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Newtonian Mechanics [Paperback]

A. P. French , Anthony P. French
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 17 1971 0393099709 978-0393099706
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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Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The book that launched my physics career. Dec 28 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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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5.0 out of 5 stars French: Newtonian Mechanics April 16 2000
Format:Paperback
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that launched my physics career. Dec 28 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
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 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars French: Newtonian Mechanics April 16 2000
By Gonzalo Torroba - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You haven't studied Newton until you've read this Aug. 9 2009
By M. Rashid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I came to this book as an undergraduate, with plenty of past experience in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, mathematics, and physics. Having used newton's laws of motion in analysis as if it were second nature I was curious about what this book had to offer but did not expect to learn anything new.

I was blown away. The first 6 chapters just discuss the philosophy behind the three laws. If you thought you understood them before, think again. This book was not just eye-opening, it was enlightening. I was understanding these laws in ways I never even imagined these laws had been intended. Far from just being just another look at Newton's laws this book really studies the physics behind the "Applied Mathematics" approach that I had learned mechanics from.

It also teaches you the philosophy of science and makes the CRUCIAL distinction between the deductive and inductive processes of the Scientific Method - something that FEW even among the top graduates seem to recognize these days, and yet it is all-important to ANY aspiring scientist. For that reason alone, I'd recommend that you by the book and read the first few chapters at least, regardless of your field.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Print Quality May 24 2007
By Self Learner in Science - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This review and rating refers to the physical quality of the book, not to the content quality. It seems the book currently published by Norton is a poor quality photocopied version of the book. The diagrams with the grey backgrounds are really bad. I understand that the technology that was used to originally publish the book is obsolete but that does not excuse the current poor quality reproductions.

Although Norton is the only publisher of this title, the other titles in the series are also available from another publisher although I cannot confirm if the print quality is any better.
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