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Classical Mechanics Hardcover – January 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1891389221 ISBN-10: 189138922X

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 786 pages
  • Publisher: University Science Books (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189138922X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891389221
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A superb text. The clarity and readability of the book is so much better than anything else on the market." -- American Journal of Physics, April 2004

"Many of my students thought that Taylor's Classical Mechanics was the clearest textbook that they had ever used." -- Joel Fajans, University of California, Berkeley

"The book is excellent. The core of a truly superb mechanics course is covered in Taylor's text." -- Robert Pompi, State University of New York, Binghamton

About the Author

JOHN R. TAYLOR is Professor of Physics and Presidential Teaching Scholar at the University of Colorado, where he has won numerous teaching awards, served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Physics, and received an Emmy Award for his television series called 'Physics 4 Fun'. He is also the author of three best-selling textbooks, including Introduction to Error Analysis.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
49
4 star
11
3 star
9
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 70 customer reviews
I wish that all problems had solutions, but very few books do.
Chad
Taylor explains things in a wonderfully understandable way with many examples throughout.
Bob Zuidema
So far, I recommend it to physics students in any intermediate level mechanics course.
Pa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Mark Semon on May 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The five "reviews" before mine are all from undergraduate physics majors at Amherst College. All five students were in the same class, which used a pre-publication edition of Taylor's book. I think their reviews reflect these facts, and say more about the students than they do about the book.

That being said, I also used pre-publication editions, but as a professor teaching the class. Before this book I had used the other "standards" (Marion and Thorton, etc). Taylor's book is by far the best of all of them. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I gave the author a lot of feedback about the material covered in the chapters and the problems. I wouldn't have spent all that time on the book if I didn't believe it was one of the best physics books I've ever read.

I use the book in the Jr-Sr mechanics course at Bates College. Since our students have already had a semester of classical mechanics from the book by Kleppner and Kolenkow, I begin with Chapter Six in Taylor's book (Calculus of Variations). The presentation is meticulous, the concepts are explained clearly and correctly (not always the case in other books), and the examples are carefully chosen. The problems are carefully chosen and carefully worded. Sometimes they present new material, e.g., the Thomas Precession, the rapidity, etc., using examples that clearly illustrate the essential points.

I also have taught the first six chapters and they are very refreshing and well-written. They are at just the right level for a student coming out of a calculus-based introductory physics course and, in addition, give a wonderful discussion of air resistance and viscious forces as they apply to automobiles, oil drops in the Millikan experiment, and many other practical situations.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By M. Sergio on June 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I strongly recommend this book, it is well written, clear, without typographical errors, with many excercises which you can really do after having studied the text. Some people say it is verbose: sometimes it is true, BUT when you study alone it is a lot better to have more rather than less explanations. I wish there was a similar book on quantum mechanics. The binding is good and this adds to the good feeling of studying it. This book should become soon a bestseller. I suggest only to add the answers of the even-numbered problems, sometimes it may help.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Doktor Faustus on September 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Unlike many of the other reviewers, who have either learned or taught from this book in a class setting, I read and worked through large parts of this book on my own. This review is therefore most relevant for someone who wants to do the same.

John Taylor's textbook "Classical Mechanics" is an excellent textbook for someone interested in learning more advanced mechanics on his or her own. His writing is clear but not too wordy and this is very important for understanding the difficult concepts in the book. A certain level of mathematical preparation is needed to really understand this book. I would recommend having a basic understanding of the following: multi-variable and vector calculus, differential equations, and proofs.

The book can be divided into roughly three sections. Chapters 1-5 are in-depth coverage of topics taught in lower-level mechanics courses (laws of motion, friction, momentum, energy, and oscillations). Chapters 6-11 deal with new, more complex topics (calculus of variations, lagrange's equations, two-body problems, non-inertial frames, rotational motion, and coupled oscillators). Chapters 12-16 are a smattering of extra topics (chaos, hamiltonian mechanics, collision theory, special relativity, and continuum mechanics).

I must confess that I only completed the first 8 chapters of the book, however, I found that Taylor does a number of things that greatly enhance understanding of the material. Each chapter has numerous interesting problems that slowly scale up in difficulty. The early chapters are good preparation for the later chapters. Some of the problems have solutions at the back of the book and although many of the problems don't have solutions, they're generally not necessary, because you'll know whether you've solved the problem or not.

Overall I recommend this book; it is a good book for someone interested in physics beyond the basics.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mark Shapiro on July 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Classical mechanics" is a brilliant book, certainly one of the very best at this level. The author doesn't save space when a thorough introduction to a topic or problem is needed. Very often an intuitive explanation is given first, followed by a formal exposition, and then comes the real gem - a qualitative discussion of the mathematical results which brings physics again in the picture with full force. The chapters on oscillations are outstanding, same as the exposition of generalized coordinates and generalized forces. Of course, not every detail in derivations has to be given, and it is the choice of what to include and what to skip that makes the flow of exposition logical and coherent. This book is a joy to read, it is excellent for self-study.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Culbertson on November 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Many of my students thought that Taylor's Classical Mechanics was the clearest textbook that they had ever used." -- Joel Fajans, University of California, Berkeley

I could not agree more.

I was always taught that text books are designed to act as references that you can not just simply read them straight through. After reading Taylor I have learned that that is just a cop out for bad authors.
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