Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Start by marking “Classical Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum (Theoretical Minimum #1)” as Want to Read:

# Classical Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

## (Theoretical Minimum)

by

**A**

*Wall Street Journal*Best Book of 2013A world-class physicist and a citizen scientist combine forces to teach Physics 101—the DIY way

*The 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 ...more

Paperback, 238 pages

Published
February 25th 2014
by Penguin
(first published January 1st 2013)

## Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book,
please sign up.

## Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about
Classical Mechanics,
please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Classical Mechanics

This book is not yet featured on Listopia.
Add this book to your favorite list »

## Community Reviews

Showing 1-30

Sep 04, 2014
Manny
rated it
it was amazing

Recommends it for:
Anyone who really wants to understand physics

**Of Mice and Men and Generalized Conjugate Momenta**

They 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 ...more

Action/dx = d/dt(dLagrangian/dv)-dLagrangian/dx = 0: “The Theoretical Minimum - What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics” by Leonard Susskind, George Hrabovsky

Math is just a skill, like any other and not everyone can do it. What gets my goat is the "anyone can do anything if only they try hard enough "attitude. No, they can't. Some people are good at certain skills and not other, and others have different skills. I happen to be goo ...more

In order to get the most out of it you need to bring with you: some exposure to calculus (even if you are very ...more

Sep 10, 2014
Roy Lotz
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
ignorance-of-experts,
education

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 easy; S& ...more

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 easy; S& ...more

May 24, 2014
WarpDrive
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
science-and-maths

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 ...more

- 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 ...more

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 دونی در این حد اطلاعات دست اول از موضوع داره...

+ It's actually an art to be able to teach physics so great. I enjoyed every part of the book. I watched some of the YouTube films of him and those were amazing, too.

+ I c ...more

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” referred to i ...more

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 ...more

*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 ...more

Dec 03, 2018
Tomislav
is currently reading it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
science,
mathematics

I read Susskind and Hrabovsky’s The Theoretical Minimum from August 2017 to

*tbd*. There have been two follow-up Theoretical Minimum books since this was published – Quantum Mechanics, and Special Relativity, which I have not read and for which I consider this book on Classical Mechanics to be prerequisite. They are refresher text books – there are problems to solve, but much of background development is omitted. The book is as if you took a typical physics text book, highlighted the important def ...moreBegins by proving by a original discrete method the deduction of Lagrange equ ...more

That being said, this ...more

This is not a book to be read in 4 days (I read this book in 4 days).

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 ...more

Jun 22, 2015
Samuel Boyle
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
math-and-science

This book lets the numerate know what they missed by not majoring in physics.

Having a graduate degree in mechanical engineering, I figured I knew everything there was to know about, well, mechanics. I was pleasantly surprised when about halfway through this book I was shown how wrong I was. Concepts that I had heard of before but never really learned about previously, such as the least-action principle, the Lagrangian, the Hamiltonian, Poisson bra ...more

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 ...more

There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Be the first to start one »

Leonard Susskind is the Felix Bloch Professor of Theoretical Physics at Stanford University. His research interests include string theory, quantum field theory, quantum statistical mechanics and quantum cosmology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an associate member of the faculty of Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Phys
...more

## Other books in the series

Theoretical Minimum
(3 books)

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“If a system is chaotic (most are), then it implies that however good the resolving power may be, the time over which the system is predictable is limited. Perfect predictability is not achievable, simply because we are limited in our resolving power.”
—
1 likes

“In most cases the tiniest differences in the initial conditions—the starting state—leads to large eventual differences in outcomes. This phenomenon is called chaos. If a system is chaotic (most are), then it implies that however good the resolving power may be, the time over which the system is predictable is limited.”
—
0 likes

More quotes…