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Posted by ubpdqn on March 24, 2013

Unknown Blogger Mathematica

I read this book cover to cover.  The somewhat (deliberately) ambiguous title refers to the minimum amount of theoretical foundation necessary to start doing physics. This book essentially covers classical mechanics and is based on the successful video lecture series of Professor Susskind (http://www.newpackettech.com/Resources/Susskind/Susskind.htm).

The book is written clearly and concisely. There is a calculus and vector calculus refresher course: that necessary for the exposition. The chapter preambles are amusing entres to the content. There is a rapid progression from Newton;s law, to the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics. The relationship between symmetry and conservation laws are clearly discussed and illustrated. The utility of Poisson brackets was shown repeatedly.  Finally, gauge transformation and gauge invariance are discussed in the context of electromagnetic force: a clear derivation of the Lorentz force from the magnetic potential  in the Hamiltonian framework. The author hints at the links between this “theoretical minimum” and…

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Laurent Stern said

    You could enjoy Ian Lawrie’s “A unified grand tour of theoretical physics”. It isn’t as accessible as the “Theoretical Minimum” but you could be interested netherless. Author’s website: http://www.unifiedgrandtours.org/

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