Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems (英語) ハードカバー – 1995/1/17
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This best-selling classical mechanics text, written for the advanced undergraduate course, provides a complete account of the classical mechanics of particles, systems of particles, and rigid bodies. The author makes extensive use of vector calculus to explore topics and also includes the Langrangian formulation of mechanics. Modern notation and terminology are used throughout in support of the text's objective: to facilitate the transition to the quantum theory of physics. Features: * Many numerical calculation examples and end-of-chapter problems clearly demonstrate how to set-up and work out problems, and enhance mathematics training for physics majors. * To reinforce previously learned material, the author has based the text on Newtonian mechanics. * Ongoing emphasis is placed on mathematics with the introduction of new mathematical techniques whenever possible and ample opportunities to practice these techniques. * Chaos, a topic not generally available in comparable texts, is introduced in Chapter 4. * The author focuses on connections to modern physics keeping in mind student needs for learning quantum mechanics and relativity. New to this edition: * New Chapter 4 provides new chaos materials and expands on the nonlinear material in the third edition. * This edition features additional numerical calculation examples, a revision based largely on comments from instructors and students who used the previous edition. The use of abundant numerical calculation examples distinguishes this text from others currently available.
From what I've read so far, this is my new favorite mechanics book. In general, I have not been satisfied with any of the mechanics textbooks I've read so far, with my previous favorite being the Landau/Lifshitz mechanics text.
As an undergraduate, I used lecture notes my professor wrote supplemented with Taylor's Classical Mechanics. I thought Taylor's book was very accessible, but was disappointed that it did not cover the material on a deeper level. However, the worked out examples were very helpful.
In my Master's program, I used Goldstein's Classical Mechanics, and supplemented it with the Landau/Lifshitz book. Goldstein covered the material in more depth, but I felt like I was understanding the mathematics and missing out on some of the bigger connections between the mathematics and the physics. I also felt like I understood the material in the narrow context it was used, but that was about it. Goldstein also does not have very many worked out examples throughout the text, and that made learning some of the topics difficult. Landau/Lifshitz book provided me with much more insight into what was physically going on in these systems, and the repercussions of the math behind the systems. The L/L book is very terse, which can be both an advantage and disadvantage at times. The worked out problems usually do not include all of the steps, but enough is provided such that a student could write out the complete derivation on their own.
So far I have really enjoyed Thorton & Marion. Here are the things I like about the book:
-The authors are fairly thorough when it comes to these concepts. I think they even go into more depth than Goldstein on many of them. From reading these sections I feel like I have a much stronger understanding of the material than I did while reading any of the other books.
- The use of language is very precise, and they are careful to say when and how the concepts they discuss are applicable. One of the biggest pet peeves of mine is when an author makes a vague or general statement than has room for interpretation.
- I feel like I have a broader understanding of how these concepts are relevant both to other mechanical systems as well as outside of what is typically considered Classical Mechanics. There are plenty of references to how these concepts do or don't apply to e&m systems, atomic systems, etc.
The books is not perfect. Here are what I think are the drawbacks:
- I think that if this were my first exposure to the material, I would not find this book as helpful. I would not recommend it as an introductory text. Covering the material in this much detail on my first exposure would probably have made it difficult to keep track of the context as to why the author was covering this material, as well as where the authors were heading.
- While many of the solved problems are helpful, I did not think the computational solved problems were helpful. Providing the code used would have been nice, as the author really doesn't provide that much on how the computational results were obtained. However, I do a lot of programming so maybe this would be helpful to me but not to most of the students reading this book.
- Sometimes steps are skipped or choices are taken in the solved problems without a clear explanation of why the authors are solving the problems in this way. In one of the earlier problems I did not understand why the authors arbitrarily multiplied both sides by velocity to solve a differential equation, when I saw a much easier way of doing it.
In summary: This is a very good textbook for an advanced undergraduate or early graduate physics student. If you are using for your first Classical Mechanics course, you may find it to be as helpful as I did. I can't speak about the appropriateness of the end-of-chapter problems, but for the most part the worked out problems are useful. As a reference or a review, I would definitely recommend this book.
- : Very few physical concepts. Often complicates concepts. End of chapter problems can be unnecessarily tedious. Special relativity is presented poorly.
I would say this book is a good way of training yourself to "read" physics texts. The long computations may benefit some, while frustrate others. I don't think this text does a good job of providing physical concepts or stressing what is important; it's up to the reader to figure that out which makes the text a difficult read if one is unaccustomed to such a style. It certainly has a colder "classical" feel to it, which may be appealing to some, and unappealing to others. I often found myself researching the physical "insights" the authors would mention and felt dissatisfied with their explanations. This text may prove to have helped me more in the long run, but I feel unsatisfied with the amount of "physics" information I extracted from this book.