This book provides an introduction to geometric algebra as a unified language for physics and mathematics. It contains extensive applications to classical mechanics in a textbook format suitable for courses at an intermediate level. The text is supported by more than 200 diagrams to help develop geometrical and physical intuition. Besides covering the standard material for a course on the mechanics of particles and rigid bodies, the book introduces new, coordinate-free methods for rotational dynamics and orbital mechanics, developing these subjects to a level well beyond that of other textbooks. These methods have been widely applied in recent years to biomechanics and robotics, to computer vision and geometric design, to orbital mechanics in government and industrial space programs, as well as to other branches of physics. The book applies them to the major perturbations in the solar system, including the planetary perturbations of Mercury's perihelion.
Geometric algebra integrates conventional vector algebra (along with its established notations) into a system with all the advantages of quaternions and spinors. Thus, it increases the power of the mathematical language of classical mechanics while bringing it closer to the language of quantum mechanics. This book systematically develops purely mathematical applications of geometric algebra useful in physics, including extensive applications to linear algebra and transformation groups. It contains sufficient material for a course on mathematical topics alone.
The second edition has been expanded by nearly a hundred pages on relativistic mechanics. The treatment is unique in its exclusive use of geometric algebra and in its detailed treatment of spacetime maps, collisions, motion in uniform fields and relativistic precession. It conforms with Einstein's view that the Special Theory of Relativity is the culmination of developments in classical mechanics.
David Hesteness is awarded the Oersted Medal for 2002.
The Oersted Award recognizes notable contributions to the teaching of physics. It is the most prestigious award conferred by the American Association of Physics Teachers.
Preface. 1. Origins of Geometric Algebra. 2. Developments in Geometric Algebra. 3. Mechanics of a Single Particle. 4. Central Forces and Two-Particle Systems. 5. Operators and Transformations. 6. Many-Particle Systems. 7. Rigid Body Mechanics. 8. Celestial Mechanics. 9. Relativistic Mechanics. Appendix. Hints and Solutions for Selected Exercises. References. Index.