The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics

A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2013A world class physicist and a citizen scientist combine forces to teach Physics 101 the DIY wayThe Theoretical Minimum is a book for anyone who has ever regretted not taking physics in college or who simply wants to know how to think like a physicist In this unconventional introduction, physicist Leonard Susskind and hacker scientistA Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2013A world class physicist and a citizen scientist combine forces to teach Physics 101 the DIY wayThe Theoretical Minimum is a book for anyone who has ever regretted not taking physics in college or who simply wants to know how to think like a physicist In this unconventional introduction, physicist Leonard Susskind and hacker scientist George Hrabovsky offer a first course in physics and associated math for the ardent amateur Unlike most popular physics books which give readers a taste of what physicists know but shy away from equations or math Susskind and Hrabovsky actually teach the skills you need to do physics, beginning with classical mechanics, yourself Based on Susskind s enormously popular Stanford University based and YouTube featured continuing education course, the authors cover the minimum the theoretical minimum of the title that readers need to master to study advanced topics.An alternative to the conventional go to college method, The Theoretical Minimum provides a tool kit for amateur scientists to learn physics at their own pace.
The Theoretical Minimum What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics A Wall Street Journal Best Book of A world class physicist and a citizen scientist combine forces to teach Physics the DIY wayThe Theoretical Minimum is a book for anyone who has ever regrette

  • Title: The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics
  • Author: Leonard Susskind George Hrabovsky
  • ISBN: 9780465028115
  • Page: 343
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics”

    1. Of Mice and Men and Generalized Conjugate MomentaThey had been walking down the road since daybreak, but now the sun was high enough in the sky that it was starting to get hot, and they were pleased to see the little creek. They stopped and drank some water and splashed some more on their faces. Suddenly, Lenny looked at his friend."George," he said, "there's somethin' I gotta ask you. Why-- why're we here?"George smiled. "Well," he said. "You know I don't hold with all that church talk. It jest [...]

    2. As someone squarely in the target audience for this book I found it to be right on the money. The audience is those who find themselves wishing popular physics books could be a little more technical at times. And, being technical means including the mathematics and the unifying concepts behind the theories. This book, and the online lectures it is a companion to, delivers on that count.In order to get the most out of it you need to bring with you: some exposure to calculus (even if you are very [...]

    3. I’ve heard people wonder aloud (insofar as writing comments on the internet can be considered “aloud”) whether a layperson could understand this book. Well, take it from me, a certified layman, that it can be done; it is difficult, but doable.Before the review, some advice. This book pushes forward quickly; the reader, especially the struggling reader, will be left far behind if she isn’t careful and thorough. The beginning lectures, up until about the middle of the book, I found fairly [...]

    4. This is a great book. - Perfect level of detail: the book provides an accurate and elegant quantitative description of advanced classical mechanics based on the actual mathematics, but without being bogged down into un-necessary detail. - The authors provide a rigorous mathematical treatment of the subject, but they manage, always, to beautifully highlight the elegance of the main concepts: for example, they make the reader thoroughly appreciate the beauty of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian appro [...]

    5. Are you one of those people who enjoyed science at school or college, but ended up with a different career, still wondering what makes the Universe tick? Maybe you subscribe to Scientific American, follow news stories about black holes, and read reviews of science books in WSJ without quite finding enough meat to satisfy you. If so, The Theoretical Minimum is the book for you. The subtitle “what you need to know to start doing physics” sets out the authors’ stall, and the “minimum” ref [...]

    6. Despite my education, far beyond my ken.However, the book has caused me to start studying calculus again at the Khan Academy!!

    7. Excellent. This is pitched at a readership who are clearly not academic physicists, but are beginning to feel frustrated with the endless metaphors and non-mathematical explanations you find in most pop-science books. I had great fun reading it, doing the exercises, and looking for additional material in the form of internet lectures or MOOCs.I would recommend this book to anybody who wishes to develop (or rediscover) an in-depth understanding of classical mechanics. I do think, however, that fl [...]

    8. This book is useful if you want to refresh the pre-existing knowledge but it is not an effective learning tool for “anyone who has ever regretted not taking physics at college”. Namely, this is not the book for someone who wants to learn from scratch.

    9. خیلی خیلی حرف داشتم که بزنم و نوت گذاشتم بین صفحه های کتاب :)وقتی که مغزم اجازه بده که دوباره برم سراغشون، یه ریویو می نویسم :)+ وقتی داشتم کتابو می خونم، یه مقاله در مورد تحقیقات نویسنده در مورد جاذبه ی کوانتومی خوندم. یه حس خیلی خاصی داشت یاد گرفتن این موضوعات از زبون کسی که می د [...]

    10. A grat popularization science book that with the mathematics of high school level that are explained in the first half of the book,and the notions of partial derivatives , diferential operators and stationary points in a two variable function is able of the incredible achievemet,after a brief discussion on newtonian mechanics,of give a serious introduction and fundaments of advanced lagrangian and hamiltonian mechanics.Begins by proving by a original discrete method the deduction of Lagrange equ [...]

    11. This is a book I've wanted for a long time. Being many years out of college, and having forgotten everything I once knew about theoretical physics (which, sadly, was not nearly as much as I thought I knew), I have been looking for a way to refresh my knowledge. This little book is that way.It's intended for people who have some mathematical background, and it is definitely not easy going, despite the lighthearted style of the book. You really do need to do the exercises, and it helps to watch th [...]

    12. Yes! This book is awesome. I borrowed it from the library, but I believe I will buy a hardcopy and get the next one on QM as soon as it comes out late this month. The Theoretical Minimum has elegantly overviewed the basics of classical mechanics, through a focus on the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian, equations of motion, symmetries, in a way that is clearly preparatory for QM. I have a new appreciation for how many concepts tie together in a way that were left un-unified before.That being said, this [...]

    13. This is not a book for the physics "enthusiast." It runs through some pretty hefty mathematical mechanics in pretty short order, but does a decent job of that. Most of the time I was reading I was thinking "gee, I remember being able to do that at one time," and "oh yeah, I remember learning about that." I wish they had provided solutions to the exercises they gave in each chapter, if only to verify you actually did understand how it works. It's short on explanation and the bigger picture, but f [...]

    14. It seemed like a good idea to learn physics in a single book. I quickly ran into trouble with the Calculus. So I got a Calc book to refresh myself. Then I went back and it still didn't make sense. The pages are too small so the equations don't fit. I continued on but it was the same throughout the book. If you don't already know what they're teaching it's impossible. Even if you know it's hard to follow. I suppose it shows why physics books are so big. It's not possible to shrink them down. I gi [...]

    15. If I had read this at 18 it would have driven me to continue studying mathematics and physics. Instead I had no idea what might come next. All this time I've been oblivious to the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian (deep abstractions that apply to all physical laws including quantum mechanics), and had never heard of the vector potential (gauge fields). This book isn't perfect but I'm grateful to the authors for enlightening me. Maybe there are better books that cover the same stuff and maybe I'll find [...]

    16. An elegant, well-written book. In the first 50 pages or so, Susskind introduces integral and differential calculus, as well as multi-variable calculus, so that he can conduct his discussion of classical mechanics on a high level, so that its beauty and simplicity is clear. I really appreciate this approach.What baffles me is that this was a NYT bestseller. Who's reading this? The introduction to calculus is cursory -- I imagine it serves best as a review for those who have seen it before. And th [...]

    17. This work presents classical mechanics including conservation laws, Hamiltonian mechanics, and planetary orbits. Such focus is appropriate for a book under two hundred fifty pages. There are little to no mentions of relativity, quantum mechanics, and string theory. This allows room for the clear description of advanced classical physics concepts. Somewhat surprising, the authors also use that room for the breezy and humorous. I challenge anyone to show me a book that can skip from a groaner joke [...]

    18. Susskind is great at taking very difficult topics and making them manageable. In his first book of his the Theoretical Minimum series he tackles the central idea and more importantly equations of physics and breaks them down. The first book of the series is Classical mechanics after a short mathematical introduction to Calculus, Trig and vectors, we are introduced the ideas of Classical Physics. We cover derivations of energy, momentum,velocity, acceleration, force and so on. Then we are introdu [...]

    19. Let's be clear, I will never be able to "do" Physics at anything even remotely approaching Susskind's level. But, what I loved about this book are the little nuggets of common sense interspersed in the mathematics that help (me at least) understand Physics better conceptually. The book reminded me of the good fortune I had in the 1960's to be introduced to Physics by Dr. Robert Packard, the much beloved Physics professor at Baylor University for over fifty years. Dr. Packard taught us that the r [...]

    20. Interesting, but I would never qualify the book as accessible. I studied Physics in my first degree. Then did a masters in Particle Physics, and then a PhD in high energy Astrophysics, and there are things in there that I had never encountered. So, just to say, I liked it because it was a nice review of things I studies a long time ago, but I can't imagine anyone without a technical background reading this book and understanding much. In addition, I found some of the "simple" explanations confus [...]

    21. This was an excellent book for its intended audience, but it's not for everyone. If you want a working, practical toolset for solving everyday physics problems, this is not your book. If you want an introduction to general yet deep principles of physics, along with the more advanced necessary mathematics, this book will not disappoint. By the last of its 256 challenging pages, you'll be thinking about classical mechanics like a theoretical physicist, and you'll be fully equipped to move on to mo [...]

    22. Books for non-physicists on the subject may vary in style but typically have one thing in common: they skip the math. This is precisely what this book tries to make up for. In a few hundred pages the authors attempt to give an introduction of physics for a lay reader not sparing the use of equations.If your field is not physics but you are relatively comfortable with calculus (my field is economics, for example, and I could skip most of the mathematical appendices), this book may give you some u [...]

    23. page 3 | location 45-46 | Added on Thursday, 23 October 2014 15:28:59Even when I’m at my desk doing research, there’s a dialog going on in my head. Figuring out the best way to explain something is almost always the best way to understand it yourselfge 73 | location 1109-1112 | Added on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 21:10:32The formal meaning of the state of a system is, “Everything you need to know (with perfect accuracy) to predict its future, given the dynamical law.” Recall from Lecture 1 [...]

    24. This is definitely not all that you need to know to do physics, but it helps in understanding it. It is based on an online video course, which I haven't looked at; this is just about the book as it is in print. The premise is the same as that of Penrose's The Road to Reality which I finished a few months ago, to teach enough math along the way to actually understand the physics rather than just some quantitative concepts as in most "popular" science books. This book is much less technical than P [...]

    25. As an undergraduate in computer science/data science having to take classical mechanics was quite a slog. Nothing about the logic of classical mechanics in aggregate was intuitive to how I think about the world, unlike many of my peers. I thought I was doomed to think this way about the rest of physics. Instead I've found that after Classical Mechanics, EM and GR is coming much more organically. I began reading this after doing much reading on EM and a bit of GR. This book was a simple review of [...]

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