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Newtonian Mechanics (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series) [Paperback]

A.P. French
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 17, 1971 0393099709 978-0393099706

The text material in the present volume is designed to be a more or less self-contained introduction to Newtonian mechanics, such that a student with little or no grounding in the subject can, by beginning at the beginning, be brought gradually to a level of considerable proficiency.

A rough guide to the possible use of the book is suggested by its division into three parts. Part I, The Approach to Newtonian Dynamics , is intended to serve two purposes. First, it does discuss the basic concepts of kinematics and dynamics, more or less from scratch. Second, it seeks to place the study of mechanics squarely in the context of the world of physical phenomena and of necessarily imperfect physical theories.

Part II, Classical Mechanics at Work, is undoubtedly the heart of the book. The initial emphasis is on Newton's second law applied to individual objects. Later, the emphasis shifts to systems of two or more particles, and to the conservation laws for momentum and energy. A fairly lengthy chapter is devoted to the subject that deserves pride of place in the whole Newtonian scheme-the theory of universal gravitation and its successes, which can still be appreciated as a pinnacle in man's attempts to discover order in the vast universe in which he finds himself.

Part III, Some Special Topics, concerns itself with the problems of noninertial frames, central-force motions, and rotational dynamics.

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Newtonian Mechanics (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series) + Vibrations and Waves (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series) + Special Relativity (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series
  • Paperback: 760 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (March 17, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393099709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393099706
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #819,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that launched my physics career. December 28, 2001
By A Customer
I worked through French's challenging problem sets in Newtonian Mechanics while I was in the military and found out that I could "do physics." I immediately returned to school to earn my physics degree. A lot of authors mention in their prefaces that the best way to learn physics is to do problems. I agree. Reading the text of this book is easy for anyone who desires enough to do it. Working the problems (always the tougher and less convenient half) will pay dividends in confidence and deeper understanding. This book--like the rest in the MIT physics series written by French--has all of the answers to the problems in the back of the book that allows independent study. The book is well-motivated and gives a lot in return but asks a lot of the student in his or her maturity and perseverence.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent first mechanics text for physics majors July 5, 2002
By A Customer
This is an excellent text, especially its challenging problems and also the wonderful explanation of historical contexts. This 1st edition (743 pages) was published in 1971 and is the most appropriate one to use for a more leisurely course that covers both mechanics and some history of mechanics. Definitely less daunting than "An Introduction to Mechanics," by Kleppner and Kolenkow, 1973 - which has more difficult problems.
The 2nd edition (310 pages) was published in 1986 and was renamed "Introduction to Classical Mechanics," by A.P. French and M.G. Ebison, Kluwer Academic Publishers. This latter updated edition is much more compact and drastically removes most of the historical and discursive material. More emphasis is placed on rapidly developing the principles and applications, thereby achieving the same depth but reducing the number of pages by more than half; unfortunately, it's also much more expensive - characteristic of Kluwer books. It seems to be more often used in British universities.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars French: Newtonian Mechanics April 16, 2000
I think it's THE book of mechanics for Physics' students. Itcovers from basic mechanics (kinematics, newton laws...) to sometopics of classical mechanics. It has many clear demonstrations that are not found in other books for engineers (like Resnick, Tippler...) and contains excellent examples. It has a high level but is very easy to understand. French style, that combines history, original observations, clearity and high-level topics makes you love Mechanics.
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