hi. i have worked through the mechanics and waves/optics portions of halliday/resnick/walker "fundamentals of physics" 6/e (an introductory physics text), and i want to continue on self-studying mechanics. could you suggest a formal mechanics text (or maybe it would be called a classical mechanics text?) that continues on from introductory mechanics (my math background 2 university calculus courses and a university linear algebra course). Keith Symon's "mechanics" 3/e looks good...any comments on that text for those that are familiar with it? thanks for any help/suggestions. Jonathan
I would suggest starting with "An Intro to Mechanics" by Kleppner & Kolenkow. Don't be fooled by the title, it is a lot more advanced than HRW but they write far more clearly the HR. Only fault is it does not include Lagrangian & Hamiltonian. L & H equations are how professors do those really hard mechanics problems in HRW. Once they know the answer, they work it again with the methods they taught you. Then try the classic "Classical Dynamics of Particles & Systems" by Marion & Thornton. To save money you could start with M&T but I found it a bit too hard. A distant third choice would be Fowles & Cassidy. It has a lot of good material but they don't explain well. I spent many hours discussing what they were trying to say with my prof. & found many of the problems to be ambiguous.
thanks mmwave. that was the other book that looked good. the only thing was that quite a few reviewers on amazon.com complained of cryptic and/or faulty end of chapter exercises,which worried me for self study...how would you rate the end of chapter exercises (difficult problems are okay, but they should be clear and correct, right)? another question: does this book lead to something like goldstein's "classical mechanics" or should there be a book in between that teaches lagrangian and hamiltonian mechanics prior to goldstein? thanks Jonathan
I haven't read Goldstein's text yet. I thought it was a graduate text in which case I would read Marion & Thornton first. K & K have no answers to the problems so that is a minus but at least you've got this forum for feedback!
If your mathematical maturity is up to it, you don't need an intermediate text before Goldstein. Only you can answer that though.
I would NOT recommend jumping right to Goldstein from HRW and a year of Calculus + linear algebra. Symon is a good book. I agree that Cassiday and Fowles is not crystal clear, but I think of it as at a little lower level than Symon. My first choice would be Symon if you can't find a place to take a course.