Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, atrocious printing, 1 Sept. 2007
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This review is from: Newtonian Mechanics (M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series) (Paperback)
French pulls off what I once thought impossible: to offer an engaging, challenging and lively read on Newtonian mechanics. What is often considered the most dry topic in physics is brought to life here by French's skillful interweaving of mathematical sophistication, intuitive explanation and history of science. What I particularly appreciate is that, unlike most modern textbooks, this book is not written as if intended for teenagers with attention deficit snydrome. French assumes that the reader is someone who is interested in mechanics and willing to invest time and effort to understand the subject, and so one will not find any watered down explanations or lamentations that certain ideas are beyond the scope of the text. The questions at the end of each chapter are of mixed value. While they are all carefully constructed to test the readers intution rather than just an ability to plug numbers into equations, some will refer to quantities and concepts that were not covered in the main text of the book, and are therefore of little use to anyone who does not wish to reference back to other texts/websites (though these questions are definitely in the minority).

The biggest problem I have with the book is the dreadful print quality. The headings on each page that reference the respective chapter and subsection are practically illegible, and the diagrams are printed in faint grey on a faint grey background meaning that half the time one has to guess which symbols mentioned in the text correspond to which elusive silhouttes in the diagram. I was unsure whether or not deduct a star for this since it does not substantively affect the actual quality of the text, but the printing is so bad that it actually reduces the amount that can be learned from it. All in all this is the best book on mechanics I have come across, but try to obtain a different print edition.
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