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Looking for a basic physics book sutiable for a GR10 math student.

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I've procrastinated writing the physics engine for my game a while now. It's not that I don't find the topic interesting, I DO want to learn about physics, and I am taking a physics course next year. I've tried purchasing and reading two different physics books, but I don't understand anything past the first chapter. This is mostly due to the terminology used, and the unexplained symbols in the formulas. I want to find a book which : A ) Assumes they're dealing with a GR10 math student(I.e, not presenting weird symbols in formulas, and expecting the reader to understand them. Like a big italic 'L' looking symbol in the middle of an expression.) B ) Will prepare me for next-year's physics course(which is Physics11, there is no physics10, so this will be my first physics course). C ) Will be applicable to writing a physics engine. In grade ten we understand linear algebra, some trig(though I did some of this in grade 9, we still haven't covered it in GR10 math just yet. I would need a refresher on the basics of trig). Well, tbh, I can't recall everything we are taught in GR10, there's probably a list that I can get\make for you. I know it's probably difficult to find such a book, but I don't want to make use of a pre-existing physics engine, as the whole point of writing my game engine is to gather experience in the areas of game development.

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Can you say which books you tried reading before? I was going to offer some advice, but I realized I might be pointing you to something you've already tried. I don't necessarily believe you'll find something that meets all of the needs you list perfectly, but if we know what didn't work for you, maybe we can offer something else.

One more question...you said you have studied some linear algebra, and some trig....what about basic geometry other than trig? What about calculus? Anything at all? I remember studying geometry in 7th grade and calculus in 11th grade, and like you will be doing I first studied physics in 11th grade...but I don't know where things are now really.

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Original post by grhodes_at_work
Can you say which books you tried reading before? I was going to offer some advice, but I realized I might be pointing you to something you've already tried. I don't necessarily believe you'll find something that meets all of the needs you list perfectly, but if we know what didn't work for you, maybe we can offer something else.

One more question...you said you have studied some linear algebra, and some trig....what about basic geometry other than trig? What about calculus? Anything at all? I remember studying geometry in 7th grade and calculus in 11th grade, and like you will be doing I first studied physics in 11th grade...but I don't know where things are now really.


Yes, I've done some 2D geography in math class. As far as 3D geography is concerned, I have an OK understanding of the subject, which was self-taught after working with 3D graphics. We've done basic slope(I.e y = mx + b and Ax + By + C = 0). Translations, rotations, and scaling in 2D space. (I understand yaw-pitch-roll, the matrix multiplication pattern, but haven't the slightest clue how a matrix object works, I've been using APIs to create 3D rotations and translation matrices).

I've tried O'Riley Physics For Game Developers, but was confused while it was explaining quantities(Which is the first chapter XD). It began to talk about the dot-product of two vectors(which we've not covered in GR10), and using symbols(not variables, but for example a large italic I or L looking symbol in the middle of the expression) which've not been explained. Sorry for being so vague. The book gives me the impression it was made as a reference(or for someone to expand) on their physics knowledge before taking courses in a post-secondary education course.

I haven't done any calculus courses just yet.

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Original post by Jeremy6996

I've tried O'Riley Physics For Game Developers, but was confused while it was explaining quantities(Which is the first chapter XD). It began to talk about the dot-product of two vectors(which we've not covered in GR10), and using symbols(not variables, but for example a large italic I or L looking symbol in the middle of the expression) which've not been explained. Sorry for being so vague. The book gives me the impression it was made as a reference(or for someone to expand) on their physics knowledge before taking courses in a post-secondary education course.

I haven't done any calculus courses just yet.


You can get away with not knowing calculus. Calculus is used to derive the various formulas used in physics but to implement, say, a basic billiard ball simulation you wouldn't need to use any calculus.

I think your problem is that you haven't been exposed to vectors and I'm guessing that you haven't been exposed to trigonometry. If I were you I'd google for "introduction to vector mathematics" and "introduction to trigonometry". Then try to find a discussion of Newton's laws, conservation of momentum, and conservation of energy at an introductory level, i.e. that isn't using the notation of calculus as "Physics for Game Developers" does.

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Quote:
Original post by Jeremy6996
I've tried O'Riley Physics For Game Developers, but was confused while it was explaining quantities(Which is the first chapter XD). It began to talk about the dot-product of two vectors(which we've not covered in GR10), and using symbols(not variables, but for example a large italic I or L looking symbol in the middle of the expression) which've not been explained. Sorry for being so vague. The book gives me the impression it was made as a reference(or for someone to expand) on their physics knowledge before taking courses in a post-secondary education course.

I haven't done any calculus courses just yet.


Hmmm....that particular book isn't really great. I wouldn't recommend it, to anyone really, I'm afraid. Not for learning or as a reference. I'm sorry that is one you tried.

Let me think about this...

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Have you looked at the essential math tutorials (linked from the following thread)?

List of physics engines and reference material

It is actually a pretty good introduction. Now...it doesn't go into much of the details of the math...and if it did, a lot of it would be advanced. But as an introduction to game physics, and the myriad of issues, it is really good and highly recommended.

I haven't yet thought of a book. Actually, the only sort of book that came immediately to mind is a first semester college physics textbook, such as Halliday and Resnick Volume I (an old as the hills, worn and cheap version would be just fine). With some linear algebra and trig, I think you'd be able to get quite a bit out of a book like that. Now it isn't focused on games, and has stuff like optics that isn't probably your immediate concern, but it is more in line with what you already know...its closer to the level you are at, than some of the more sophisticated game physics stuff. You might be surprised also, at how much you can apply that basic textbook stuff to games.

I feel like I've kind of spoken as though game physics was all difficult. That isn't true. The technically correct rigid body stuff is nontrivial. But certainly there are some approaches to game physics that are more accessible. Particle based systems that don't need to deal with rigid body constraints. I don't know of a book that really covers that sort of thing in great detail, but there are some publically available things on the internet about it. For example, I'm thinking about Jacobsen's article from Gamasutra in 2003 on advanced character physics, which actually describes an approach that many people have found to be intuitive and easy to implement:

Advanced Character Physics

(If you need an account..you can register for free @ gamasutra.)

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http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~djmorin/book.html

this is in my top 10 books. problem oriented. don't be afraid to learn some calculus. You can find it on amazon.

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I'm a huge fan of the homework helpers series of books. They are designed to help students understand topics covered in school, and the physics book covers a good breadth; scalars, vectors, kinimatics, rotational dynamics, friction, as well as other topics such as thermodynamics, the 4 fundamental forces, electricity, magnetism, and even nuclear reactions. I've worked through the physics, algebra, and pre calc books, and am working through calculus now. They are fairly thin, around 300 pages each and pocket book sized. They can usually be found at libraries too.

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I think I've found a good book, but I don't want to advertise it until I'm sure it is sufficient. I'm reading through it now, and I'll post regarding what I think of it most likely next week.

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I suggest the cliff notes physics book. It is the easiest to understand physics book I have ever read. I loaned my copy out and didn't get it back so haven't read it in a few years but from what I remember it does mention the calculus but it also gives straight up formulas as well as having good diagrams.

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