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The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics by George Hrabovsky, Leonard Susskind

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Lecture 1: The Nature of Classical Physics

Somewhere in Steinbeck country two tired men sit down at the side of the road. Lenny combs his beard with his fingers and says, “Tell me about the laws of physics, George.” George looks down for a moment, then peers at Lenny over the tops of his glasses. “Okay, Lenny, but just the minimum.”

What Is Classical Physics?

The term classical physics refers to physics before the advent of quantum mechanics. Classical physics includes Newton’s equations for the motion of particles, the Maxwell-Faraday theory of electromagnetic fields, and Einstein’s general theory of relativity. But it is more than just specific theories of specific phenomena; it is a set of principles and rules—an underlying logic—that governs ...

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