1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to study Theoretical Mechanics?

  1. Nov 17, 2014 #1
    I know Single variable Calculus and I have a basic understanding of multivariable calculus. I also happen to know basic linear algebra. What are the mathematical pre-requisites needed in order to self-study theoretical mechanics?
    I'm planning to take this course http://theoreticalminimum.com/courses/classical-mechanics/2011/fall taught by Leonard Susskind. I'm a first year fall (first term) 2014 mathematical physics student.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2014 #2

    ShayanJ

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Knowing some calculus of variations and also methods of solving ordinary differential equations will help too. You should also be able to work with different coordinate systems. Some knowledge of vector analysis and a little about tensors is good too. I think reading the related chapters from Mathematical methods for Physicists by Arfken will give you what you need.
    I should say those courses, as the name implies, just give a minimum knowledge about what's going on. To actually learn it, you should take more extended courses.
     
  4. Nov 18, 2014 #3
    Shyan has told you everything you need, but I'd like to stress the importance of multivariable calculus. In particular, you are better to deeply understand the difference between partial derivative, total derivative and differential
     
  5. Nov 19, 2014 #4
    Thanks a lot. Yes, I have a theoretical mechanics course the third term in my university. But I just can't wait for it. Plus I have a lot of time, so why not spend it.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook