Free download of : Classical Mechanics 5th Edition by Tom W.B. Kibble & Frank H. Berkshire
Classical mechanics is one of the most familiar of scientific theories. Its basic concepts — mass, acceleration, force, and so on — have become very much a part of our everyday modes of thought. So we may easily regard their physical meaning as more obvious than it really is. For this reason, a large part of this introductory chapter will be devoted to a critical examination of the fundamental concepts and principles of mechanics.
Every scientific theory starts froma set of hypotheses, which are suggested by our observations, but represent an idealization of them. The
theory is then tested by checking the predictions deduced from these hypotheses against experiment. When persistent discrepancies are found, we try to modify the hypotheses to restore the agreement with observation. If many such tests are made and no serious disagreement emerges, then the hypotheses gradually acquire the status of ‘laws of nature’. When results that apparently contradict well-established laws appear, as they often do, we tend to look for other possible explanations — for simplifying assumptions we have made that may be wrong, or neglected effects that may be significant …….