Reviewing Mechanics: A Course of Theoretical Physics Volume 1

In summary, the conversation is about the book "Mechanics; a course of theoretical physics volume 1" by Landau and Lifshitz. The person is wondering about the quality of the book and how it explains the principle of least action and the Hamiltonian formalism. They also ask for a recommendation for a book on linear algebra to better understand classical field theory. Another person praises Landau's book for its clear and concise wording, but notes that it may be too brief for a first encounter with the subject.
  • #1
How is "Mechanics; a course of theoretical physics volume 1", by Landau and lifshitz?

I have recently bought Volume 2 of this series (the classical theory of fields) because it was recommending for an undergrad course I'm following.
I was wondering how good this first part was. I'm mainly interested in expanding my knowledge on the principle of least action and how the hamiltonian formalism follows from this. My previous encounter with least action is the lagrangian formalism as far as it's explained in "Classical Mechanics" by John R. Taylor.
Also I was wondering what a good book was to brush up on my knowledge of Linear Algebra or at least the part that's required to gain a keen insight into classical field theory.
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  • #2

I really liked Landau, but I've only really used it after studying with a different book beforehand. He has a way of wording things very clearly and concicely, but for a first encounter it may be almost a little too concice. I don't know Taylor's book so I can't say whether that is enough to fill in the details Landau leaves out.
I use it as the first reference when I need to look up something in classical mechanics and it's a real joy to read now.

1. What is the purpose of "Reviewing Mechanics: A Course of Theoretical Physics Volume 1"?

The purpose of this course is to provide a comprehensive review of mechanics, one of the fundamental branches of theoretical physics. It covers topics such as kinematics, dynamics, and conservation laws, and serves as a foundation for more advanced courses in theoretical physics.

2. Who is the target audience for this course?

This course is designed for students of theoretical physics who have already completed introductory courses in mechanics and are looking to deepen their understanding of the subject. It can also be useful for anyone interested in a rigorous and mathematical approach to mechanics.

3. Is this course suitable for self-study or is it best taken in a classroom setting?

While having a dedicated instructor can greatly enhance the learning experience, this course can also be successfully completed through self-study. It includes detailed explanations, worked examples, and practice problems to help students grasp the material.

4. Are there any prerequisites for taking this course?

As stated in the previous question, it is recommended to have some prior knowledge of mechanics before taking this course. It is also helpful to have a basic understanding of calculus and linear algebra, as these concepts are used throughout the course.

5. Can this course be applied to other areas of physics?

Yes, the principles and concepts covered in this course can be applied to many other areas of physics, such as electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics. The skills and knowledge gained from this course will also be beneficial for advanced studies in theoretical physics.

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