General Physics from the Internet Archive

Mir Books is this company that puts out downloadable, translated copies of mostly Soviet mathematics and physics books. As often happens I started reading them kind of on a whim and kept following in the faith that someday I’d see a math text I just absolutely had to have. It hasn’t quite reached that, although a post from today identified one I do like which, naturally enough, they aren’t publishing. It’s from the Internet Archive instead.

The book is General Physics, by L D Landau, A I Akhiezer, and E M Lifshiz. The title is just right; it gets you from mechanics to fields to crystals to thermodynamics to chemistry to fluid dynamics in about 370 pages. The scope and size probably tell you this isn’t something for the mass audience; the book’s appropriate for an upper-level undergraduate or a grad student, or someone who needs a reference for a lot of physics.

So I can’t recommend this for normal readers, but if you’re the sort of person who sees beauty in a quote like:

Putting r here equal to the Earth’s radius R, we find a relation between the densities of the atmosphere at the Earth’s surface (nE) and at infinity (n):

n_{\infty} = n_E e^{-\frac{GMm}{kTR}}

then by all means read on.


Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

2 thoughts on “General Physics from the Internet Archive”

  1. Thanks a lot for this pointer – downloaded immediately! I do indulge in recapturing physics basics incl. all fields I am not concerned with on a daily basis. This book seems to be concise and really comprising many different sub-fields in physics. I am also a Landau-Lifshitz fan in general and theoretically I “ought to” own their land mark books on theoretical physics – but buying these would be quite an investment.


    1. I’ve certainly downloaded my own copy. I remember calling on this book a couple of times in my thesis work, although I’m sorry to say I didn’t understand it as well as I really should have. I like to think I know it better now, though.


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