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Good book for Mechanics?

  1. Feb 23, 2015 #1
    Hi there !

    I was just wondering if you guys could recommend some books on Mechanics. I have a sound understanding of Calculus but I'm weak in Physics. I'm looking for a book that would clearly build up my fundamentals and arm me with good problem solving skills. Our teacher has recommended Timosheno & Yang. Can anyone please suggest some other excellent books are to me and tell me if Timosheno is a good book ?

    I need topics like centroid, kinematics, moment of inertia, forces ... But I want to improve my understanding of classical mechanics in general.
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  3. Feb 23, 2015 #2


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  4. Feb 23, 2015 #3
  5. Feb 23, 2015 #4
    Timoshenko's works are good, but they are mostly related to "pre-computer" era. Unless a particular book contains really working codes and software, it has little practical meaning. Here is a book similar to Timoshenko's works, but also supplied with codes, examples and programs on a CD, so you will have real-life stuff to work with:


    It is also available on from amazon:
  6. Feb 25, 2015 #5
    Thanks for all your replies !

    PeroK and Srednhi, my library luckily has Kleppner and it seems like a good book.

    The book you linked looks way too complicated for what I'm looking for. Can you explain what you mean by before the computer era ? I mean, where I'm from they don't use computers and coding to teach Physics so it just sounded fascinating that it's done in some part of the world.
    Also in your opinion, which book do you think is better for me to use ? Timoshenko, Kleppner or David Morin. I have access to all three but am feeling confused about which one to use. Also where does Irodov stand in all this ?

    Thanks for your help, everyone !
  7. Feb 25, 2015 #6
    Since you referred to the Stephen Timoshenko's book, it would probably be important to outline: to what exactly area of physics his research was related.

    Stephen Timoshenko was one of the most famous specialists in the area of applied mechanics; or, to be more precise, of Mechanics of Deformable Solid Bodies. This is a fascinating area of science and engineering, with strong practical applications - it is impossible to design any object, from a rocket body to a building or a ship, without using knowledge and methods developed in that area. From the mathematical point of view, the problems of Mechanics of Deformable Solid Bodies are formulated as systems of pretty complex partial differential equations (well, the same is related to other areas of physics). In pre-computer era, the only way to solve those equations were to use so-called analytical methods, using a textbook and pen-and-paper, so to speak. That would take a lot of time and effort; and the variety of those problems that allow rigorous mathematical solutions, was very limited, due to the complexity of the equations.

    A new era began with the arrival of computers. A special approach, named the Finite Element Analysis (or FEA), was invented by a bunch of talented people, the most famous of whom was Professor John Argyris. These days, the Finite Element Analysis is a huge industry, with thousands of mathematicians and engineers developing software systems for computer solution of problems belonging to all branches of Physics. If you are fascinated by such things, and are looking for good employment in future, the Finite Element Analysis would be an excellent choice.

    Regarding the book that I recommended: if you are interested in learning more about FEA (and it is a huge world by itself), I think you can write to the authors of the book directly (their e-mail address is provided on the Webpage to which I gave the reference).
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  8. Feb 25, 2015 #7
    It sounds fascinating. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have seen books on finite element method in the library and always wondered what it was.

    But, I was actually referring to Timoshenko's book on Engineering Mechanics. lol

    Also, my major is computer science engineering. Is there scope for me in that field too or is it limited to mechanical engineers ?
  9. Feb 25, 2015 #8
    Can someone guide me about which book to use among Timoshenko, Kleppner and David Morin. I'm quite confused.
  10. Feb 26, 2015 #9
    Go with Kleppner, you won't regret it.
  11. Feb 28, 2015 #10
    Morin is fantastic and very pedagogical.
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