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Landau's Classical Mechanics

  1. May 1, 2015 #1
    Hello, PF,

    I'm going to be taking graduate CM next semester and the professor uses Landau's textbook instead of Goldstein, which I take is the usual text. What are the appreciable differences between the books and what kind of math will be needed? I have the basics-complex analysis, linear algebra, yadda yadda-but I've never taken a formal course in something "higher" like differential geometry, for instance. The professor says he will be teaching some of that in the course and that I should be fine, but I'm still a little worried for reasons you might pick up in my introduction.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Landau is very terse so you may want to have Goldstein around too.
  4. May 1, 2015 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    When Landau says "One Can Show", he means "After a dozen pages of work, and lots of swearing". I'd buy a copy of Goldstein, and assume you have a copy of something one level down, like Marion or Symon.
  5. May 3, 2015 #4
    Yeah, Landau can be frustrating sometimes. When I read it the first time I thought he was just showing off, but I think the brevity of explanation there is just the way Russians do things.
  6. May 3, 2015 #5
    In general Russian education(books being one of the main factors) are more rigorous. At least in mathematics. The Russians use these "rigorous" books through childhood to graduate level courses within their educational system. Ie teachers assign these books and teach out of them. Not like in America where one learns from ie geometry from a cookbook, whereas the Russians learn geometry from Kisselev. This effect keeps multiplying throughout the years.

    Not sure if this is the same as in physics as it is I n math. Please correct me.
  7. May 4, 2015 #6
    OK, everybody, thanks for your advice. I am not thrilled about the idea of spending money on another textbook, but it might be for the best.

    I wonder if this will be the start of getting the whole series over the years...

    The professor is surprise, surprise, Russian. I've heard that the course is *incredibly* good but intense. I'm looking forward to it, especially since I had a pretty bad undergraduate CM class.
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