3rd Edition

Classical Mechanics

By Tai L. Chow Copyright 2025
    360 Pages 295 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    The third edition of Classical Mechanics presents a complete account of the classical mechanics of particles and systems for physics students at the advanced undergraduate level. The textbook evolved from a set of lecture notes for a course on the subject taught for many years by the author at California State University, Stanislaus. It assumes the reader has been exposed to a course in calculus and a calculus-based general physics course. However, no prior knowledge of differential equations is required. Differential equations and new mathematical methods are developed in the text as the occasion demands.

    The book begins with fundamental concepts, such as velocity and acceleration. Vectors are used from the start. Unlike conventional textbooks, this textbook introduces Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics early on, enabling students to develop confidence in these essential methods. Special note is given to concepts instrumental in the development of modern physics, including the relationship between symmetries and the laws of conservation. Applications to other branches of physics are also included wherever possible. Generalized coordinates are covered to enable discussion of Lagrangian dynamics and Hamiltonian dynamics, which have important applications in quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, celestial mechanics, and electrodynamics.

    1 Kinematics – Describing the Motion

    2 Newtonian Mechanics

    3 Integration of Newton’s Equations of Motion

    4 The Lagrangian Formulation of Mechanics

    5 The Hamiltonian Formulation of Mechanics

    6 Motion under a Central Force

    7 The Harmonic Oscillator

    8 Coupled Oscillations and Normal Coordinates

    9 Nonlinear Oscillations

    10 Collisions and Scattering

    11 Motion in Noninertial system

    12 The Motion of Rigid Bodies

    13 Newtonian Gravity and Newtonian Cosmology


    Dr. Tai L. Chow (周鐵樓博士) – Professor of Physics, Emeritus, California State University, Stanislaus - was born and raised in China. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from National Taiwan University, Taiwan, Republic of China; a Master's degree in physics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio; and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. Since 1970, Dr. Chow has been in the Department of Physics at California State University, Stanislaus, and served as department chairman for 18 years. He has also served as a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley and Davis. Dr. Chow has published over 40 articles in physics and astrophysics journals and is the author of six textbooks.