So it is with that in mind that I'm highlighting a new book written by Leonard Susskind and George Hrabovsky that attempts to address that very issue. A review of this book appears in this month's issue of Physics Today.
Enjoyable it was, but its utility is narrower than I might have hoped. In fairness, it seems to be excellent for its stated purpose: as a first textbook for the “ardent amateur” who is perhaps taking a continuing education course or seeking to learn about physics at a level a bit higher than in the usual gee-whiz, calculus-free course. I, however, was eager to analyze the book as a supporting resource for mechanics courses for two different classes of amateurs: life-science students taking physics as a premedical requirement and engineering or physics students with a comparatively weak background. There is a chronic need for a clearly written “theoretical minimum” textbook to help the many students who try to learn physics but cannot remember, or who never properly learned, the necessary elementary math skills—not to mention students whose high school physics course was so poor it actually obstructed their conceptual understanding.
A few minor issues notwithstanding, it does sound as if this is a worthwhile book to have especially if one is a physicist in academia.
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