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Book Review: The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need To Know To Start Doing Physics by George Hrabovsky and Leonard Susskind

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The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need To Know To Start Doing Physics by George Hrabovsky and Leonard Susskind is an important work in physics and higher mathematics. The book describes classical concepts; such as, quantum mechanics, Newton’s Laws, electromagnetic fields and the general theory of relativity.

The major lectures include classical physics, motion, dynamics, multiple particle systems, energy, least action, symmetries, conservation, mechanics, phase space fluid, Poisson brackets and electromagnetic forces.

Hrabovsky explains how dynamic systems have infinite states. In addition, the state of a particle system is a function of the current location, as well as the current velocity. The presentation reinforces the readers’ background with a primer on trigonometry, vectors and the differential and integral calculus. The vector analysis is important for understanding particle location. The work has important implications for understanding the fundamentals of time travel.

The book builds up to a crescendo in the discussion of motion mutidimensionally. Equations of motion are expressed in the Lagrangian forms. In addition, Maxwell’s Theory of Electromagnetics, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the Standard Model of Elementary Particles are encompassed in the Lagrangian equations.

The Theoretical Minimum is an important treatise on the principles of physics and higher mathematics requisite to understanding the cutting edge physics in the modern scientific literature. An important strength of the book is that the authors set forth the higher mathematics simply so that the general public can read the presentation without too much effort.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.
  • Igor

    There’s a lot on the internet about the material of this book. Here’s a pointer to Suskinds recorded video courses, which are available on iTunes and Youtube:

    Susskind

  • Igor

    Also, Hrabovsky has a website on this material here:

  • Dr Joseph S. Maresca

    Thanks for the referral. It looks like good stuff.