Classical mechanics often falls by the wayside in a modern physics curriculum. However, there are times when an understanding of subtle issues in this field are simply necessary for progress in current research directions. At times like these, one is all-too-often forced to turn to older texts such as Goldstein or directly to the literature of a field with which one is rarely intimately familiar. It is therefore a great pleasure to find a text such as Jose and Saletan's, a highly modern, extremely complete and very readable textbook on mechanics at an advanced level. The book covers all of the standard topics of a graduate mechanics course (Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, rigid bodies, etc.) as well as more modern topics such as chaotic dynamics. All these subjects are treated in great detail and both in very physical and very formal languages. Most importantly, all of these discussions (including the formal ones!) are packed with completely worked examples which allow one to begin to use these techniques without attempting to decipher formal proofs. The breadth of topics covered and the quality of the writing make this book a valuable addition to any physicist's workbench.
This book offers all the standard text used in undergraduate mechanics courses plus a number of more contemporary topics such as Lie derivatives, manifolds and much on nonlinear dynamical systems, all in a language appropriate for a Physics book. I consider it to be the modern equivalent of classics like the books by Goldstein or Marion. The material of this book should be the new standard for modern Classical Mechanics courses.
This book combines the standard topics covered in a Goldstein-type course; but in a fresh light. Using techniques of modern geometry, presented in an understandable way, it explores not just the solutions of dynamical equations, but the behavior of those solutions over the manifold in which they operate. The book begins by applying this geometry to well established Newtonian mechanics. Once you have that under your belt you are propelled into the Lagrangian formulation in a way that seems quite natural and reveals, easily, the symmetries that lay within. This book is written in a tight and readable style that makes even the most difficult concepts accessable. I highly recommend it and hope that it becomes the standard by which other mechanics texts of this level are measured.