Summary and Info
The primary purpose of this textbook is to introduce students to the principles of classical dynamics of particles, rigid bodies, and continuous systems while showing their relevance to subjects of contemporary interest. Two of these subjects are quantum mechanics and general relativity. The book shows in many examples the relations between quantum and classical mechanics and uses classical methods to derive most of the observational tests of general relativity. A third area of current interest is in nonlinear systems, and there are discussions of instability and of the geometrical methods used to study chaotic behaviour. In the belief that it is most important at this stage of a student's education to develop clear conceptual understanding, the mathematics is for the most part kept rather simple and traditional. In the belief that a good education in physics involves learning the history of the subject, this book devotes some space to important transitions in dynamics: the development of analytical methods in the 18th century and the invention of quantum mechanics.