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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
on November 22, 2000
I agree with the reviewer from Connecticut in his/her assessment of this text. Unless one is mathematically immature, in other words a high school student, the 'formalities' of Marion/thornton are of no consequence. The problems are soluble, and are given only after in-chapter exercises that will acquaint the reader with appropriate problem-solving techniques. Many of these techniques are not the most elegant, see for instance the chapter on gravitation and Gauss' law for this interaction, and at times the author(s) dwell in the realm of the mathematically turgid as one my professors once phrased it, but this is more than compensated by a very interesting presentation of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics. One really appreciates the power of these alternatives to Newtonian mechanics after working out the problems. Although goldstein is much deeper in this regard, it is recommended that you see it once at this level before moving on to that venerable text.
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on November 21, 2001
I am unsure on why the ratings of this textbook are so low, it is a very solid textbook on undergraduate mechanics. Its treatment of the caclulus of varations and Lagrangian & Hamiltonian dynamics is very elegant and clear. It is the best treatment out there at the undergraduate level.
In other topics it is strong as well, but not as strong as the Lagrangian/Hamiltonian treatment. The physical ideas conveyed are very good. The math is not really that formal, it just requires what is needed to do Analytical mechanics: the normal calculus sequence, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra. The problems are not easy, but you can not expect them to be at this level of physics.
The only stumbling block of the textbook is at times the mathematical notation (outside of Lagrangian/Hamiltonian Dynamics) is cumbersome and just plain bad. It is just notation however, and it just needs getting used to.
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on November 21, 2001
I am unsure on why the ratings of this textbook are so low, it is a very solid textbook on undergraduate mechanics. Its treatment of the caclulus of varations and Lagrangian & Hamiltonian dynamics is very elegant and clear. It is the best treatment out there at the undergraduate level.
In other topics it is strong as well, but not as strong as the Lagrangian/Hamiltonian treatment. The physical ideas conveyed are very good. The math is not really that formal, it just requires what is needed to do Analytical mechanics: the normal calculus sequence, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra. The problems are not easy, but you can not expect them to be at this level of physics.
The only stumbling block of the textbook is at times the mathematical notation (outside of Lagrangian/Hamiltonian Dynamics) is cumbersome and just plain bad. It is just notation however, and it just needs getting used to.
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on June 12, 1999
I was fortunate to have an excellent instructor for my mechanics courses, and we used this book in both semesters. Although it *is* true that the problems are rather vaguely stated, if one has an instructor who's good, and is willing to help figure out what the problems ask for, it's a good text. Quite a few grad schools assume its depth for preparation, too. And the sections on the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian approaches are quite good, although an intuitive "feeling" for them is not communicated or developed. I wish Feynman had spent more time on them in his Lectures!
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on January 24, 2000
I don't understand why the reviews are so negative on the book. It's certainly not at the top level of undergrad physics books, like Griffiths E&M for example. however, it present the basics in a fairly easy to read and easy to follow way. The price is ridiculous, but most physics textbooks aren't far off from the amount. If you want to see a truly bad undergrad physics textbook that should have been buried long ago, go look at Reif's Stat. Phys. book.
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on May 22, 1998
I have recently completed a course on advanced mechanics using this book, at Cornell University as a Sophmore physics major. I thought this text did a decent job on most topics, although did not go into adequate depth in some places. However, the most important topic of the book, Lagranian and Hamilonian mechanics was well written. For those who are interested in going into more detail, I would recommend Goldstien.
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on July 19, 1999
Although it is not as detailed and thorough as Goldstein, this text is a very good intro to classical concepts. With a good instructor, much can be learned from it. The text is a good reference source as well.
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