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Classical Mechanics Textbook Recommendation

  1. Mar 30, 2009 #1
    Hey guys, I am an undergraduate junior physics major currently enrolled in PHY3220 (Classical Mechanics) and we are using the textbook by Fowles and Cassiday titled, "Analytical Mechanics." However, I am looking for a second Classical Mechanics textbook that I could use as a reference since there are certain concepts in Analytical Mechanics that I did not seem to grasp very well. Looking online, I have seen great reviews for "Classical Mechanics" written by John R. Taylor and I was wondering for those of you aware of this particular textbook or have had experience using it, is it any good? Is there any other Classical Mechanics textbook you would recommend? On looking over the information regarding the textbook written by Taylor, it seems that there are well over 700 problems to work out whereas my current Analytical Mechanics textbook by Fowles has approximately 150+ problems which to me makes a huge difference in terms of problem solving experience. Thus, what would you recommend that is a great textbook in explaining the concepts of Classical Mechanics but also gives you many problems to work with? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2009 #2
    I hear good comments about Taylor's book, but i did not look it personally. I think Thornton and Marion's book is an industry standard for the classical mechanics course and i am using it at the moment. Goldstein's book is another popular book, i ordered it from the library and will get it today or tomorrow. Personally, i think there is no such single book which is ok for everybody. Learning process is changing from person to person and that the "good book" definition is changing from person to person, too. There some standard books which covers most of the reader base, though. My advice is get some advice on books and if you have an opportunity (library, online source et cetera) check all of them personally. One seems to be underrated for anybody else could be a good book for you. Maybe, you could see one is lacking in an aspect which you are expecting (such as numerical questions, conceptual question et cetera) that you could choose to combine boooks. Studying concept from one and solving questions of another. I think you got the point ;)
  4. Apr 3, 2009 #3
    I'd recommend French's Newtonian Mechanics and Vibrations and Waves. The technical level is a little below that of Fowles, but above the usual Freshman Physics coverage.

    Symon, Mechanics is at about the same level as Fowles, but maybe a little more detailed.

    It's possible they ruined it in later editions, but I thought Fowles 4th ed. was excellent. Very clear and succinct. I also found it very useful for review in graduate school.
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