I'm 1st grade physics student. I have learnt about units, vectors, kinetics, kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, galileo frames of references: galilean transformation, conservation of energy, conservation of linear momentum and angular momentum, rotational moment (torque) in the last semester. I want to learn about rocket engineering, so I decided to read Rocket Propulsion Elements by Sutton. I took a look at the book and I see in the next chapters the book includes chemistry, thermodynamics, liquid dynamics, thermal protection and transfer and so on.

What should I do? Should I learn the basic concepts like thermodynamics first or get started with the book? What would you do if you were me? And why?


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    $\begingroup$ I see you've taken more of 'astrodynamics' route so far - where propulsion is something that exists and what you use - and now you're only starting on how it works. I'd recommend, if you haven't yet, to first read Ignition! as a great primer on chemistry of rocket propulsion and giving you a good idea of the general image of surrounding concepts of rocket engineering, not so much science itself but the professional environment. I think it will be valuable to give you a perspective of just what you're learning. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @SF. Thanks for your book recommendation. I'll read that book when I finish my current novel. Have a good day! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ Work the problems! Most of them give the answers. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble Sorry, I don't understand. What problems? :P $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ @ICCQBE most of the chapters have sample problems at the end. IMHO working the problems is the best way to understand the material. "Estimate the resonant frequency of a set of each of nine cavities similar to Fig. 9-7. Here the chamber diameter D -- 0.200 m, the slot width is 1.0 mm, and the width and height of the cavity are each 20.0 mm. The walls separating the individual cavities are 10.0 mm thick. Assume L = 4.00 ram, AL = 3.00 mm, and a = 1050 m/sec. Answer: approximately 3138 cycles/sec. " $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


What I would do is read the book, and where you run in to a concept that doesn't make sense to you, use other resources to better understand that.

But bottom line, do what is interesting to you.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the comment. I'm interested in the book. So I think, I will get started with the book. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 14:42

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