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Homework Help: Can anyone recommend a good textbook for Analytical Mechanics

  1. Dec 10, 2007 #1
    I am currently taking the second semester of a 2 semester course in Mechanics. We are using the book, Analytical Mechanics by Fowles and Cassiday.

    This book is okay, but I'd really like to find a used secondary mechanics book with more explanations and problems to solve. Can anyone recommend any?

    It needs to be more advanced than a typical entry Calculus based physics book, but only the last two chapters of the book get in to Lagrangian mechanics.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2007 #2


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    What topics does your course cover?
  4. Dec 16, 2007 #3
    Hmm, you could have a look at Goldstein of course, but that is probably too advanced for this course? How about Kibbel/Berkshire?
  5. Dec 30, 2007 #4
    These are some classical "classical mechanics" books that I used at various times:

    1. Marion/Thornton [standart]: This book starts from beginning Newtonian Mechanics moves towards the Oscillations and at the midpoint switches to Lagrangian-Hamiltonian Dynamics and so on. Easy to read and understand but not very advanced.

    2. Symon [Intermediate]: This is a really math based book. We used to use it with Marion/Thornton. This book is sufficiently covers almost everything that can be taught in a classical mechanics course. Requires good math!

    3. Goldstein [Advanced]: This book eventually starts with Lagrangian Mechanics and generally covers the important core part of subject of mechanics usually used in graduate courses.
  6. Dec 30, 2007 #5


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    Is Symon even still in print? I have ended up with all three editions of Goldstein and I know Marion & Thornton is in at least a fourth edition [I have Marion, second edition, back before Thornton was involved], but I just tried hunting up Symon and found Amazon showing the third edition from 1971! Maybe you can turn up an old used copy somewhere online...
  7. Dec 30, 2007 #6
    Arnold: Mathematical methods in classical Mechanics is a fun book good stuff on symplectic manifolds and canonical coordinate changes.
  8. Dec 31, 2007 #7


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  9. Dec 31, 2007 #8

    George Jones

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    Do you know the level at which Fowles and Cassiday is pitched?

    Arnold is a great graduate book for someone who feels comfortable with the requisite mathematics - analysis and differential geometry.

    Since Fowles and Cassiday is the text for the original poster's course, I presume that he/she wants a supplement at or near its level.

    If the course doesn't get into Lagrangian Mechanics, then maybe https://www.amazon.com/Introduction...sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1199103837&sr=1-1" by Kleppner and Kolenkow, or (probably more readable) a library copy of the out print mechanics book by Kittel.

    Marion and Thorton is good reference that is at a slightly higher level than is Fowles and Cassiday.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  10. Dec 31, 2007 #9
    My Marion/Thornton is in its 5th Edition, I think its still the latest version.

    You are right dynamicsolo, Symon finished the job in 1971, but I guess his book still rocks! I think it won't create a big problem since classical mechanics is not witnessing major changes for decades. But new editions are always welcome and most of the time they are better than previous ones for sure. In conclusion I recommed Symon strongly, at least have a look and then decide.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  11. Dec 31, 2007 #10
    I would recommend Taylor's book for a good introduction. I found this book to be very clear and well structured. It covers the Newtonian Mechanics, the important laws of conservation, then the oscillators and the Calculus of Variations before moving to Lagrangian dynamics (with a good selection of exercices). Some chapters later, you have the Hamiltonian Mechanics, nonlinear mechanics and chaos, Special Relativity...


    I would even say that Taylor's book is to Mechanics what Griffith's book is to electrodynamics, and I mean very clear, structured and comprehensive with a good selection of problems.
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