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The Mathematical Mechanic: Using Physical Reasoning to Solve Problems
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The Mathematical Mechanic: Using Physical Reasoning to Solve Problems

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews

Everybody knows that mathematics is indispensable to physics--imagine where we'd be today if Einstein and Newton didn't have the math to back up their ideas. But how many people realize that physics can be used to produce many astonishing and strikingly elegant solutions in mathematics? Mark Levi shows how in this delightful book, treating readers to a host of entertaining
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Hardcover, 200 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Maurizio Codogno
Mar 03, 2013 Maurizio Codogno rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fisica
Niente da fare. Riponevo molte speranze su questo libro, tanto che me l'ero preordinato sei mesi prima che uscisse l'edizione in brossura. Invece è stato una delusione... ma iniziamo dal principio.

L'idea di Mark Levi è semplice: invece che usare la matematica per dimostrare le proprietà fisiche, lui ha usato le proprietà fisiche per dimostrare le proposizioni matematici, a partire dal teorema di Pitagora in poi. Come scrivevo, l'idea non è male, ma purtroppo io devo avere un blocco mentale per q
...more
Yi Niu
Apr 23, 2015 Yi Niu rated it it was ok
Shelves: math, physics
The concept is great - to solve math problems or proof theorems using physical reasoning. And some examples using mechanics are really good. Science centres use some of the examples too.
However, some so-called physical examples, are made to fit the theorem. The author might have covered this point in the introduction, but I just don't like doing things just for doing them. One such example is on Page 111, computing integral of sintdt from 0 to x with a pendulum. Any one knowing what these symbo
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Joe
Nov 02, 2010 Joe rated it it was ok
Shelves: physics
My assumption going into this book was that the author would use physical reasoning to make higher mathematical concepts clearer and more accessible. It's a great idea: Gauss' Law in 2D can be imagined as a spreading puddle of oil, of course!

Instead you get a mess of contrived analogies that are literary Rube Goldberg devices at best and not applicable at worst. The author would spend pages upon pages setting up these exercises and, though some were well done (like where to park in a drive-in to
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Denise
Nov 04, 2014 Denise rated it liked it
Shelves: science
What I took the time to understand, I really liked. My husband uses math for work on a daily basis, in fact, he was a math major in college. He was talking to a fellow math enthusiast and this book was mentioned. It sounded really interesting so I purchased a copy. Now, during my college years I did manage to make it through Geometry, Trig, and Calculus so even if I had to dust away a lot of cobwebs, I understood basically what the author was presenting. I like the physical reasoning because I'm ...more
Shifting Phases
Feb 24, 2011 Shifting Phases rated it liked it
A delightful tour through various fields of math. Levi develops intuitive explanations for mathematical concepts by performing thought experiements. The theme that draws the book together is that the experiments rely on the reader's familiarity with real-world objects such as springs and fish tanks. The book does not focus on generalizable problem-solving techniques, so it wasn't especially helpful to me for use in class. But I found it fun that you can use a fishtank to demonstrate the ...more
Mario E.
Aug 30, 2013 Mario E. rated it did not like it
It was really bad. The concepts were not for the novice to physics or math. I was expecting it to be as clear as Stephen Hawkings books on astrophysics. But....
Bob
Mar 05, 2014 Bob rated it it was amazing
Shelves: math-engineering
Mathematical proofs turned into physical models. Makes you really think about what the proof really means. Quite interesting! And difficult.
Maria Suleiman
Maria Suleiman rated it liked it
Apr 17, 2015
Peter Wood
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Feb 10, 2014
Eivind Sønju
Eivind Sønju rated it it was ok
Nov 16, 2014
William R. Amos
William R. Amos rated it liked it
May 21, 2014
James Duane Nickel
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Yasser
Yasser rated it liked it
Jul 11, 2010
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Jul 13, 2014
Michael R.
Michael R. rated it liked it
Jun 21, 2015
Qajaqer99
Qajaqer99 rated it it was ok
Sep 30, 2014
Carlos Ponce
Carlos Ponce rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2015
Joshua Niehus
Feb 20, 2012 Joshua Niehus rated it really liked it
Fun and enlightening!

Wish i had this book back in my undergrad physics days...
José Sousa
José Sousa rated it liked it
Oct 16, 2013
Mary
Mary rated it liked it
Jul 11, 2011
Pcdaum
Pcdaum rated it did not like it
May 08, 2015
xene
xene rated it really liked it
Oct 04, 2013
Steve Cox
Jul 07, 2010 Steve Cox rated it liked it
Good concept, but repetitive.
Benj FitzPatrick
Benj FitzPatrick rated it liked it
Nov 27, 2012
Erin
Erin rated it liked it
Nov 12, 2009
Jason Benedict
Jason Benedict rated it it was ok
Apr 23, 2015
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