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Particle Theoretical Mechanics of Particles and Continua by Fetter

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  3. Lightly don't recommend

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  1. Dec 11, 2013 #1
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2013 #2


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    This is a pretty good book. I used it to teach myself some intro grad level mechanics and thought that it was concise, has some interesting problems to solve, and has a nice set of chapters on fluids - in particular emphasizing waves in fluids - which was the primary selling point for me. I never did work through the chapter on Hamiltonian mechanics (I know - that is what most people are probably wanting to read first!). The chapters I have read tend to have sections that introduce applied mathematics techniques in a useful way; most techniques I had seen before but still learned something from the discussion. The level is a modest step above Marion and Thornton's classic undergrad book.

    I cannot make a useful comparison with other grad mechanics books, since I am not so familiar with them. But if you are looking for a ton of material on Hamiltonian mechanics, this may not be the book for you, since the authors decided to emphasize continuum mechanics instead. For example, Goldstein's book has a ton more on Hamiltonian mechanics and other books likely do too.

    I have the old hardback, but I see that it is now a Dover republication and the price makes this book a good deal.

  4. Feb 14, 2014 #3
    I actually bought this by mistake. I took it off the shelf and thought I was buying their Many-body theory book. I returned it after examining the book in the parking lot (before driving back 75 miles: Lucky). After deeper examination from a library copy, I find it I like Goldstein Classical Mechanics slightly better. The old Goldstein (without that chaos stuff was better). My classical mechanics course treated some of the chaos. I feel graduate students would be better served going through the small oscillations chapter or the special relativity chapter or later chapters that we skipped to do chaos.
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