View Poll Results: For those who have used this book  
Strongly Recommend  13  54.17%  
Lightly Recommend  5  20.83%  
Lightly don't Recommend  4  16.67%  
Strongly don't Recommend  2  8.33%  
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll 
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Classical Classical Mechanics by Herbert Goldsteinby Greg Bernhardt
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#1
Jan2213, 03:28 PM

Admin
P: 9,553




#2
Jan2213, 03:32 PM

P: 108

A Must have Graduate Level Mechanics Textbook having good deal with Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics.



#3
Feb1413, 05:40 PM

PF Gold
P: 3,206

I used the 2nd edition (not the 3rd which is the last I believe, and much different apparently) for my upper level undergraduate course. All the theory of my course was in that book.
The only downside I found in that book is that I would have loved to get many more solved exercises/examples. My feeling is that it's a very theoretical book with of course many examples/solved exercises but it could have gotten many more. It would be nice if someone could comment about the third edition when it comes to the solved exercises and examples given. All in all it's a must for a college education, in my opinion. 


#4
Feb1513, 03:26 PM

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PF Gold
P: 9,400

Classical Mechanics by Herbert Goldstein
I passionately hate this book (the 2nd edition), but to be honest, I don't know how much of it is due to the fact that we had the worst teacher ever for the course. I came to dislike everything about the book, the notation, the content, the presentation, and even the font, cover and smell of the book. There are theorems in it that I've tried to read many times but never understood. The next year, the literature was changed to Scheck, and the course was given by a very good teacher. I went to those lectures as well. It was as if I had been transferred from a cold and damp mudhole in the ground to a luxury hotel.
If I have to refresh my memory about classical mechanics, I will use Arnold and/or Scheck. 


#5
Feb1513, 03:37 PM

C. Spirit
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#6
Feb1513, 03:43 PM

P: 899

But then there's Calkin's "Lagrangian & Hamiltonian Mechanics". I like it more than Landau's but it doesn't cover rigid body mechanics, Landau is the best for that. 


#7
Feb1513, 04:07 PM

C. Spirit
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#8
Feb1513, 04:09 PM

Emeritus
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PF Gold
P: 9,400




#9
Feb1513, 04:12 PM

C. Spirit
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P: 5,620




#10
Feb1513, 06:55 PM

P: 47

I wouldn't recommend it on the basis that it is superceded by far better books. To name a few:
(The most recent edition of Whittaker's text was first published in 1917, but it is certainly not outdated.) Goldstein is okay when it comes to exercises. However, especially at the graduate level, this doesn't matter so much when compared to a relatively dry exposition. Furthermore, José and Saletan's exercises are comparably informative, yet their exposition is topnotch (sans the notation). 


#11
Feb1813, 07:08 AM

P: 25

Goldstein is too tedious; Landau's far more interesting. but if you think Landau's too brief, then I'd recommend Taylor's Classical Mechanics.



#12
Feb2513, 09:43 PM

Sci Advisor
P: 1,924

OK, so since everyone else (it seems) is having a b*tch about Goldstein, I'm gonna say that it was the book from which I first got a clear idea of what the HamiltonJacobi approach was really all about.
I also have Jose & Saletan, which I certainly like, but somehow Goldstein did HJ better for me. Goldstein is not all bad. 


#13
Feb1414, 11:36 PM

P: 112

I liked the second edition the best. The second edition may be the only physics book I read from cover to cover and did most problems. I started calling Goldstein "the good book" when I was talking to colleagues. I remember I was not alone. One colleague when he read about the intermediate axis theorem rotated his book in the air about the intermediate axis. That said, I read one poster liked Lanczos and Whittaker's books. These are both very good but they are more specialized than Goldstein to use as a textbook. I feel the chaos stuff cluttered it up too much.



#14
May1914, 09:00 PM

P: 4

Agree with you, V I Arnold is one my favourite writers, his superfluous mathematical knowledge is absolutely tremendous. 


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