Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Best books for students of aerospace?

  1. Oct 31, 2006 #1
    Hey everyone,

    I'm a 1st year aerospace student, signed up for a 3 year bachelor of science degree. I'd just like to know what are the best books on various subjects in aerospace, such as aerodynamics, mathematics, mechanics etc. Obviously i already have some textbooks which my school recommended, but i'd like to expland my understanding of everything i learn and so i'm looking for books by experts in the various fields. I'm kind of a 'junkie' for details. I'm especially interested in recommendations concerning the mathematics... it's not one of my strongest subjects and right now i only have one book, called 'Calculus - Early Transendentals' by James Stewart. Am i right that calculus is basically the cornerstone of aerospace engineering? Please excuse me for asking such a simple question, i'm only like two months into this degree. Anyway i'm sure alot of you have come across some very good books in your studies and careers. Thanks for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2006 #2

    Yes calculus is certainly essential to aerospace engineering; calculus is the basis for physics and physics is the basis for engineering/aerospace.

    It’s been awhile since I’ve used a “new” calculus text so I don’t have any good recommendations there. As far as Aerospace specific books there are many good ones, I’ll only speak to my specialties though, the structures, aero, prop, thermal etc… guys can give their opinions on good resources for those disciplines. For orbital mechanics/astrodynamics/mission design the "bible" is David Vallado's "Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications". The Space Technology Series is good too for various subjects, one I use often is Space Mission Analysis and Design (by Wertz and Larson). I also like GPS Theory and Practice (Hafmann-Wellenhof etc…) and Statistical Orbit Determination (Tapley, Schutz and Born) although these last two are specializations inside of specializations. However, these will just be references for you now, you’ll go through many “generic” courses like calculus, physics, fluids, statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, etc… before you get to the more specialized engineering courses like orbit mechanics, flight mechanics, structures, propulsion, spacecraft/aircraft design etc… Perhaps someone in school now can recommend a good “new” calculus or mathematics text? I am sure there are many recommendations for a good physics text here as well :biggrin:
  4. Nov 1, 2006 #3
    thx for the recomendation, appreciate it. Does anyone else have some recomendations also? There's gotta be someone around that knows a good book on aerodynamics, for example.
  5. Nov 2, 2006 #4
    I found modern engineering mathematics and advanced modern engineering mathematics by Glyn James very helpfull. Should cover all the math you need
  6. Nov 2, 2006 #5
    The PDE book by Farlow is very nicely organized and cheap.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook