Books with Buzz Courage To Act by Ben S. Bernanke Learn more Shop Men's Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums tripp All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Amazon Gift Card Offer blacklist blacklist blacklist  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Assassin's Creed Syndicate Fall Arrivals in Amazon Outdoor Clothing Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy New
  • List Price: $90.00
  • Save: $8.97 (10%)
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Physics for Mathematician... has been added to your Cart
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $37.71
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Physics for Mathematicians, Mechanics I Hardcover – December 6, 2010

5 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$81.03 $87.29

The Florentine Deception: A Novel by Carey Nachenberg
"The Florentine Deception" by Carey Nachenberg
Check out one of the new releases this month in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, by Carey Nachenberg. Learn more | See related books
$81.03 FREE Shipping. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Physics for Mathematicians, Mechanics I
  • +
  • Calculus, 4th edition
  • +
  • Combined Answer Book For Calculus Third and Fourth Editions
Total price: $216.28
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Spivak is the author of Calculus and the 5 volume work Comprehensive Introduction to Differential Geometry.


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 749 pages
  • Publisher: Publish or Perish; first edition (December 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0914098322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0914098324
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A. Nelson on May 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My review will be mostly comparing the book to Spivak's lecture notes. They are incredibly different.

The first ~430 pages are dedicated to Newtonian mechanics (including central potential, rigid body motion, and fictitious forces). I've noticed most physics textbooks just give this as "God given", but Spivak actually gives some intuition behind what's going on. This book is the perfect foil for Morin's "Introduction to Classical Mechanics".

The discussion of constraints is quite thorough. It begins with rigid body motion, and generalizes it in a beautiful way. Most other physics textbooks leave out any discussion of what to do with constraints (c.f. Arnold's "Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics" or even Goldstein).

Spivak discusses variational principles --- not just the principle of stationary action, but others too. Euler's equation derived from variation, Hamilton's principle, Maupertuis' principle of least action, Jacobi's version of the principle of least action, and symmetry in variational calculus. There is a minor typo on page 466 ("Jacobi's form of the principal [sic] of least action.") and it is quite clear that differential geometry is assumed. (Well, Spivak suggests that the first two volumes of "A Comprehensive Introduction to Differential Geometry" should be read before hand.)

There is a thorough discussion of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics from the differential geometric perspective. It's not completely abstract, it's amazingly grounded in physical intuition. There's an entire chapter (26 pages) dedicated to the Hamilton-Jacobi theory.

The only problem I have with the book is that classical field theory is not covered. Also gauge transformations are mentioned only once in passing. But this book is a wonderful introduction to mechanics for mathematicians, it will save a lot of frustration for mathematical physicists.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Guilherme on February 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This large book has the same spirit of the author's book A Compreensive Introduction to Differential Geometry. And, as that one, is pretty uncommon. The premises of the book are great: to analyse, besides the advanced mathematical tools avaiable to theoretical Physics (tangent and cotangent bundles, sympletic geometry, etc), the common concepts of elementary Physics with minute details. It is perhaps unnecessary to point out that not many books on Physics do that nowadays. The study of inclined planes is symbolic of the spirit of the book. Spivak explains Archimedes argument, and later gives a complete description of the whole process using rigid body dynamics. The theoretical physicist perhaps never took the pains to do that, but the process should work in some way or another for the whole structure to be consistent. As for the subject, it covers essentially the whole subject of Classical Mechanics, from elementary portions to Lagrange's and Hamilton's equations. The book should interest not only mathematicians, contrary to Spivak's opinion, but theoretical physicists as well, who want to have a well presented and connected account of the mathematical foundations of Mechanics. Is it possible to learn Mechanics from this work? I believe that some portions really could be used for that. Anyway, for someone who already understands Mechanics, is a pleasant fountain of knowledge of the Queen of physical Sciences, Classical Mechanics. And, as usual in Spivak's books, a lot of historical notes illustrate how the subject evolved.

I guess that this is a book which will attract more and more attention as the time passes, and eventually become a classic. Let's just hope that Spivak completes his project of writing Physics books for Mathematicians.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By MzF on September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I give FIVE STARS to Spivak's "Physics for Mathematicians, Mechanics I" even though I find important things wrong with it. If I could, I'd give this book ten stars because it feels as if it was written for me when it asks many of the same questions I wondered about and tries, mostly successfully, to address them. I knew immediately that I would buy this book when I saw that in the first few pages it addresses the "proof" of the law of lever as presented in Mach's "The Science of Mechanics" and also when Cohen and Whitman's new translation of the Principia is a prominent reference.
This book is a worthy companion to Chandrasekhar's "Newton's Principia for the Common Reader" because it goes into wonderful detail in presenting Newton's approach to (celestial) mechanics. I love the geometric proofs and Spivak goes so far as to take some of Newton's complex diagrams apart and presents them a few steps at a time. Spivak's is both simpler and more detailed than Chandrasekhar, and even avoids the way Chandrasekhar mucks up Newton's clean, precise, and razor sharp proof that the gravitational force within a spherical shell is zero. Chapter 2, on Newton's Analysis of Central forces, is wonderful (even with some of its flaws) and I will be using some of the results in a project I've undertaken concerning the gravitational field of thin disks.

Now for what's wrong with the book. These criticisms arise because of the approach I take as an Electrical Engineer (Control Theory); I'm not a physicist or mathematician.
(1) This book is in dire need of a strong and determined editor; there is almost no consistency in the presentation.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Physics for Mathematicians, Mechanics I
This item: Physics for Mathematicians, Mechanics I
Price: $81.03
Ships from and sold by