© 2016

A Course in Classical Physics 1—Mechanics


Part of the Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics book series (ULNP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Alessandro Bettini
    Pages 1-45
  3. Alessandro Bettini
    Pages 47-95
  4. Alessandro Bettini
    Pages 97-139
  5. Alessandro Bettini
    Pages 141-194
  6. Alessandro Bettini
    Pages 195-225
  7. Alessandro Bettini
    Pages 227-265
  8. Alessandro Bettini
    Pages 267-316
  9. Alessandro Bettini
    Pages 317-375
  10. Alessandro Bettini
    Pages C1-C2
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 377-388

About this book


This first volume covers the mechanics of point particles, gravitation, extended systems (starting from the two-body system), the basic concepts of relativistic mechanics and the mechanics of rigid bodies and fluids.

The four-volume textbook, which covers electromagnetism, mechanics, fluids and thermodynamics, and waves and light, is designed to reflect the typical syllabus during the first two years of a calculus-based university physics program. 

Throughout all four volumes, particular attention is paid to in-depth clarification of conceptual aspects, and to this end the historical roots of the principal concepts are traced. Writings by the founders of classical mechanics, G. Galilei and I. Newton, are reproduced, encouraging students to consult them. Emphasis is also consistently placed on the experimental basis of the concepts, highlighting the experimental nature of physics. Whenever feasible at the elementary level, concepts relevant to more advanced courses in modern physics are included. Each chapter begins with an introduction that briefly describes the subjects to be discussed and ends with a summary of the main results. A number of “Questions” are included to help readers check their level of understanding.

The textbook offers an ideal resource for physics students, lecturers and, last but not least, all those seeking a deeper understanding of the experimental basics of physics. 


Classical mechanics undergraduate textbook Basic concepts of relativistic mechanics Mechanics of point particles Mechanics of rigid bodies Mechanics of fluids Dynamics and forces Two body systems Gravitational force Extended systems

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Fisica e AstronomiaUniversità di PadovaPadovaItaly

About the authors

Alessandro Bettini is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Padua, Italy, where he has taught experimental, general, and particle physics for 40 years. He is current Vice-President of the Italian Physical Society and his past posts also include Director of the INFN National Gran Sasso Laboratory, Vice-President of the OECD Global Science Forum, and Director of the Canfranc Underground Laboratory in Spain. Most recently, Professor Bettini’s scientific interests have focused on neutrino physics beyond the standard model and astroparticle phenomena. He is a member of the GERDA experiment, searching for neutrino-less double beta decay. He is the author of approximately 200 articles in international scientific journals as well as several books, including

Introduction to Elementary Particle Physics (Cambridge University Press, 2008, 2nd edn).

Bibliographic information

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“The first volume is devoted to the mechanics of point particles and rigid bodies … . Alessandro Bettini has fulfilled the ambitious goal of writing a treatise that covers all of classical physics with a depth suitable for honor undergraduate courses. … Bettini’s books not only teach but inspire, and they will appeal to students and professors alike who feel that physics is truly rich of great ideas that deserve to be studied with devotion and love.” (Giuseppe La Rocca, Il Nuovo Saggiatore, April, 2017)