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Classical Which is better Morin or Taylor on Classical Mechanics?

  1. Jul 9, 2016 #1
    I am a second year physics and I want to study CM in more depth than that of the general textbooks
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2016 #2
    The books are very different in scope. So you'll need to tell us more information.
  4. Jul 9, 2016 #3


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    What have you studied so far? Are there any particular topics that you are interested in?

    Hamiltonians and symplectic geometry? Chaos? Celestial mechanics? Computational methods? Lagrangians and classical field theory?
  5. Jul 9, 2016 #4
    OP. Please define 'better'.
  6. Jul 10, 2016 #5
    I have just finished classical mechanics in Serway textbook and after studying some claculus I want more in-depth textbook with quite simple explanation and good exercises.
  7. Jul 10, 2016 #6
    I know this is probably not a very helpful answer but, I like Taylor more than Morin although Morin is very good as well. Why don't you see the amazon previews and see what works best for you? Problems in Morin are quite difficult though. If I had to pick one - I would pick Taylor as I feel that he explains things better because, for the lack of a better explanation, goes more in-depth in each topic.

    Morin also has a good problems book that I really like and I think it is a good supplement to any mechanics course.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  8. Jul 14, 2016 #7
    Both are great books, but in my opinion, Morin's is slightly better. The small insights that he offers throughout the book are amazing. Sometimes there are more derivations of the same thing just to make you understand what that thing actually means and build a spherical point of view about it. Also, his exercises range from very easy to very hard. I have heard that Taylor's exercises are a bit on the easy side but I have not done any of them myself. But, in my opinion, you want a books to have a wide range of difficutly because your goal is to go from beginner to advanced level.
    Either way, whichever you choose, you can't go wrong with them
  9. Jul 14, 2016 #8


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    is it "Introduction to Classical Mechanics: With Problems and Solutions" by Morin?
  10. Jul 14, 2016 #9
    V. I. Arnold. Mathematical. Methods of. Classical Mechanics.
    This is a very advanced course, it is mainly for mathematicians.. Perhaps it could be of some use. You can find it in the internet
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  11. Jul 14, 2016 #10
    Some people here suggested this nice book (that Wrobel mentioned) as well as Mechanics by Landau and Lifshitz... by the way, I study physics by myself...
    Good luck
  12. Jul 15, 2016 #11
    Arnold's text is more for someone who wants a very rigorous treatment of classical mechanics, and who wants to apply modern geometric techniques to analysis of classical systems. I would consider it a good third or fourth textbook in classical mechanics, if you consider a Physics I,II, III text as a first textbook in classical mechanics. Between Morin and Taylor, I'd choose Taylor because it treats both Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics. Thus, it would serve as a better preparation and reference for the future if the OP ever wants to study quantum mechanics, general relativity, a book like V. I. Arnold's, etc.
  13. Jul 15, 2016 #12
    Morin's book does not treat Hamiltonian dynamics, but Morin posted in his website a complete chapter on Hamiltonian dynamics that he will include in the next edition in his book.
  14. Jul 15, 2016 #13
    Ah, that's nice. Still, it's nice to have a complete index in the back of the book if it's to be used for reference later.

    I guess it comes down to which pedagogy one prefers, then, after the next edition of Morin is published.
  15. Jul 16, 2016 #14


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    How can one write a textbook on theoretical classical mechanics without including Hamiltonian dynamics? If the study of classical mechanics makes any sense (except from being a very fascinating subject in itself) the whole purpose is to introduce the Hamilton formalism (with Poisson brackets) revealing the true structure of the theory, which can be used to motivate much of modern physics (particularly quantum theory).
  16. Jul 16, 2016 #15
    To be fair, many one-semester undergraduate classical mechanics classes only treat Lagrangian mechanics.
  17. Jul 17, 2016 #16
    Considering Morin is at the level of K&K (i.e. a (honors) first-course in mechanics), the fact that it includes the Lagrangian formalism is already quite neat. Comparing Taylor and Morin is like comparing Shankar and Sakurai, they don't directly serve the same purpose.

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