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Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems, 4th Edition Hardcover – January 17, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0030973024 ISBN-10: 0030973023 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 638 pages
  • Publisher: Saunders College Publications; 4th edition (January 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030973023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030973024
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Pros:
The Hamiltonian and Lagrangian sections were well-explained.
Good intro to mathematical formalism/style used in higher level courses. Notation a little clunky though. No use whining about the Math; just get used to it if you want your degree and graduate school.
Problems were interesting & challenging, but will kill newbies... more on that below.
Cons:
The other sections were so-so. Very often I could not see the forest for the trees. Initiates need some kind of context/background to fit the various topics together and with what they already know.
It's not readily obvious that intuition is just as important as analysis in Dynamics problem-solving--no advice given in this respect. Caused me to use up too much time trying to crack a problem when my approach was unsuitable in the first place.
Examples did not help in solving the problems; often felt like I was thrown into the deep end of the pool before I could swim.
Try Schaum's Outlines, Landau, Goldstein as well. Feynmann's Lectures give some background.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Why is everyone complaining about the mathematical formalism in this text? While perhaps such formalism requires a certain level of mathematical maturity on the part of the reader, it does *not* detract from pedagogy. In my opinion, it is better to become used to such formalism in the context of classical dynamics, where intuition can be of great help, than later on, and please, calculus and linear algebra is all that's required! It's not *that* formal!
I'd also like to say that the Hamiltonian and Lagrangian sections present one of the more lucid explanations that I have seen.
Finally, no, the author does not give you an example problem and then ask you to do the same problem with different numbers at the end of the chapter--he assumes you could do that. If you can't read a book that doesn't have such trivial problems for you to work, perhaps you should go elsewhere. The problems in this book are often challenging, and require you to extrapolate from the previous chapters. I find such problems more interesting than ones that require you to only look back in the chapter, grab two equations, eliminate one variable, and then plug in numbers. I'm not sure why everyone has jumped on the "the problems aren't worded well" bandwagon either, as I have encountered very little ambiguity throughout this book. If you want to master classical dynamics, this isn't the only book you'll want to work through, but it certainly should be on your list.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I'm taking physics 105 at UC Berkeley and we're using Marion and Thornton in my class. I like using the book as a reference, but I think that each chapter does a poor job of explaining how to solve the problems that appear in the end of each chapter. There are also very few simple problems in the book that allow one to become used to using new methods (like hamiltonian mechanics, and the use of lagrangians) before using them to solve difficult problems. I would reccommend another mechanics book such as "Mechanics" by Landau and Lifschitz or "Mechanics" by Symon. Unless you have an excellent instructor, Marion and Thronton is not very much fun to use.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "killedradiostar" on May 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
i agree to a lesser or greater extent with many of the polar opinions expressed here. my professors, despite their continued use of the book, have a bit of distaste for it. they claim previous editions were better. i cannot attest to the quality of the earlier editions, but i can say that the current one is not a very good text. but i will concur with the others in that the book does a fantastic job of explaining lagrangian and hamiltonian dynamics.
the downside is that this was the only portion i fully understood after leaving my mechanics class. a research seminar on gravitational lensing would give me a second swing at the central-force motion chapter, which i did, in all honesty, find easier to read the second time around.
i believe a second look at many of the sections would prove to be very helpful to those that are troubled. one thing in M&T, however, is simply egregious: the problems are sloppy, poorly described, and overly complicated. if the goal is to achieve a better understanding of the material, these questions fail miserably. good exercises are lost amidst mathematics that are overly troublesome to really be useful.
having a course that discusses mathematical methods in physics before diving into this book is a great idea. i used potter and goldberg's "mathematical methods" and found it to be a very useful text, both as a teaching device and as a reference. combined with marion's text, i feel that one could certainly wade through classical mechanics.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I had to use this poorly written, overpriced book for my course at Cal State L.A. There are insufficient examples, some of which are confusing, and the binding seems to have been deliberately designed to fall apart after a few months (to limit the used market?). The problems sets are sorely lacking in imagination and, as others have noted, poorly worded. I would recommend the Schaum's outline in theoretical mechanics by Murray Spiegel. It is inexpensive and contains a wealth of good examples. When you finally get to sell back Marion at the end of the course , you will still have a good reference on intermediate mechanics and won't feel as bad about the money you lost on M&T.
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