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Close to perfection.
am 31. Juli 1998
This marvellous book of Landau, Lifshitz is the best adult presentation of "classical" classical mechanics, that is, leaving aside problems of stability, chaos, etc. With this proviso, the book is perfect. It is very short, not by omitting things, but by choosing (and rigidly adhering to it) a very sound philosophy: exploring the connection between symmetries and conservation laws. This explains why the dynamics is based on the action principle, which, as shown by Wigner, is the optimum language for expliciting the discoveries of Emmy Noether. The whole book follows this line, making the exposition very original and, at points, quite surprising (as when the mass is proved to be positive). In my opinion the climax of the book is the theory of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, along the ideas of Jacobi. I know of no place where this is so admirably done. Simple and beautiful. After learning it, and the applications contained in the book, you can learn the miracles ! Landau and Lifshitz perform with this equation in all areas of physics, particularly in General Relativity.