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An Introduction to Mechanics [Hardcover]

by Daniel Kleppner, Robert J. Kolenkow
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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An Introduction to Mechanics An Introduction to Mechanics 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

June 7, 2010 0521198216 978-0521198219
In the years since it was first published in 1973 by McGraw-Hill, this classic introductory textbook has established itself as one of the best-known and most highly regarded descriptions of Newtonian mechanics. Intended for undergraduate students with foundation skills in mathematics and a deep interest in physics, it systematically lays out the principles of mechanics: vectors, Newton's laws, momentum, energy, rotational motion, angular momentum and noninertial systems, and includes chapters on central force motion, the harmonic oscillator, and relativity. Numerous worked examples demonstrate how the principles can be applied to a wide range of physical situations, and more than 600 figures illustrate methods for approaching physical problems. The book also contains over 200 challenging problems to help the student develop a strong understanding of the subject. Password-protected solutions are available for instructors at www.cambridge.org/9780521198219.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Endorsement:
"Kleppner and Kolenkow's An Introduction to Dynamics is a classic textbook as useful today as when it was first published in 1973. It covers classical mechanics and energy through planetary orbits and oscillators as well as special relativity helping well-prepared freshmen to develop the conceptual understanding and mathematical confidence to tackle the analytical dynamics and quantum mechanics that is to come. Of particular note is the treatment of the difficult subject of rigid body dynamics. The worked examples and problems thoughtfully confront and resolve many of the confusions that students typically encounter."
Roger Blandford, Stanford University

Endorsement:
"... the 'gold standard' for a mechanics text at this level and should be on the bookshelf of every serious student, alongside other classic books like Jackson's "Classical Electrodynamics" and Goldstein's "Classical Mechanics". I am glad to see it is to be re-issued by Cambridge at a more sensible price. This addresses the only negative feature of the book."
David Hanna, McGill University

Endorsement:
"Kleppner and Kolenkow is a great textbook for advanced freshmen studying classical mechanics. It does a wonderful job of developing conceptual, mathematical intuition. The text, the examples, and the problems are all engaging and provide students with a strong foundation to become master problem-solvers. It is particularly good for developing an intuition for multivariable calculus in the context of classical mechanics."
Kathryn Moler, Stanford University

Endorsement:
"An Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner and Kolenkow is a great book. It is original and beautifully written and is really the only choice for a serious introduction to mechanics for well prepared physics majors. I very much enjoy the book every time I teach freshman mechanics."
Bruce Winstein, University of Chicago

Book Description

Intended for undergraduate students, this is a classic introductory textbook on the principles of Newtonian mechanics. It contains numerous worked examples and challenging problems to help students understand how the principles can be applied to a wide range of physical situations. Password-protected solutions are available for instructors at www.cambridge.org/9780521198219.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 566 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (June 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521198216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521198219
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
112 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE MIT 8.012 Textbook September 2, 2002
By K. Luey
Format:Hardcover
Wow, here it is at Amazon.com. The textbook used for "Advanced" freshman physics/mechanics at MIT. I first used Kleppner's book when it was a collection of notes in a binder. It was not for sale at the bookstore; you bought it at the Undergraduate Physics office for, [$$$] I recall.
But here's the real point: this book, and its wonderful set of homework problems, was written for freshman completely and thoroughly trained in differential and integral calculus. After all, mechanics is all about calculus. I have read many science book reviews here at Amazon, and I am getting the impression that there are many well-prepared students out there, and that calculus is a second language by high school graduation. If this is true, then forget Halliday/Resnick. Forget Serway, forget Giancoli. If you know your calculus well (and I mean well) and you take Freshman Physics using those books, you have wasted a perfectly good semester.
It's as simple as this: Does F = ma? Or does F = dP/dt? (Where, of course, F, P and a are vectors.) The problems are, indeed, challenging. They require thinking, reasoning and excellent mathematical skill. They do not simply ask you to draw a force diagram, plug in some masses, resolve some vector components and ask you what the net motion is. From my own personal experience, it is difficult to learn calculus and study this book at the same time. Do your calculus first, and maybe even some differential equations. I think this book is not widely used because it is not easy to ensure that 100% of the class comes in with a good grounding in calculus. That is perhaps why it is sometimes spoken of here as an "honors" level textbook.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Appropriate for honors physics July 19, 2004
Format:Hardcover
I am a college professor who has used this text a number of times for an honors course in freshman physics. Quite simply, it is in a class by itself. Standard physics textbooks (Halliday/Resnick, Serway, Young/Freedman, etc.) are all pretty similar to each other, and pretty good if you are learning calculus at the same time. Then there are mechanics books suitable for junior/senior physics majors, or graduate students. There just isn't anything else in between.
Students, however, uniformly report that they hate the book--they sometimes express this view quite vehemently in course evaluations. Those that find the course valuable tend to view it like a particularly rigorous boot camp--maybe for Green Berets or Navy Seals or something like that--really tough while you are doing it but a deep sense of accomplishment afterwards.
The book is about as non-glossy as you can imagine--no color pictures (or color anything else), no cool pictures of rock climbers or ballet dancers, no warm fuzzies. Just text and equations. But everyone agrees that the homework problems are cool and challenging.
Under no circumstances should you use Kleppner and Kolenkow unless you (or your students if you are the instructor) have completely mastered basic calculus and are moderately comfortable with concepts like multidimensional integration, partial derivatives, and differential equations. And be prepared to work hard.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for physics professors, not for hobbyists June 1, 2004
Format:Hardcover
This text is used for MIT's advanced mechanics course, taught in the fall of the freshman year, sometimes still by Dan Kleppner himself. Historically, about 50% of the students drop out of the course and retreat to one of the other physics variants (which use Young and Freedman, or Halliday, Walker, Resnick, I believe). Yes, that's right, valedictorians and overachievers drop left and right out of this course, many citing the text as to abstract and difficult to follow. I understand that many other elite universities have similar classes that use this book with similar results.
Some people have very good things to say about this book. They are the ones who already have a good understanding of classical mechanics and are looking for a rigorous, challenging set of examples and problems. I have found this sort of person to be very much in the minority.
For the majority of people, who are looking to get an intuitive view of mechanics and how they apply to the modern world, I would suggest Halliday, Walker, and Resnick's Fundamentals of Physics instead of this book. But if you really want deep insight into the nature of mechanics (i.e. you're going to teach it someday), run--don't walk--to the bookstore and buy this book today.
On a side note, the E&M portion of the MIT advanced physics series uses Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism, Vol. II. My recommendation would be the same for this book as well: if you love physics and understand it well already, buy the book. Otherwise, avoid it like the plague.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great challenge that's worth it December 16, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I used this book for my Honors Physics- Mechanics course at UC Berkeley which I took my freshman year. I have never been more challenged intellectually in my entire life. This book covers mechanics at a remarkable depth for a lower division course and really gives you a great understanding of mechanics if you put the hundreds of hours into it which it requires. This is a must for any Physics major, especially one who wants to go on to Grad. School. Although, the book can be very intimidating, the key is to stick with it and be patient and eventually you'll really get it- it's a wonderful feeling. The hard work does pay off.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure
This book is precisely what I was looking for mechanics ala Calculus. I love quiet afternoons with a cup of expresso, pencil, paper and this book.
Published 2 months ago by Ron Gist
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books for Introduction to Mechanics
I think this book one of the best books for Introduction to Mechanics
I recommend this book to anyone who Love Physics
Published 4 months ago by Behnood Bandi
5.0 out of 5 stars Used but really new
Stated that it was used but it was actually like new. Great book. Great shipping time. Must have for all physics students.
Published 8 months ago by ariela
5.0 out of 5 stars A book Newton/Einstein would be proud of
This is a great book to say the least. Use this book to become a proficient Mechanics "Mechanic". There are umpteen problems to make you a winner in any examination in physics and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Raghuram Krishnaswamy
5.0 out of 5 stars nice introduction to mechanics
This book provides a comprehensive, convenient and compelling introduction to the subject of mechanics, including a bit of special relativity. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Shen Zeyu
2.0 out of 5 stars A great book, if you already know physics
Most of the positive reviews of this book are coming from those who have already (at least) taken a college-level mechanics course previously. Read more
Published 14 months ago by James S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Kepler and Kolenkow's An intro to mechanics was the freshman physics textbook I used. It's difficulty gave me nightmares at one point and was one of the few times I wondered wether... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Gustavo Litvin
5.0 out of 5 stars the best mechanics book
I wanted to buy a good (calculus based) mechanics book suitable for Class 11 and 12. After reading reviews from amazon I bought this book. Read more
Published on March 7, 2012 by Amitava Bhattacharya
4.0 out of 5 stars not for everyone
These days I teach physics for a living, but in 1982 I used this book as a freshman in an honors class. Read more
Published on May 2, 2011 by Benjamin Crowell
5.0 out of 5 stars Kleppner and Kolenkow Review
The main reason to have this textbook is for the fantastic exercises at the end of each chapter. They're very difficult, and that's the point: you have to understand the material... Read more
Published on November 2, 2010 by Kirchner
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