Wall Street Journal, Best Books of 2013 "Every minute of our lives is now dependent on technology, yet the wonders of basic science are foreign to many of us. Everyone who remembers even a bit of math should read this inviting and accessible account of 'what you need to know to start doing physics.'" Wall Street Journal "So what do you do if you enjoyed science at school or college but ended up with a different career and are still wondering what makes the universe tick?... Leonard Susskind and George Hrabovsky's The Theoretical Minimum is the book for you. In this neat little book the authors aim to provide the minimum amount of knowledge you need about classical physics...to gain some real understanding of the world... They do so with great success... Along the way you get beautifully clear explanations of famously 'difficult' things like differential and integral calculus, conservation laws and what physicists mean by symmetries... Messrs. Susskind and Hrabovsky's book is a powerful exposition of why science is 'real' and a counter to the kind of wishful thinking employed by people who, for whatever reason, reject the scientific worldview." Physics Today "A pleasure to read...a beautiful, high-level overview of the entire subject." Scientific American's Cocktail Party Physics blog "It's clear, insightful, and designed for those hardcore physics fans who've read all the popular treatments and now might be interested in moving out of the armchair into the real action of actually engaging in theoretical physics." Science Blogs: Built on Facts "[A] charming and erudite instance of a genre with very few members -- a pop-physics book with partial differential equations on a good fraction of the pages... More impressive still is that the book entirely resists the temptation to skip to the good stuff -- quantum mechanics and so on. This is a book which is purely about classical mechanics... [S]ucceeds admirably in its goal. It presents classical mechanics in all its glory, from forces to Hamiltonians to symmetry and conservation laws, in a casual but detailed style." Physics World "Very readable. Abstract concepts are well explained...[The Theoretical Minimum] provide[s] a clear description of advanced classical physics concepts, and gives readers who want a challenge the opportunity to exercise their brain in new ways." Not Even Wrong "[Q]uite good... The style is breezy and colloquial, with lots of nice explanations of some of the basic concepts of physics. It's wonderful to see Poisson brackets appearing and nicely explained in a popular book destined to be displayed at bookstores everywhere." Sean Carroll, physicist, California Institute of Technology, and author of The Particle at the End of the Universe "What a wonderful and unique resource. For anyone who is determined to learn physics for real, looking beyond conventional popularizations, this is the ideal place to start. It gets directly to the important points, with nuggets of deep insight scattered along the way. I'm going to be recommending this book right and left."
In this unconventional and stimulating primer, world-class physicist Leonard Susskind and citizen-scientist George Hrabovsky combine forces to provide a brilliant first course in modern physics. Unlike most popular physics books - which give readers a taste of what physicists know
but not what they actually do
- Susskind and Hrabovsky teach the skills you need to do physics yourself. Combining crystal-clear explanations of the laws of the universe with basic exercises, the authors cover the minimum - the theoretical minimum of the title - that readers need to master in order to study more advanced topics. In a lucid, engaging style, they introduce all the key concepts, from classical mechanics to general relativity to quantum theory. Instead of shying away from the equations and maths that are essential to any understanding of physics, The Theoretical Minimum
provides a toolkit that you won't find in any other popular science book.