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Paradigms in Physics Resources

Paradigms in Physics Resources

Computer accounts

  1. There are computers in the classroom (Weniger 304) that we will use frequently in class. You will use your ONID username and password to authenticate your login. These computers will NOT be available outside of class.
  2. There are also computers in the lab space (Weniger 304F) which are available to Paradigms students 24/7. See Keys (below).
  3. Students in the Paradigms courses are entitled to an account on the department cluster in Weniger 412, although we will not formally use these machines. If you want such an account, email and request your password. Make sure you give your full name and identify yourself as a physics undergraduate. Please make sure that your username on the physics cluster is the same as your username on ONID.

Software (not required)

We will be using the computer algebra system Mathematica in many of the upper-division physics courses in Weniger 304 or 212. The physics department computing lab (Weniger 412) and the physics majors' study room (Weniger 304F) have many machines running this software and are open at all times to enrolled students.

Students who wish to use this software for their home computers check the OSU Software Portal for current academic licensing information.


Students in Paradigms/Capstones classes are entitled (not required) to purchase three keys:

Weniger 304F (the lab room)

Cost: $5 refundable

Weniger 304F has Windows computers available 24/7.

Give your name and student ID number to the receptionist in the Physics Office (Wngr 301). A Key Request Card will be issued to you. Take the Key Request Card, photo ID, and money to the OSU Key Shop (on Washington, south of the Kerr Administration building). If you belong to the Society of Physics Students and have a key to the SPS room, it will also open the classroom. You do not need a separate classroom key. The reverse is not true; the classroom key will not open the SPS room.

Weniger 412 (computer lab)

Cost: $5 non-refundable (please bring exact cash)

See the receptionist in the Physics Office (Wngr 301) for the required paperwork. An electronic key card will be issued directly to you by the receptionist.

Weniger Hall building key

The procedure is the same as for the lab room key.


Reading and homework may be assigned from these books for many of the Paradigms and Capstone courses. Your initial outlay for textbooks may be large at the beginning of your paradigms classes, but we try to keep this list unchanged for your later courses. Some students prefer to use alternate books (particularly for math methods--see suggestions below). You might like to look through several options before purchasing.

  • (McI) (Not need until Winter) McIntyre, Quantum Mechanics: A Paradigms Approach, Pearson, 2012. ISBN-10: 0-321-76579-6. Errata.
  • (Boas) Boas, Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, 3rd ed., Wiley, 2005. ISBN 978-0-471-19826-0.
  • (Sch) (Optional) Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison Wesley, 1999. ISBN-13: 978-0201380279.
  • (Geo) (Online, Free, Not needed until winter.) Georgi, The Physics of Waves, formerly published by Prentice Hall.
  • (T) Taylor, Classical Mechanics, University Science Books, 2005. ISBN 978-1891389221.
  • (GEM) (Not needed until winter.) Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics, 4th ed., Pearson, 2013. ISBN 13:978-0-321-85656-2.
  • (GMM) (Online, Free, Not needed until winter.) Manogue and Dray, The Geometry of Mathematical Methods.

Other references (not required)

  • (HRW) Halliday, Resnick, & Walker, Fundamentals of Physics, 7th ed., Wiley, 2004. ISBN 0-471-21643-7. This may have been your text for introductory physics.
  • (ST) Stewart, Calculus, Early Transcendentals, 5th edition, Brooks/Cole, 2002. ISBN 0-534-39321-7. This may have been your text for calculus.
  • (K) Krane, Modern Physics, 2nd ed., Wiley, 1995. ISBN 0-471-82872-6. This may have been your text for modern physics.
  • (TM) Thornton & Marion, Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems, 5th ed., Brooks/Cole, 2004. ISBN 0-534-40897-4. Alternative to Taylor. We used this text until fall 2007.
  • (M) Main, Vibrations and Waves in Physics, 3rd ed., Cambridge, 1993. ISBN 0-521-44701-1.
  • (GQM) Griffiths, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 2005. ISBN 0-13-111892-7. Excellent intro quantum book. Easy to read, but not as many physical examples a Liboff.
  • (L) Liboff, Introductory Quantum Mechanics, 4th ed., Addison Wesley, 2003. ISBN 0-8053-8714-5. Excellent intro quantum book. Not as easy to read as GQM, but has many physical examples.
  • (G) Goswami, Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed., Wm. C. Brown, 1997. ISBN 0-697-15797-0. Excellent intro quantum book. Very theoretical. Quite modern approach.
  • (A) Arfken, Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 5th ed., Academic Press, 2000. ISBN 0-12-059825-6. Alternative to Boas. Starts at a fairly high level.
  • (RHB) Riley, Hobson & Bence, Mathematical Methods for Physics & Engineering, 3rd ed., Cambridge, 2006. ISBN 0-521-67971-0. Alternative to Boas. Not as easy to read. Encyclopedic.
  • (Schey) Schey, div, grad, curl and all that, 3rd ed., Norton, 2005. ISBN 0-393-92516-1. Very readable introduction to vector calculus in the context of E&M.
  • (Dray) Dray, The Geometry of Special Relativity, CRC Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4665-1047-0 (Also available electronically through the OSU library)

The Valley Library

The library is a vital resource – use it! Alternative textbooks, journals, and more are housed on the shelves or are available online if you use your ONID account. The reference section is a helpful starting point.

Uta Hussong-Christian ( or 541-737-7278) is the physics specialist at the library and she can help you with information searches.

The SPS room

Textbooks and many other reference books should be available in the SPS room, Weniger 381.

Handbooks (not required)

In the past, most professional physicists have found it useful to have one of the following handbooks available for reference. Many students now find that online resources are sufficient for their undergraduate needs.

  • Tallarida, Pocket Book of Integrals and Mathematical Formulas, 3rd ed., CRC Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8493-00263-3. Inexpensive, but not extensive.
  • Fischbeck & Fischbeck, Formulas Facts and Constants, 2nd ed., Springer-Verlag, 1987, ISBN 0-387-17610-1. Inexpensive, but not terribly extensive math and math-physics, also includes useful physical, chemical and electronic data. Adequate alone for upper-division if supplemented occasionally with other references in SPS. May be out of print.
  • Spiegel, Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables, 2nd ed., Schaum's Outline Series, McGraw-Hill, 1998, ISBN 0-07-038203-4. Inexpensive, but not terribly extensive. Easy to use. Adequate alone for upper-division if supplemented occasionally with other references in SPS.
  • Selby, CRC Standard Mathematical Tables, The Chemical Rubber Company, any recent year, ISBN 0-8493-2479-3 (This is probably the ISBN for 1996.). Most students prefer this one. More expensive than Schaum's, but also somewhat more extensive. Easy to use. Adequate alone for upper-division if supplemented occasionally with other references in SPS.
  • Gradshteyn & Ryzhik, Table of Integrals, Series, and Products, Academic Press, 1965, ISBN 0-12-294750-9. The most extensive set of integral tables. No special functions. Hard to use. Expensive. If you go to graduate school, you will probably want it by then. Also available on a multiplatform CD which is somewhat easier to use and less expensive.
  • Abramowitz & Stegun, Handbook of Mathematical Functions, Dover, 1972, ISBN 0-486-61272-4. The most extensive set of formulas, esp. special functions. No integral tables. Medium difficulty to use. Inexpensive in the Dover edition, expensive in hardcover. If you go to graduate school, you may want it by then.