What is Theoretical minimum: Definition and 23 Discussions

The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics is a popular science book by Leonard Susskind and George Hrabovsky. The book was initially published on January 29, 2013 by Basic Books.The Theoretical Minimum is a book and a Stanford University-based continuing-education lecture series, which became a popular YouTube-featured content. The series commenced with What You Need to Know (above) reissued under the title Classical Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum.
The series presently stands at three books (as of mid 2020) covering the first three of six core courses devoted to: classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, special relativity and classical field theory, general relativity, cosmology, and statistical mechanics. Videos for all of these courses are available online. In addition, Susskind has made available video lectures over a range of supplement subject areas including: advanced quantum mechanics, the Higgs boson, quantum entanglement, string theory, and black holes. The full series delivers over 100 lectures amounting to something on the order of 200 hours of content, with some of the individual lectures having received over a million YouTube views.

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  1. DavidBalut

    I The Theoretical Minimum: Length Contraction and Time Dilation

    Hello, My name is Dave and I'm a physics major at UIUC. It looks like I will be taking the special relativity course (phys 225) this fall. I've always been fascinated by the theory so I decided to get a head start with Lenny and Art's perspective on it. My first head-scratching moment came in...
  2. S

    Quantum 'Quantum mechanics the theoretical minimum' book

    I want to know about the book 'quantum mechanics: the theoretical minimum' book by Leonard Susskind. Is it a book worth buying
  3. SamRoss

    I Necessity of absolute value in Cauchy Schwarz inequality

    Reading The Theoretical Minimum by Susskind and Friedman. They state the following... $$\left|X\right|=\sqrt {\langle X|X \rangle}\\ \left|Y\right|=\sqrt {\langle Y|Y \rangle}\\ \left|X+Y\right|=\sqrt {\left({\left<X\right|+\left<Y\right|}\right)\left({\left|X\right>+\left|Y\right>}\right)}$$...
  4. SamRoss

    I Missing exponent in "Theoretical Minimum"?

    In "The Theoretical Minimum" (the one on classical mechanics), on page 218, the authors write a Lagrangian $$L=\frac m 2 (\dot r^2 +r^2\dot \theta ^2)+\frac {GMm} r$$ They then apply the Euler-Lagrange equation ##\frac d {dt}\frac {dL} {d\dot r}=\frac {dL} {dr}## (I know there should be...
  5. I

    I Liouville Theorem and the Expanding Universe

    I've a general question. I'm self-studying classical mechanics using various means one of which is Leonard Susskind's Theoretical Minimum lecture series. I'm on Lecture 7 and we are doing Liouville's Theorem. My understanding of it so far is that in phase space as something expands in, say, the...
  6. Highwire

    [The Theoretical Minimum] Can closed systems exist?

    Homework Statement The first exercise in Susskind and Hrabovsky's The Theoretical Minimum is one that, in the words of Susskind, "is designed to make you think, more than it is designed to test you." The exercise asks: Homework Equations In the prior paragraph, the authors define the notion...
  7. G

    Quantum Dr Susskind: Theoretical Minimum Quantum Field Theory?

    Does anyone know if or when Dr Susskind is coming out with a “ Theoretical Minimum Quantum Field Theory “ ?
  8. bbbl67

    I What is theoretical minimum mass of neutronium?

    Not withstanding the fact that most neutronium is produced in neutron stars, what is the lowest mass required to keep neutronium stable? I've heard it could be as low as 0.1 solar masses. Could it be even smaller than that? Can you make an Earth mass neutronium ball and have it stay stable due...
  9. JoePhysics

    A Problems from Lev Landau's "Theoretical Minimum"

    It seems Lev Landau created an entry exam to test his students, and the exam was known to be ridiculously hard. To get an idea as to how hard the test really was, I've been scouring the Internet for problems Landau proposed... so far I've managed to find only four. Electrodynamics A dielectric...
  10. smodak

    Relativity Susskind's Third book on the Theoretical Minimum Listed

    Amazon now lists Susskind's third book on the theoretical minimum series Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory https://www.amazon.com/dp/0465093345/?tag=pfamazon01-20
  11. N

    Books for the theoretical minimum video courses

    Hi, everyone. I'm currently taking a gap year, and my plan is to study physics, probably for the rest of my life (With that I mean, reading and learning physics for the rest of my life ;-) ) But I thought why not start now? I kind of have fallen in love with the lectures held by Leonard...
  12. Patrick Farnworth

    Classical Further reading after Theoretical Minimum

    Hi, I've just finished secondary school and am keen to learn some physics before going on to college. As part of this I've just finished reading 'The Theoretical Minimum' by Leonhard Susskind and George Hrabovsky. The book was a really helpful introduction to classical physics and the maths...
  13. entropy1

    B After the 'Theoretical minimum' series, what is essential to know about QM?

    The adagium of most quantumphysics-afficionado's is: "Shut up and calculate" - 'learn the formalism'. So I started with Leonard Susskind's 'Theoretical minimum' textbooks. So now I know a little (very little) about the formalism, I started to wonder to which extent I have to go to educate...
  14. P

    Other Next Leonard's Susskind's theoretical minimum

    Do you guys know wether Leonard Susskind is going to release the next theoretical minimum book which is expected to be focused on special relativity and electrodynamics?
  15. O

    The Theoretical Minimum book question

    I'm reading the book The Theoretical Minimum. I wonder if two one of the problems in the book can be thought of graphically. The mathematical solution didn't even occur to me, although it make perfect sense and probably should have been obvious. 1. Can you explain why the dot product of two...
  16. M

    First-Order Extrema in Classical Mechanics , Theoretical Minimum

    First-Order Extrema in "Classical Mechanics", Theoretical Minimum In the 3rd lecture of Classical Mechanics, 2011, by Dr. Susskind in his Theoretical Minimum series, he talks about calculating extrema, saddle points, etc. to "first order". "if you move a little bit, the potential is zero, to...
  17. 4

    Susskind's theoretical minimum

    If anyone out there has worked through Susskind's book, I have two questions on the Lagrangian to Hamiltonian section, any help would be greatly appreciated: 1) In Lecture 8 exercise 2, he wants you to calculate take the Lagrangian of L=1/2ω d/dt q - ω/2 q^2 as a Hamiltonian and says it...
  18. MidnightKat

    A Theoretical Minimum | Looking for Guidance

    Hey everyone! I am on a quest to understand the world in which we live in better. In doing so I'm making a stop at Physics. I was suggested the book "A Theoretical Minimum - What you Need to Know to Start Physics". I am in love with this book and cannot put it down. At the moment I am...
  19. J

    Good follow up to The theoretical Minimum?

    I'm currently self teaching myself physics and I have never seen physics before this. The book that I'm using is The Theoretical Minimum - What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics by Leonard Susskind. I plan to be finished with the book by mid next week and my question is what's a good...
  20. micromass

    Intro Physics The Theoretical Minimum by Susskind and Hrabovsky

    Author: Leonard Susskind, George Hrabovsky Title: The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/046502811X/?tag=pfamazon01-20 Prerequisities: Contents:
  21. J

    The Theoretical Minimum, Released today, January 29th 2013

    Leonard Susskind's the Theoretical Minimum was released today to go along with his Stanford Courseware lectures. Has anyone gotten there hands on a copy yet? I am very excited for this publication because I am very pro-self-education (if you could call it that). I am debating whether to order a...
  22. maverick_starstrider

    Who is capable of achieving Landau's Theoretical Minimum in theoretical physics?

    If we define Landau's Theoretical Minimum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Landau#The_Landau_School) as roughly understanding ALL of the entire course of theoretical physics by Landau and Lifgarbagez, who thinks they would make the minimum? I know I sure as hell wouldn't. That requirement is...
  23. O

    What is the theoretical minimum force

    a 82.500 kg student, starts from rest. A constant force acts on him for 37.5m to give him a speed of 97.5 m/s. Use the Work- energy theorem to find the magnitude of the force. this is my equation which I'm unsure about 1. f*s= .5mv^2f - .5mv^2i 2. f= .5(82.5)(97.5^2)/37.5 I just want to...