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What are some good books for learning the concepts of Kinematics, Newton laws, 2D Motion of Object etc.?

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Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please write substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book, paper or other resource. Explain the nature of the resource so that readers can decide which one is best suited for them rather than relying on the opinions of others. Answers containing only a reference to a book or paper will be removed!

13 Answers 13

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One would be hard pushed to find anything better than

It is concise and comprehensive and has lots of great exercises.

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    $\begingroup$ Actually, it is the only Mechanics book which builds Newtonian Mechanics from a layman's perspective straight to the deep $\endgroup$ – Cheeku Mar 15 '13 at 17:12
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  • Young and Freedman, Sears and Semansky's University Physics.

This is an excellent book, with pretty much every concept on covered in first year university level physics.

Within the mechanics section ($\simeq$ 500 pages)(which I presume the OP wants), it has chapters on

  1. Motion along a straight line
  2. Motion in 2D and 3D
  3. Newton's laws of motion
  4. Applying Newton's laws
  5. Work and kinetic energy
  6. Potential energy and energy conservation
  7. Momentum, impulse and collisions
  8. Rotation of rigid bodies
  9. Dynamics of rotational motion
  10. Equilibrium and elasticity
  11. Fluid mechanics
  12. Gravitation
  13. Periodic motion

The other sections are: Waves and Acoustics (2 chapters), Thermodynamics (4 chapters), Electromagnetism (12 chapters), Optics (4 chapters), and finally Modern Physics (8 chapters).

The book has hundreds of worked examples on each topic and around 1000 examples to try without help (half of the solutions are in the back).

In my opinion, it's the best value for money of any physics book in the world.

enter image description here

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Try

Don't use its problem book as mentioned in a previous answer. The book is written in traditional Russian style, but it will give you clear & super advance idea of mechanics. Its useful to a High School guy as well as for a PhD student.

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I would suggest

It's the best book of mechanics i've ever seen. It's full of solved interesting problem. You can easily see the deep difference between this and other mechanics books.

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    $\begingroup$ Morin's book is a terrible grocery list of ambiguous problems. His "worked solutions" and "proofs" have gaps you could drive a truck through. The only good thing I can say about it is this: it ends. $\endgroup$ – Alex Nelson Mar 15 '13 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ +1: the context is so so, as David Morin already wrote in his book - his book is intended to be just an reference, but the problem sets are excellent, especially useful solutions are provided. $\endgroup$ – Shing Jul 15 '15 at 6:02
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    $\begingroup$ There are some excellent problems in there, some require creative thinking. Also, the derivations are not rigorous in any sense, but they are always full of intuition.I always love a physics book full of intuition $\endgroup$ – TheQuantumMan Jul 28 '16 at 13:36
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I learnt mechanics as an undergrad with

  • John R. Taylor, Classical Mechanics,

and found it interesting and straightforward. The presentation is wonderful, but most exercises are quite difficult for an undergrad.

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  • $\begingroup$ This book is good but puts too much emphasis on physical aspects. In complicated problems, this is often not that helpful. $\endgroup$ – omehoque Mar 23 '18 at 0:58
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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "too much emphasis on physical aspects"? What else is there to emphasise? $\endgroup$ – Ferdinando Randisi Mar 23 '18 at 11:30
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Go for

  • H.C. Verma, Concepts of Physics

It's a two volume series and has very good conceptual exercise, problems and objective type questions.

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    $\begingroup$ I strongly disapprove this suggestion. This book is just hyped up. The language in this book is unclear and sometimes even misleading. There are also lots of abrupt changes in topic as the we flow through the book. The book has almost no rigour and doesn't provide satisfactory explanations, in short tries to promote rote learning. The treatment of the subject is poor. An introductory reader will end up getting confused after reading this book. The irony is that the name of the book is "Concepts of physics". $\endgroup$ – Prasanna Jun 6 '18 at 16:41
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I recommend "Thinking Physics" by Lewis Carroll Epstein. It's a long accumulation of conceptual problems in introductory physics, for example, "Suppose you drop a ball out a window and it hits the ground at 3 m/s. Now you throw a ball out the same window straight down at 4 m/s. How fast will it hit the ground?" The answer is 5 m/s, and the book illustrates how these numbers are related to the Pythagorean theorem due to kinetic energy depending on the square of velocity. I learned a lot by working through this book as a supplemental text when I was a college freshman.

http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Physics-Understandable-Practical-Reality/dp/0935218084/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298917867&sr=8-1

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It is a graduate book, more focused on the mathematical and modern aspects. If you like to see classical mechanics and learn about manifolds, differential forms, and so on, this is for you.

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    $\begingroup$ Best book ever! It contains one of my favourite quotes ever: "Hamiltonian mechanics is geometry in phase space" $\endgroup$ – Alex A May 10 '13 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ The OP wants something on "the concepts of Kinematics, Newton laws, 2D Motion of Object etc" $\endgroup$ – user7757 May 25 '13 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ @ramanujan_dirac This topics are covered in this book. $\endgroup$ – ungerade May 25 '13 at 23:29
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    $\begingroup$ @ungerade While I agree that V. Arnold is a great book, I downvoted because I don't think it fits with the request for "learning the concepts of Kinematics, Newton laws, 2D Motion of Object etc". This should not be a first book on Classical Mechanics. $\endgroup$ – Flint72 Apr 13 '14 at 22:42
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This answer contains some additional resources that may be useful. Please note that answers which simply list resources but provide no details are strongly discouraged by the site's policy on resource recommendation questions. This answer is left here to contain additional links that do not yet have commentary.


  • Jewett and Serway, Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics.

  • Resnick and Halliday, Fundamentals of Physics

  • Jacob Pieter den Hartog, Mechanics and Mechanical Vibrations. Wonderful introductions, easy to read and pedagogical.

  • I. E. Irodov, Fundamental Laws of Mechanics, paired with Problems in General Physics. There is something very efficient about the economy of Soviet authors, who use very few words to say a whole lot. I read from these books and learnt well.

  • L.D. Landau, E.M. Lifshitz, Mechanics (vol. 1, 3rd ed., 1976).

  • Greiner, Classical Mechanics, Point Particles and Relativity, and Classical Mechanics, Systems of Particles and Hamiltonian Dynamics. (The second part of the last book might go beyond the scope of your question)

  • Feynman, Leighton and Sands, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, vol. 1.

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Assuming you are asking undergraduate mechanics book. I found the one used by Caltech is unbelievably awesome.

  • The Mechanical Universe: Mechanics and Heat, Advanced Edition, by Steven C. Frautschi, Richard P. Olenick, Tom M. Apostol, David L. Goodstein

(pick the advanced edition intead of introduction edition)

enter image description here

The good parts of this book:

  • It teaches you scientific reasoning (unlike other textbooks, mostly solely on problem solving).
  • Focus on the (real stuffs) physics, instead of math (the math part is easy once you learned the math independently anyway).
  • Very entertaining and enlightening problem sets (another book with totally different style, but good problem set is David Morin).
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  • $\begingroup$ The book was written by Caltech profs, but when I was there a few years ago David Goodstein himself taught physics from a different book entirely. Still this book is probably better than the one they replaced it with. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Jul 15 '15 at 8:08
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If you are interested in Newtonian Mechanics, the best is to follow "Kleppner and Kolenkow" and "Berkeley Series" and try to solve most of the problems from these books. This would prepare a good base for your understanding. Particularly for problem-solving, I would prefer Prof. H. C. Verma's "Concepts of Physics" where you could find a variety of problems and conceptual questions.

For Classical Mechanics, the best would be to start with "Landau and Lifshitz" and "Goldstein" and try to solve problems from the later. This is sufficient though. For more advanced study, I would recommend "V. I. Arnold" which deals with the mathematical aspects like none others.

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There are two books by David Halliday, Robert Resnick and other authors.

These are classic two books which can be used at high school level for an introductory physics course. Both come in two volumes of which the first volume contains mostly mechanics including Kinematics, Newton's Laws of Motion, Collisions and Rotational Dynamics.

The first one, Physics, in my opinion, is slightly more detailed and rigorous than Fundamentals of Physics.

For problems, as mentioned in other answers a good book is Problems in General Physics by I. E. Irodov. One another small Russian book for problems is Aptitude Test Problems in Physics by S. S. Krotov. This book contains many problems taken from Moscow Olyimpiads.

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Fundamental Laws of Mechanics by I. E. Irodov

Download at: https://archive.org/details/IrodovMechanics

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protected by Qmechanic May 25 '13 at 13:11

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