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Books on Classical/analytical Mechanics

by Niles
Tags: books, mechanics
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May19-09, 09:25 AM
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Hi all.

I wish to buy a book on classical/analytical mechanics and do some self-studying. I have read reviews online, and it seems that the "popular" books are "Classical Mechanics" by Goldstein and "Mechanics" by Landau/Liftgarbagez.

To those of you that have read both or one of them: Can you reconmmend it? Or do you have any suggestions for a third book perhaps?

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,
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George Jones
May19-09, 09:33 AM
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I don't have copy (some day this will change), but I think "Classical Mechanics" by John R. Taylor might be good for self-study.
May19-09, 09:48 AM
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What level of study are you at? Goldstein and Landau/Lifgarbagez are usually considered to be graduate-school level. For intermediate/upper level undergraduates, Symon and Marion come to mind. For introductory/intermediate level, maybe French or Kleppner/Kolenkow or Fowles.

May19-09, 09:53 AM
P: 1,863
Books on Classical/analytical Mechanics

First, thanks for responding quickly.

I am also at the graduate school level, which is why I think that perhaps Taylor's book is a little too "easy".
May19-09, 10:00 AM
P: 910
French, Newtonian Mechanics if you're coming to the subject for the first time. (Sorry, didn't see your last message until now. Still a good book for reviewing topics like orbital mechanics.)

Fowles, Analytical Mechanics is a good compromise between simplicity and coverage. I found it great for review and getting up to speed on a topic. Symon is also very good, a little more sophisticated, but also more wordy.

Goldstein is the "canonical" graduate text, and thus tries to cover all the bases. I find it a bit too dense and fat for self study, even for graduate students, though good for reference. (I remember disliking the book intensely in graduate school, but I'm not sure that was altogether a rational response).

Landau is at the same level and blessedly concise. Some nice worked problems in Landau, too. Not everyone responds to the style, but if you already feel comfortable with the basics, I think this would be the most pleasant book to spend your free time with.
George Jones
May19-09, 10:01 AM
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"Classical Dynamics: A Comtemporary Approach" by Jorge Jose and Eugene Saletan is a modern option for someone interested in theoretical physics, relativity, and field theory.
May19-09, 12:44 PM
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Here are some comments on Woodhouse's text:
plus a link to tangential comments.
May19-09, 07:13 PM
P: 420
I like Arnold's "Mathematical Methods in Classical Mechanics," but I've never read Goldstein and I've only glanced at Landau. I'm not a physics major either, but a math major.

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