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Vibrations and Waves (M.I.T. Introductory Physics) 1 New Edition

26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0748744473
ISBN-10: 0748744479
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Vibrations and Waves (M.I.T. Introductory Physics) + Newtonian Mechanics (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series) + Special Relativity (The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: M.I.T. Introductory Physics
  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 1 New edition (September 30, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0748744479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0748744473
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Noson (noson@worldnet.att.net) on May 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This volume is the clearest discussion I've seen of the behavior of waves and vibration. The text is accompanied by first-year mathematical physics, and very well done diagrams and graphs. An over-all admirable achievement. I took this course from Prof. French in 1965, when it was first taught at M.I.T., and the perceptual clarity of his lectures are preserved in the text. The development of the book moves logically from simple vibration to progressive waves and wave interaction with boundaries. After this book, you're ready for the great book on Optics, by Hecht, or, perhaps Ando's Architectural Acoustics. Two other volumes by French are also available: (i) Newtonian Mechanics, which is a beautiful blend of classical physics, concept discussion, and history of science, and (ii) Special Relativity, which I recommend to friends who have been confused by Einstein's theory, and invariably they tell me this book is the best they've read, and their relativistic headache's just simply gone!
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Rahman on August 4, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oscillatory function is at the root of all natural phenomena. Comprehending this behavior as a mathematically pure process is a basis through which countless aspects of the sciences and the arts can be explained, described, and even creatively elaborated upon. The effects of the physical manifestation of waves, and the inevitable complexities resulting from their interaction with the environment, are essential considerations as well.
The pages of this work are information-dense, providing physical, geometric, and mathematical descriptions of vibrations. Introducing the sine-wave, vectors and complex-exponentials as the fundamentals of periodic motion, the topics then progress to combining vibrations, masses and springs, harmonic and torsional oscillation, forced vibrations, coupled oscillators, Fourier analysis, orthogonal functions, energy transporting, decay of free vibrations, nuclear and optical resonance, diffraction and inference patterns to briefly name but a few. Physical considerations and methods are discussed in detail as well, and exercises at the end of each chapter indicate what the reader is expected to have extracted from each section [selected answers are provided].
The text within each section is written in an extremely clear, systematic and enthusiastic manner and speaks to an intelligent, inquisitive beginner of the subject matter. The numerous excellent black-and-white illustrations diagrams and photographs supplement the written descriptions admirably. The typefaces and even the feel of the paper of the book are high quality and elegant.
This is an introductory work regarding oscillatory analysis, however some mathematical knowledge is assumed by implication.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Not Available on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
{excuse me if my review does not flow. I'm not very good at connecting paragraphs. I hope what i'm about to say here will be helpful to at least some of you.}

I realize by giving this "classic" a 3 star I'm literally asking to be bashed on. But i think it's only fair to rate a book the way one perceives it.

Before I bought the book, I read the reviews here, there were 10 five star reviews and 1 one star review. The latter one (1 star review) was voted not helpful by several users, and I thought it was just some guy trolling. But now that I've bought the book, and actually read it, I see where the guy was coming from. I think he was way too harsh to give it a 1 star rating though.

Like the title of this review says, there is no examples in this book, nope none. I dunno how other folks learn Physics but I do by looking at few examples, getting an idea of what's going on, and then trying out some problems on my own.

Fortunately, this book does have problems at the end of each chapters...and yes there is an answer key at the end of the book.

Also fortunately, there is the internet. Out of frustration, i started googing for university courses that were using this book and i hoped the professor was nice enough to post some examples, practice problem w/ solutions. Luckily there are a few out there.

There is MIT OpenCourseWare. You can see solution's to some of the problems that were assigned as a homework in MIT's Vibration and Waves class. Furthermore, they also have documented exams with solutions. University of Michigan also used this book in Physics 340 and they have exams and homework w/ solutions documented online.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Potter on May 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I used this textbook in a freshman physics course, and it was an invaluable introduction to the concepts of vibrations and waves. The book is mathematically rigorous, without being overbearing. The concepts are developed clearly, the exercises range from simple calculations to somewhat difficult conceptual problems, and the book covers a lot of ground.

I'd say that this book is invaluable for providing the background necessary for quantuam mechanics, and further study in physics.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Perry E. Metzger on December 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book instead of the originally assigned text (H.J. Pain's truly awful "Physics of Vibrations and Waves") in a class I took recently. It was a pleasure to read.

In spite of the fact that the book is quite short (and quite compact in your bag), it covers the material very thoroughly. The author writes clearly and with a lot of attention to the needs of the student. French's style is also very lively and makes you want to read on instead of feeling you are obligated to. The problems at the end of each chapter are excellent. It is also inexpensive.

All in all, quite a gem in this day of boring, incomprehensible, too-heavy-to-carry $120 textbooks that arrive in a "new" less readable edition every year. If only every textbook could be like this.

It isn't quite perfect -- every once in a while a derivation gets obscure and a few topics aren't covered -- but it is very, very good. I highly recommend it.
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