"Beautifully clear explanations of famously 'difficult things.'"Wall Street Journal
"What a wonderful and unique resource. For anyone who is determined to learn physics for real, looking beyond conventional popularizations, this is the ideal place to start."Sean Carroll, physicist, California Institute of Technology, and author of The Particle at the End of the Universe
"A spectacular effort to make the real stuff of theoretical physics accessible to amateurs."Science News
"Very readable. Abstract concepts are well explained.... [The Theoretical Minimum] does provide a clear description of advanced classical physics concepts, and gives readers who want a challenge the opportunity to exercise their brain in new ways."Physics World
"Readers ready to embrace their inner applied mathematics will enjoy this brisk, bare-bares introduction to classical mechanics."Publishers Weekly
Readers ready to embrace their inner applied mathematician will enjoy this brisk, bare-bones introduction to classical mechanics drawn from Stanford University’s “Continuing Studies” program. Although physicist Susskind (The Black Hole War) and science advocate Hrabovsky touch briefly on electricity and magnetism, the book is primarily about mechanics and the motion of particles. The authors open with a look at closed and open systems and the reversibility of physical laws, a concept central to the field. Next are rigorous chapters on trigonometry and vectors, and a no-nonsense intro to differential and integral calculus, and how these tools are used to calculate the motion of objects through space. Not for the faint of heart, successive chapters introduce Newton’s law of motion, the complex mathematics of “systems” of particles, phase space, conservation of momentum, and the Principle of Least Action, which allows scientists to “package” a system’s velocity, mass, direction, and forces into a single function. The authors intend this book as a toolkit for determined readers who want to teach themselves basic mechanics. Although their discussions are clear enough, even the hardiest reader will want to bring a basic calculus text along for the journey. 62 line drawings. Agent: Katinka Matson, Brockman, Inc. (Feb.)
This unique guide is tailor-made for the independent learner who wants just enough math and mechanics to think like a physicist or move on to more advanced topics.