr=1-1

University texts usually are expensive, and, unfortunately, the above books are not exceptions.

I can give recommendations for quantum, but I am not sure of the level.

Also, often good sets of on-line notes can be found, Have a look around the webpages of your university, and of other similar universities.

Good luck!

[edit]I just saw that you will be with the Open University. Often their course websites list the texts that will be used.[/edit]

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OK bit more specific, what are the courses that you have selected to do as in S383 or whatever the first year ones are, something like S101 I suspect?

I though they either had a suggested book or you purchased the relevant book via them.

A fair bit will be mathematics as well I would expect.

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Doing a natural sciences degree. Astronomy and planetary sciences pathway.

Have looked through my account on OU, still nothing on which books I will need at the moment. So will wait until I'm just about to start. Was just wanting to get started on reading up on physics beforehand so I will have some kind of idea what I'm doing.

Thanks x

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Looks like S104, then S141 and later MST121.

S104 is a 60 unit chunk so will occupy you for some time, as best I can tell their course includes whatever you need although there will be suggestions of additional items I would suspect.

Found something that lists 8 books/topics but that seems excessive for one course and I suspect that the OU have used parts of the books to make up the course.

One person says to download the TMA's before getting stuck in, as that way you have a direction to go in, as in learn the bits to answer the questions you will be expected answer.

S104 looks fairly broad, the books/topics are wide and cover a few areas.

Can only suggest Google and thing like "OU S104 books" and similar search options, one of them will turn up the key information, just don't know what specific search string to enter for the best result.

Edited by ronin
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Looked a bit more and it appears that you will need a pack of 8 (?) books and this will include either 2 or 3 DVD's.

Cannot get much from the OU site in the way of details.

Present one says 6 TMA's whereas I have read 8 TMA's elsewhere. The 8 TMA one said 1 TMA per book - 8 books, 8 TMA's. However I know OU have altered their content so may have reduced the content of the course from 8 subjects to 6. I know that some of their 60 unit courses were considered a bit heavy and they have split some to make them more managable.

Strange that they do not apparently supply greater detail of the content.

Under the heading of Whats Included it says:- "Books, other printed materials, DVDs, small practical kit including rock specimens."

So that reads that they send out everything as part of the course cost.

Link

Edited by ronin
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A lot of OU courses have specific OU written course books that you get before each years course. Might be worth getting in touch with your tutor or at least sporting a question on the forums. There should be a forum moderator who can answer your questions. I would not buy anything up front, and wait to see what if any is needed.

Dave.

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  • 1 month later...

If we are talking about Physics books, not about Astronomy & Astrophycs, a book that won't dissapoint you is the textbook on the topic by Paul A. Tipler. Is a classic, well explained and with much examples and exercises.

At least 20 years ago it was published in two volumes. That would make a good foundation in Physics for any scientifical degree, and would be a reference book for the rest of your career.

I can't be sure if this is it, as mine is in Spanish and I don't have it here to check the index (or even if Mosca is the coauthor)...: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Physics-Scientists-Engineers-1-20-Thermodynamics/dp/1429201320/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1376321897&sr=8-8&keywords=physics+tipler

Good luck!

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