All truly wise thoughts have been thoughts already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours,
we must think them over again honestly,
till they take root in our personal experience. (J.W. Goethe)
Books & Notes
Everybody knows that a specific teacher or book can make a world of difference, when one is trying to get a grasp of a subject. Well, this is my personal list of the books and notes that have helped me during my studies. Hopefully, it will be of some use to you as well.
Sections (click to open)
Secondary School Physics
College Physics: Reasoning and
(N. Giordano, textbook)
Great book for A-level and Undergraduate students: full of examples, it stresses the importance of concepts and connections among them. The author provides an impressive quantity of every-day life applications of physical principles and laws. The mathematical tools and techniques used are basic and somewhat moved to the background.
The Variational Principles of Mechanics
Discursive but rigorous, less formalistic approach to analytical mechanics. Model of clear, scholarly exposition at graduate level with coverage of basic concepts, calculus of variations, principle of virtual work, equations of motion, relativistic mechanics, much more.
Elementary Fluid Mechanics
(McDounough, Lecture notes)
Vectors, Tensors and the Basic Equations of
This is a text on the mathematical (mostly
geometrical) foundations of hydrodynamics.
Advanced Transport Phenomena: Fluid Mechanics and Convective Transport Processes
A must, wonderfully written. It covers all the subjects of basic fluid mechanics and transport processes.
(Guyon, Hulin, Petit, Mulescu; textbook)
Original introductory and reference book, treats with clarity and in detail the elementary microscopic basics of the statistical theory of fluids, the problem of Low-Reynolds-Number Flows, its applications to
suspensions and porous media.
Introduction to Turbulence
(McDounough, Lecture notes)
Symmetry and the Standard Model
Meant to teach physicists the mathematics of particle physics. Clear and rigourous.
Introduction to Elementary Particles
Tidy, clear, smooth. a book on particle physics that a mathematician can read, and that's a lot to say.
The book covers mathematical detail of relativistic field theory in a simple way, making it an excellent introductory text. It starts with classical field theory and moves on to all the important relativistic systems of free particles before a nice introduction to Feynman rules via quantum electrodynamics as the primer
Plant physiology and biomechanics
Trees: their natural history
(P.A. Thomas, textbook)
A comprehensive introduction to the natural history of trees, first published in 2000, presenting information on all aspects of tree biology and ecology in an easy to read and concise text. Fascinating insights into the workings of these everyday plants are uncovered throughout the book, with basic questions tackled in an illuminating way.
Plant biomechanics: an engineering approach to plant form and function
(K.J. Niklas, textbook)
First comprehensive treatment of plant biomechanics. Rigorous and well written, technical but
supplemented with the background material needed.
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Understanding Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics
(G. Lebon, D. Jou, textbook)
The book gives a comprehensive overview of the existing theories on non-equilibrium thermodynamics. It is a good introduction for people intending to work in the field. It reviews and confronts the several approaches developed, starting from different points of view, and this is main strength.
Structure of Matter
Appunti di Fisica Atomica
(Lectures notes in Italian)
Lectures in Basic Numerical Analysis
(Prof. Mc Dounough, Lecture notes)