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Apostol's book for Physics?

  1. May 12, 2010 #1
    Hi guys,
    I am planning my college studies plan, majoring in Physics.

    I would love to have a solid math background for my physics studies.
    I am recently reading Apostol's calculus I.
    And I found that actually Apostol's calculus I&II covers linear algebra and ODE,

    so my question is:

    1.) did Apostol do a good job at explaining LA & DE as well?
    2.) Is Apostol's ODE in his Calculus II enough for me to read Griffiths's book on QM?

    any other suggestions are welcomed =)

    thanks for reading!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2010 #2
    Apostol is an excellent text and does a very good job in explaining Linear Algebra. His exposition on Multivariable calculus will be more than enough to tackle Griffiths. You won't ever need to use concepts such as the 'winding number' any time soon. Go for it!
  4. May 13, 2010 #3
    Thanks for replying, anirudh =)
  5. May 13, 2010 #4


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    Gold Member

    I agree.

    The coverage of linear algebra in Calculus II by Apostol is extremely good for physics, especially quantum mechanics. Likewise, the coverage of ODEs, multivariable and vector calculus is more than enough for undergrad physics. Griffiths's QM should certainly be doable with this background; most folks who take a class from that book likely have inferior backgrounds. The only piece that Apostol doesn't really cover that could be helpful for QM is Fourier series and boundary value problems, but Griffiths will teach you the main things you need to know about that anyway - it won't be bad with the Apostol background.

    good luck,

  6. Jun 5, 2010 #5

    Besides, I would like to ask that how about Modern Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai? What math I will need for it?

    And I would also want to ask
    that Apostol's Analysis
    I don't understand why Caltech's grad school requires that applcants have to be at the level of it, is it not totally unnecessary to have math at that precise level?
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