Fundamentals of Physics: Mechanics, Relativity, and Thermodynamics

Fundamentals of Physics Mechanics, Relativity, and Thermodynamics pdf

Fundamentals of Physics – Professor R. Shankar, a well-known physicist and contagiously enthusiastic educator, was among the first to offer a course through the innovative Open Yale Course program. His popular online video lectures on introductory physics have been viewed over a million times.

In this concise and self-contained book based on his online Yale course, Shankar explains the fundamental concepts of physics from Galileo’s and Newton’s discoveries to the twentieth-century’s revolutionary ideas on relativity and quantum mechanics.

The book begins at the simplest level, develops the basics, and reinforces fundamentals, ensuring a solid foundation in the principles and methods of physics. It provides an ideal introduction for college-level students of physics, chemistry, and engineering, for motivated AP Physics students, and for general readers interested in advances in the sciences.

Instructor resources–including problem sets and sample examinations–and more information about Professor Shankar’s course are available at

Review – Fundamentals of Physics

“Well-suited for use either as a primary textbook or a source of additional readings for a first-year physics course intended for students with strong backgrounds in mathematics and physics.”—Choice
“Like his online lectures, Shankar’s book looks excellent for teaching and learning introductory physics.”―Leonard Susskind, Director, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics
“This introductory text makes easy reading, due to Shankar’s great sense of humor and his lucid explanation of the essential ideas of fundamental physics.”—David Gross, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 2004
“Akin to a relaxed discussion with a masterful tutor, Shankar’s book conveys a strong intuitive understanding with wonderful freshness and clarity. A pedagogical masterpiece.”—Daniel Arovas, University of California, San Diego
“The book captures, and enhances, the experience of being in the room as Shankar explains the material. This is physics as it should be taught, clearly and entertainingly presented.”—Alan Chodos, American Physical Society
“Mechanics, relativity, and thermodynamics are presented with wonderful freshness and clarity by Shankar, who further cements his reputation as a preeminent physics expositor. The presentation is akin to a relaxed discussion with a masterful tutor. With thoughtful explanations and numerous examples, Shankar expertly guides the reader through the subject matter, conveying a strong intuitive understanding reinforced by mathematical analysis. Subtleties and counterintuitive topics such as rotational dynamics, relativity paradoxes, and entropy are patiently and deliberately explained so as to minimize confusion. A pedagogical masterpiece.”—Daniel Arovas, University of California, San Diego

About the Author – Fundamentals of Physics

R. Shankar is John Randolph Huffman Professor of Physics, Yale University. His popular Open Yale Course “Introduction to Physics” has a major following in the United States, India, Australia, China, and elsewhere. He is the 2009 winner of the American Physical Society’s Lilienfeld Prize and the author of two previous textbooks, Principles of Quantum Mechanics and Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness Program for Science Students.