Goldstein’s Classical Mechanics 3rd edition was the class text for graduate level Classical Mechanics. In my MS program this was the hardest class, worse than the classes on General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and Mathematical Methods for physicists. That may be consequence of the level of difficulty of how the other classes were taught, but Classical Mechanics by far was the hardest.
My favorite acknowledgement in Goldstein’s book was in Greek (I don’t know why Greek, since the Old Testament was in Hebrew!):
Psalm 19: 1
οι ουρανοί διήγουνται δόξαν θεού
the heavens describe the glory of God
and on page xv Goldstein writes:
Above all I want to register the thanks and acknowledgement of my heart, in the words of Daniel 2:23:
And then quotes part of it in Hebrew:
לָךְ אֱלָהּ אֲבָהָתִי, מְהוֹדֵא וּמְשַׁבַּח אֲנָה, דִּי חָכְמְתָא וּגְבוּרְתָא יְהַבְתְּ לִי
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
You have given me wisdom and power,
The next brutal book was Mathematical Methods of Physics by Matthews and Walker. Mathematical Methods was the 2nd hardest class in my program. Some of my classmates were Savants, and they breezed through it. Not me.
Since my physics classes were to re-train engineers into physics, some of the other texts were on the easier side
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths
A first course in General Relativity by Bernard Schutz
I was interested in the topic of relativity since it was important for cosmology and understanding the various YEC alternatives to cosmology particularly the distant starlight problem.
We were thankfully spared the infamous
Classical Electrodynamics by JD Jackson (YIKES!)
A good book which I only got through the first six chapters was
Statistical Mechanics by Pathria and Beale
but some of the end-of-chapter problem sets were brutal
I’ve forgotten so much already of what I studied, and that was only 6 years ago!
The one topic I’ve probably studied more since my MS program was statistical mechanics and thermodynamics since these concepts appear frequently in chemistry. I’d like to go back and re learn QM, which I never really learned well. Griffiths book is a good book for that. Statistical Mechanics and QM appear every now and then in the ID debate, and that’s what motivated me to study these disciplines.
I had Solid State physics, which I felt was poorly taught and the class textbook wasn’t even used by the professor.
Next was Astrophysics. There was a supplemental text suggested by the professor:
Structure and Evolution of Stars by Martin Scwharzchild. I just started reading it last night. The professor, was really mathy so I learned some mathy stuff, but I didn’t feel I really learned astrophysics as much as I wanted. I wanted to study astrophysics some since it had relevance to YEC issues.
Relativity and another course on Cosmology (which used relativity) was informative. It was after studying Cosmology that I began to think YEC was more viable, especially after learning of Guth/Linde Inflation hypothesis where the universe supposedly expanded at 1000 to 1,000,000 or more times the speed of light, without any directly testable mechanism. Expanding space always bothered me in class, and even my classmates (who probably weren’t YECs) were skeptical.
The cosmology text book was on the easy side (again for retraining engineers like me, not physicists!):
Introduction to Cosmology by Barbara Ryden