Prerequisites for John Taylor classical mechanics

In summary, the conversation is about a textbook on classical mechanics and the reader's question about whether they should wait until they have completed their differential equations course before diving into the book. The expert recommends that they go ahead and start reading the book, as they have enough background knowledge to understand most of the concepts. They also suggest looking up any unfamiliar differential equations and mention other recommended books on the topic.
  • #1
bigmike94
99
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Inside the textbook, the prerequisites state first year mechanics and some differential equations, although it continues to say the differential equations can be learned as you’re working your way through the book, as differential equations were basically “invented” to be used for applied situations and not abstractly. (I think?)

I am around 1/3 to a 1/2 through my differential equations course, so I do have the required “some differential equations”

But to gain the full benefits from the book would you recommend waiting till the end of the course or just diving straight in. I have completed first year mechanics and nearly all of Calculus 3.

Thank you.

Side note; although I am on a part time degree I mostly study for fun and plan on reading David morins mechanic book and a few others after John Taylor’s, so I am not too worried about not being able to pick up everything straight away, but also don’t want to be left scratching my head. If a full course in differential equations is required then I’ll happy wait. I’m in no rush.
 
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  • #2
I would go for it. I think you have enough background to get through it.

I think you might run into boundary value problems and/or partial differential equations later in the book if they cover waves in Chapter 16 (last chapter) and possibly Calculus of Variations in Chapter 6.

Based on the table of contents for the book:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/189138922X/?tag=pfamazon01-20
 
  • #3
jedishrfu said:
I would go for it. I think you have enough background to get through it.

I think you might run into boundary value problems and/or partial differential equations later in the book if they cover waves in Chapter 16 (last chapter) and possibly Calculus of Variations in Chapter 6.

Based on the table of contents for the book:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/189138922X/?tag=pfamazon01-20
Thank you for the reply, I think I’ll go for it then, hopefully by the time I get to the more challenging concepts I will have completed the differential equations course. If not, like I said whatever I don’t fully understand hopefully David Morins book can help.
 
  • #4
Just go for it. If you encounter a differential equation you are not familiar with, look it up.
 
  • #5
malawi_glenn said:
Just go for it. If you encounter a differential equation you are not familiar with, look it up.
Just ordered it 💪 cheers 👍
 
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  • #6
There are other good Classical Mechanics books besides Taylor namely Goldstein's, Marion's, Landau...

Goldstein was the gold standard for Classical Mechanics. Marion was the book I used but wish I had Goldstein. Landau is a very brief book but it stopped me in the first few pages.

I think Taylor is a good first choice though and later you can branch out into the others based on your interest and passion.

Here's an earlier thread comparing the classics:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/which-classical-mechanics-book-has-better-content.915485/
 
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Related to Prerequisites for John Taylor classical mechanics

1. What is the purpose of studying John Taylor classical mechanics?

The purpose of studying John Taylor classical mechanics is to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental laws and principles that govern motion and mechanics in the physical world. This knowledge is essential for many fields of science and engineering, including physics, astronomy, and mechanical engineering.

2. What are the prerequisites for studying John Taylor classical mechanics?

The prerequisites for studying John Taylor classical mechanics include a strong foundation in mathematics, particularly calculus and linear algebra. A basic understanding of physics concepts such as force, energy, and motion is also necessary. It is recommended to have completed introductory physics courses before delving into classical mechanics.

3. Is it necessary to have prior knowledge of other branches of physics before studying John Taylor classical mechanics?

While it is not absolutely necessary to have prior knowledge of other branches of physics, it is highly recommended. Familiarity with concepts from other branches, such as electricity and magnetism, can provide a helpful framework for understanding classical mechanics.

4. Are there any specific textbooks or resources recommended for studying John Taylor classical mechanics?

John Taylor's "Classical Mechanics" is a highly recommended textbook for studying classical mechanics. Other popular resources include "An Introduction to Mechanics" by Kleppner and Kolenkow, and "Classical Mechanics" by Goldstein, Poole, and Safko.

5. What are the key topics covered in John Taylor classical mechanics?

Some of the key topics covered in John Taylor classical mechanics include Newton's laws of motion, conservation of energy and momentum, rotational motion, simple harmonic motion, and central forces. Other topics may include Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, and special relativity.

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