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Introduction to Classical Mechanics: With Problems and Solutions Hardcover – February 4, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0521876223 ISBN-10: 0521876222 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 738 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (February 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521876222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521876223
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 9.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I think all undergraduate physics majors will own a copy of this book within a year. It's that good."
Professor Krsna Dev, Middlebury College

"This textbook serves as an introduction to standard undergraduate classical mechanics topics, including Newton's laws, energy, momentum, oscillators, rotational dynamics and angular momentum. ... The real value of this book, however, lies in the extensive set of problems and worked solutions that many students tend to crave and as such is sure to be warmly welcomed."
Contemporary Physics

Book Description

This textbook covers all the standard introductory topics in classical mechanics, as well as exploring more advanced topics. With more than 250 problems with detailed solutions, and over 350 unworked exercises, this is an ideal supplementary text for all levels of undergraduate physics courses in classical mechanics.

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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By N on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The title is somewhat of a misnomer: this book would not serve as an appropriate introduction to classical mechanics. It is not at the same level as Halliday, Resnick, Walker or Serway; it's more advanced and seems to assume one has already completed a mechanics course taught from one of those books.

The heart of this book is the problems and exercises at the end of each chapter. They are extremely clever. The author rates them by difficulty and provides full solutions with insightful commentary for about half of them. The hardest one are RIDICULOUSLY hard.

If you're addicted to problem-solving or are a physics professor in search of new tortures, this is an excellent resource. If you are actually looking to learn about topics like Lagrangians or Special Relativity, this might not be the best stand alone text. However, its footnotes and commentary accompanying the problems cast a lot of light on aspects of these topics you may not have considered.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By B. Nartowt on January 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The following I would like to not go unsaid about this book:

1) The prose is casual and clever.
2) Surprisingly: the disarming prose does not compromise the organization of the principles and material, as I feel Griffiths' texts unfortunately do.
3) Speaking of Griffiths: Morin's problems are just as inviting of creativity (as Griffiths: the principle strength, I feel, of his texts) and encourage real "thinking outside the box" as Griffiths. They are challenging and provoke deep thought, drawing forth the depths of the reader's creativity.
4) The unique addition of physics-limericks: I find them strolling into my mind while poring over a difficult problem. They are funny (or annoying if you are looking for The Way To the Answer amidst equation-jungles (Morin's text does not appear to me as an uninformative equation-jungle)). They actually help reinforce the principles well, and succinctly describe some profound physical-principles.
5) The inclusion of problem-solving advice, and good habits to get into if you want to be a physicist. On that note: I recommend a read of this text even if you've thoroughly-completed your classical mechanics sequence. Morin encourages checking of the limiting case, examining your solution, etc., and other habits that are "in the spirit" of physics.

Conclusion: this text is rich, fun to read, inviting of creativity, brimming with clever and informative prose, and will help you be a better physicist. Best of all: plenty of good physics-habits are taught by this book that are beyond the scope of classical mechanics. My heartfelt recommendation.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel G on July 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
However hard I try, I won't be able to tell you just how outstanding this book is. Books like this do not come often. And when they do, they revolutionize the way I understand, learn and teach physics. For me, this book did to mechanics what Griffith's books did to Electromagnetism and Quantum Mechanics. I originally found this book while I was studying special relativity during the first year of studying natural sciences at the University of Cambridge. I was baffled. Special relatively made no sense. I found this book, and started reading.

The first thing that strikes you, as you pick up David Morin's work is how enjoyable his writing is. It's conversational, witty, peppered with limericks, and generally quite fun (assuming you like physics, that is :-) More to the point, it just makes sense. As I read through the chapter, things suddenly started clicking in ways they never had before (more on that later). But the best part of the book, without a doubt, are its footnotes. Time and time again, I was reading the book and came across a tricky point I didn't quite understand... And nine times out of ten, all I needed to do was look down and find a footnote answering my question. Uncanny at times, I'll admit.

In a broader sense, I think the main attraction of this book lies in the fact Morin builds theories from the bottom up. Where other physics books start with disconnected phenomena and covers seemingly disparate rules governing them, Morin begins from the very basic axioms, and builds a shining edifice out of them. And then delights you with endless unexpected applications and consequences of these principles that will fill you with wonder. This is what physics is about, and this is why his book makes much sense.

And obviously, the problems!
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Chee Lim Cheung on July 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good text on mechanics. It assumes that the reader has already been exposed to elementary mechanics,e.g,Halliday & Resnick.
The real strength of this book lies in its many solved problems. Many interesting generalizations and limiting cases are discussed, more so than any other mechanics text that I know.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Bond on May 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Like so many colleges and universities these days, this book was assigned as part of a sophomore/junior year long boot camp style physics course and after spending so much time reading and re-reading so many sections of this beast, it's hard to come away feeling bitter about this book. As other reviewers have pointed out, the real meat of it is found in the 'problems' and exercises. One thing I should point out, whether you're a student, physics nerd, teacher, or a masochist, YOU WILL (unless you're smarter than Einstein) have moments where you'll want to burn this book and micturate upon the ashes. But, Morin is truly an excellent teacher and even with the limits of teaching physics through a text book, he manages to share with us several tricks and techniques that can only be acquired through years of experience. Some reviewers have commented that this book is condescending and that Morin is a smug writer, standard criticisms that in fact do appear in text books too often, but honestly, I never once felt this from the author's tone or explanations. What these reviewers might be attempting to point out, is that Morin leaves several mathematical steps unexplained, a trait that increases the deeper in the book one reads. There is a reason for this: it is an expectation that you be fluent enough to keep up with his steps. Why you ask? Because he wants you to be confident in your own skills and not rely on some professor to do all of the work for you. It also prevents the book from being twice as thick, an excellent practical bonus.

A few criticisms need to be pointed out. (One) There are a few chapters, mostly toward the end of the book, where both the qualitative and quantitative explanations are lacking a great deal. Particularly the general and special relativity sections.
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