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Books on Classical/analytical Mechanics

  1. May 19, 2009 #1
    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,
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2009 #2

    George Jones

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  4. May 19, 2009 #3


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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.
  5. May 19, 2009 #4
    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".
  6. May 19, 2009 #5
    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.
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  7. May 19, 2009 #6

    George Jones

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. May 19, 2009 #7


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  9. May 19, 2009 #8


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    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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