Barger and Olsson's Mechanics

  1. So this is the required text next semester for my mechanics class. I've read some reviews that there are a lot of errors in the book. Any truth to this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Andrew Mason

    Andrew Mason 6,962
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I bought Barger & Olsson in 1973 when it first came out. I still refer to it occasionally. It may be easier to follow the mathematics in other texts but I always found two things: 1. B&O provides very good and (usually) understandable physical interpretations of the mathmatical results and 2. The choices of examples used to illustrate the principles are very good.

    For example(that I can recall from memory, there are many), the explanation of the physics of the boomerang is used to illustrate conservation of angular momentum. Another example is the explanation of automatic attitude stabilisation for satellites (including the moon) due to gravity gradient. I think the explanation for tides is wrong, but then I think that everyone's explanation is wrong. But it is the most rigourous mathematical treatment that I have seen.

    As I recall it was relatively expensive back then, but it was well worth the investment (for me). Classical mechanics is not an easy subject - without doubt it was the most difficult course I ever took.

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