How to become a
GOOD Theoretical Physicist

Texts & Other Resources

There are many more lecture notes to be found on the web.

There are numerous good books on all sorts of topics in Theoretical Physics. Here are a few:

Classical Mechanics:

  • Classical Mechanics - 3rd ed. - Goldstein, Poole & Safko
  • Classical dynamics: a contemporary approach - Jorge V. José, Eugene J. Saletan
  • Classical Mechanics - Systems of Particles and Hamiltonian Dynamics - W. Greiner
  • Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics, 2nd ed. - V.I. Arnold
  • Mechanics 3rd ed. - L. Landau, E. Lifshitz

Statistical Mechanics:

  • L. E. Reichl: A Modern Course in Statistical Physics, 2nd ed.
  • R. K. Pathria: Statistical Mechanics
  • M. Plischke & B. Bergesen: Equilibrium Statistical Physics
  • L. D. Landau & E. M. Lifshitz: Statistical Physics, Part 1
  • S.-K. Ma, Statistical Mechanics, World Scientific

Quantum Mechanics:

  • Quantum Mechanics - an Introduction, 4th ed. - W. Greiner
  • R. Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, Plenum
  • Quantum Mechanics - Symmetries 2nd ed. - W. Greiner, B. Muller
  • Quantum Mechanics - Vol 1&2 - Cohen-TannoudjiJ.J. Sakurai, Advanced Quantum Mechanics, Addison-Wesley


  • J.D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, 3rd ed., Wiley & Sons.
  • Electromagnetic Fields And Waves - lorrain and corson
  • Classical Electrodynamics - W. Greiner
  • Introduction to Electrodynamics - D. Griffiths
  • Quantum Electrodynamics - 3rd ed., - W. Greiner, J. Reinhardt


  • Principles of Optics - M.Born, E. Wolf
  • Principles Of Nonlinear Optics - Y. R. Shen


  • Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics 2ed - H. Callen
  • Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics - Greiner, Neise, Stoecker

Solid State Physics:

  • Solid State Physics - Ashcroft, Neil W, Mermin, David N
  • Introduction to Solid State Physics 7th edition- Kittel, Charles

Special Relativity:

  • Classical Mechanics - Point Particles And Relativity - W. Greiner
  • Introduction to the theory of relativity and the principles of modern physics - H. Yilmaz

General Relativity:

  • J.B. Hartle, Gravity, An Introduction to Einstein’s General Relativity, Addison Wesley, 2003.
  • T.-P. Cheng, Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology, A Basic Introduction, Oxford Univ. Press, 2005.

Particle Physics:

  • Introduction to Elementary Particles - D. Griffiths
  • Fundamentals in Nuclear Physics - From Nuclear Structure to Cosmology - Basdevant, Rich, Spiro

Field Theory:

  • B. de Wit & J. Smith, Field Theory in Particle Physics, North-Holland
  • C. Itzykson & J.-B. Zuber, Quantum Field Theory, McGraw-Hill.

String Theory:

  • Barton Zwiebach, A First Course in String Theory, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004
  • M.B. Green, J.H. Schwarz & E. Witten, Superstring theory, Vols. I & II, Cambridge Univ. Press


  • An Introduction to cosmology, 3rd Ed – Roos
  • Relativity, thermodynamics, and cosmology - Tolman R.C.


  • J.B. Marion & W.F. Hornyak, Principles of Physics, Saunders College Publishing, 1984, ISBN 0-03-049481-8
  • H. Margenau and G.M. Murphy, The Mathematics of Physics and Chemistry, D. v.Nostrand Comp.
  • R. Baker, Linear Algebra, Rinton Press

Find lists of other useful textbooks here: Mathematics, Physics (most of these are rather for amusement than being essential for understanding the World), or a little bit more seriously: Physics.