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An Introduction to Mechanics
  • This book is no longer available to purchase from Cambridge Core
  • Cited by 20

Book description

In the years since it was first published, this classic introductory textbook has established itself as one of the best-known and most highly regarded descriptions of Newtonian mechanics. Intended for undergraduate students with foundation skills in mathematics and a deep interest in physics, it systematically lays out the principles of mechanics: vectors, Newton's laws, momentum, energy, rotational motion, angular momentum and noninertial systems, and includes chapters on central force motion, the harmonic oscillator, and relativity. Numerous worked examples demonstrate how the principles can be applied to a wide range of physical situations, and more than 600 figures illustrate methods for approaching physical problems. The book also contains over 200 challenging problems to help the student develop a strong understanding of the subject. Password-protected solutions are available for instructors at


'Kleppner and Kolenkow's An Introduction to Mechanics is a classic textbook as useful today as when it was first published in 1973. It covers classical mechanics and energy through planetary orbits and oscillators as well as special relativity helping well-prepared freshmen to develop the conceptual understanding and mathematical confidence to tackle the analytical dynamics and quantum mechanics that is to come. Of particular note is the treatment of the difficult subject of rigid body dynamics. The worked examples and problems thoughtfully confront and resolve many of the confusions that students typically encounter.'

Roger Blandford - Stanford University

'… the 'gold standard' for a mechanics text at this level and should be on the bookshelf of every serious student, alongside other classic books like Jackson's Classical Electrodynamics and Goldstein's Classical Mechanics. I am glad to see it is to be re-issued by Cambridge at a more sensible price. This addresses the only negative feature of the book.'

David Hanna - McGill University

'Kleppner and Kolenkow is a great textbook for advanced freshmen studying classical mechanics. It does a wonderful job of developing conceptual, mathematical intuition. The text, the examples, and the problems are all engaging and provide students with a strong foundation to become master problem-solvers. It is particularly good for developing an intuition for multivariable calculus in the context of classical mechanics.'

Kathryn Moler - Stanford University

'An Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner and Kolenkow is a great book. It is original and beautifully written and is really the only choice for a serious introduction to mechanics for well prepared physics majors. I very much enjoy the book every time I teach freshman mechanics.'

Bruce Winstein - University of Chicago

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