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Can anyone recommend or advise against a book?

  1. Feb 18, 2009 #1
    I can't seem to find a good book on motion. I know it's a broad subject, but I'm interested in Newtonian mechanics, full trajectories (with lift, drag, etc.), and basically anything that's not quantum mechanics or special relativity. I'm more concerned with principles that are applicable to everyday motion that I see (golf balls, car crashes, etc.).

    Any good recommendations? Would Newton's Principia be a good starter? I have taken physics two years so far in school, so I have a decent background. Any help?

    PS - Is Euclid's Elements of Geometry worth reading? I know it's not related, but it seems interesting. Any thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2009 #2


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    No, Newton's Principia is not suitable. I suggest Feynman Vol I if you've taken calculus.
  4. Feb 19, 2009 #3
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Feb 19, 2009 #4
    Oh my. Not many people read Principia (especially not Russell-Whitehead but Newton!!). I never read it because no one else seems to read it.

    I don't think I am qualified to recommend a good book in physics (others can) but I can comment on Euclid's book. Elements - yes there are some people who read it today but I think that is bound to be something very inefficient and rare.

    If you want a good grip on Euclidean Geometry, I suggest reading this list here. https://www.amazon.com/Euclidean-geometry/lm/R3CRV5W8A4W0ZB/ref=cm_lmt_fvlm_f_5_rlrsrs0

    I found this helpful. The books I particularly want to recommend are one by Kiselev, Coxeter's "Geometry Revisited", and if you want to go further Coexeter's "Introduction to Geometry." If you have good grip of high school mathematics I would just start with "Geometry Revisited" right away.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Feb 19, 2009 #5
    Newton was kind of an arrogant prick, in the sense that he wrote his book in such a way that only good mathematicians would be able to read it. It was definitely not aimed to explain the concept of motion it to the "layman".
  7. Feb 20, 2009 #6
    Regarding Elements, I would recommend staying away from it, its not meant to be a textbook. It doesn't explain things at all, it just assumes you understand proofs and dives right in. Furthermore, most translations make the math much harder to learn, eg:
    sounds like gibberish even after learning what the proof is trying to say. You're not going to use language to communicate with any 21st century human.
  8. Feb 20, 2009 #7
    Layman is an euphemism. Newton used to word "vulgar".
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