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Course of Theoretical Physics by Landau and Lifshitz

  1. Strongly Recommend

    79.4%
  2. Lightly Recommend

    14.7%
  3. Lightly don't Recommend

    2.9%
  4. Strongly don't Recommend

    2.9%
  1. Jan 24, 2013 #1

    micromass

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  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2013 #2

    DrDu

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    What to write about L&L?
    First it is certainly not a beginners text book.
    The chapters have often only a loose relation to each other. He takes any mathematical tool he uses for granted, which corresponds to the way russian physicists were trained, i.e. they had extensive mathematics classes before starting physics.
    He often uses conventions which are highly non-standard without loosing a word on it (or at best some 20 chapters later) and sometimes not consistently over the chapters.
    It is rather a book which you will take in hands once you have read some introductory text on some topic and you will even return to it when you are already an expert on the field.
    While it runs under the name of Landau and Lifshitz, only, there are some chapters or parts of the books which sum up the work of other books, often nobel prize winners themselves. E.g. the volume of statistical mechanics lays out quite closely what can be found in Abrikosov, Gorkov and Dzyaloshinskii, electrodynamics of the continua, has many chapters summarizing work of Gorkov and Agranovich, etc.

    Belongs on the shelf of every physicist.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2013
  4. Jan 29, 2013 #3
    The Classic Russian Text. If you are in Undergraduate and want to Read some Graduate Text in free time then this set of Landau & Lifshitz is best Intro to Graduate Physics.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2013
  5. Jun 23, 2013 #4

    bcrowell

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    The volumes that I have at least some familiarity with are mechanics, classical theory of fields, and statistical physics. The two good reasons to study these books are that they're concise, and they consistently apply an approach based on the principle of least action.

    There are many things not to like.

    You want to make sure to obtain the most recent editions, because the older editions are extremely out of date. This shows up particularly in the treatment of special and general relativity.

    There are end-of-chapter problems, but not very many of them, and they are mostly pretty difficult and given with their solutions immediately following. There is not much in the way of basic problems to promote computational fluency.

    These books are infamous for stating abstruse arguments very briefly, as if they were obvious or trivial. These arguments are sometimes incorrect. Often it's impossible to tell whether an argument is meant to be rigorous or simply a plausibility argument.

    There is essentially no contact with experiment or discussion of applications.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  6. Aug 3, 2013 #5
    I've only used L&L's Mechanics 3rd Edition for an upper level undergraduate class in mechanics and let me tell you that it is a challenging book. What we covered was not challenging conceptually or in terms of the actual physics; what was challenging was the manner it is presented. The text is very sparse - not a single word is wasted. Also, as stated above, there is a limited number of exercises and they tend to be rather difficult which means there is "no way" to become comfortable with the material before tackling the difficult problems.
     
  7. Aug 8, 2013 #6

    vanhees71

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    I agree that sometimes arguments are pretty short. It's the Landau/Russian didactics. However, can you give an example, where an argument is really wrong?
     
  8. Sep 18, 2013 #7
    Can somebody please change the name of “Lifgarbagez”? It hurts my eyes reading this. The man's name is Lifshitz, which is pretty close to the Russian Лифшиц.
     
  9. Jul 15, 2017 #8
    Hi. I recently bought the first volume of the series and to my surprise, the inside cover only listed 9 volumes (including the one I bought). One of the Statistical volumes is appears to be missing. I believe its the second part (Volume 9). Does anyone know why this is? My book on mechanics was published in 1960. Both Addison-Wesley and Pergamon Press are printed on the book so I'm not sure who published the book.
     
  10. Jul 15, 2017 #9

    vanhees71

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    That's strange. On Amazon I find all 10 volumes of this masterpiece. I've the German translation :-).
     
  11. Jul 15, 2017 #10
    Nice! You collected all 10 volumes?? I'm planning to read them all while collecting them but it's kinda a bummer if my set has two volume 9 (for statistical physics and for physical kinetics) When I did a little digging, i ran into some online copies and they also list 1-9. Check out the link if you're curious.

    https://archive.org/details/Mechanics_541
     
  12. Jul 15, 2017 #11

    vanhees71

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    Hm, this is really strange since Landau-Lifshitz has definitely 10 volumes also in the English edition:

    1) Mechanics
    2) Classical field theory (electromagnetism and general relativity)
    3) Non-relativistic quantum mechanics
    4) Quantum electrodynamics
    5) Statistical Physics, Part 1
    6) Hydrodynamics
    7) Elasticity theory
    8) Electrodynamics of Continua
    9) Statistical Physics, Part 2
    10) Kinetic Theory
     
  13. Jul 16, 2017 #12

    DrDu

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    I believe that statistical mechanics ii contains mostly material written after 1960 by other people than Landau, so it is clear that it didn't exist in 1960.
     
  14. Jul 19, 2017 #13
    Thanks. That explanation is so obvious that I am embarrassed but even more so because at some point I suspected this.
     
  15. Aug 2, 2017 #14
    I enjoy these books, especially Fluid Mechanics. Along with Batchelor, it provides a no-nonsense development of the field. Has anyone run into typos of these editions? I'm just wondering since my 3rd favorite of the set, Physical Kinetics, is also my least familiar (in terms of the equations) has some otherwise unconventional derivations.
     
  16. Aug 2, 2017 #15

    Demystifier

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