Charly Leblanc Webpage


PhD Candidate in Physics

My library


March 27, 2022

    Nowadays, we can find most resources online. Even books are in pdf and can fit in a device five times thinner than a book. But I still prefer to hold a book in my hands! I will list here the books that I used in my undergraduate and graduate studies, those that I found interesting and sometimes very useful, both in physics and in mathematics.

Mathematics

The mathematics books that I have are designed for physicists:
  • "Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics" by V.I. Arnold. Probably a must-have for theoretical physicists. All the fundamental mathematical methods needed for classical mechanics are explained. And these methods are most of the time applicable in other fields too.
  • "Mathematical Physics" by Sadri Hassani. It is not a book that you read from the start to the end. It is more a library of mathematical concepts that are explained in an understandable way.

Classical Mechanics

  • "Mechanics" by Landau & Lifshitz. It is the most insightful book on classical mechanics that I read. It gave me a new light on numerous fundamental physical concepts. It is not an easy book though, but it is, in my opinion, worth the effort.
  • "The Feynmann Lectures on Physics: Mainly Mechanics, Radiation, and Heat" by Feynman, Leighton, and Sands. It is not a textbook. It is a book that helps you understand physical concepts. Probably not for first-year students. In my opinion, it is a great book complementary to a textbook.

Electrodynamics

  • "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by David J. Griffiths. It is the most comprehensive textbook for undergraduate students that I found. It really helped me to get some intuition in electromagnetism.
  • "Field theory" by Landau & Lifshitz. A clear and concise book. Not designed for undergraduate students, I would say, like most of the L&L collection.
  • "Classical Electrodynamics" by John David Jackson. A reference for many people. It is more oriented for particle physicists, but it is a well-written and comprehensive book. 

Statistical Physics

  • "Statistical Physics" by Landau & Lifshitz. (in 2 books) They are hard books. Nevertheless, they also appear to be a reference for many physicists in the world. Unparallel to understanding Condensed Matter.
  • "Physique Statistique - Introduction" by Christian Ngô & Hélène Ngô. A really interesting first book on statistical physics, designed for bachelor students. Sadly enough I don't think it exists in English, but it is a nice introduction for French speakers!
  • "Physique Statistique" by B. Diu, C. Guthmann, D. Lederer, B. Roulet. A bible in statistical physics. Everything is in it. Because of that, it is not really a concise book on the subject. Also only in French...

Quantum Mechanics

  • "Quantum Mechanics" by C. Cohen-Tanoudji. A comprehensive and well-written book on the subject, starting from optics. A lot of examples, a lot of details. It is an excellent book for both undergraduate and graduate students. My bible, 10/10 would buy again.
  • "The Principles of Quantum Mechanics" by Paul Dirac. Who else than one of the creators himself to explain to you in a really concise way all the concepts of Quantum Mechanics.
  • "Quantum Mechanics" by A. Messiah. Some ideas are a bit outdated, but it is still a reference due to the mathematical rigor of the demonstrations. For instance, the "Cohen-Tanourdji" often refers to this book for complex/too-long demonstrations.

Quantum computing

  • "Introduction to Classical and Quantum Computing". One of the best introductions to the subject for beginners in the field. Also, it is good to know how classical computers work, which is something that I forget sometimes.
  • "Quantum Computation and Quantum Information" by Michael A. Nielsen et Isaac L. Chuang. The bible on the subject. A must-read for anyone really interested in quantum computing.

Condensed Matter

  • "Solid State Physics" by N. Ashcroft and N. Mermin. Impressive book on the subject. I learned a lot from it, from thermal conduction to the Tight-binding model...
  • "Optoelectronics" by E. Rosencher, B. Vinter and P. G. Biva. It really helped me when I was in my master's degree and I was learning light-matter interaction.
  • "Bose-Einstein Condensation" by L. Pitaevskii and S. Stringari. A reference on the subject. It is never too far away from me.

Quantum Field Theory

  • "QFT for the gifted amateur" by T. Lancaster and S. J. Blundell. Impressively good introduction on the subject. I already knew a little about General Relativity but I have to work quickly on QFT. I had 2 weeks to understand something on the subject, and this book helped me out. 

Improvement

  • "The Elements of Style" from W. Strunk Jr. and E. B. White. A reference on how to write in Engish !
  • "A PhD is not enough!" from Peter. J. Feibelman.
  • "Writing science" from Joshua Schimel.
  • "Write an impactful research paper" from Martins Zaumanis.
  • "Scientific presentation skills" also from Martins Zaumanis.
"Sleep is good, he said, and books are better."    George R. R. Martin
I don't have the room for all my books in my library!