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Calculus Book idea: mathematical techniques in introductory physics

  1. Jul 23, 2015 #1
    I have a set of class notes that I've been thinking about publishing as a book, and I wonder what y'all thought about it. The book is intended for people who have taken introductory physics, and it is organized by mathematical topic or technique, with a specific focus on calculus. There are chapters on flux, rates, spatial derivatives, symmetry, coordinate systems, surface and volume integrals, and differential equations, and each chapter revisits physics topics that use that particular technique.

    Sound interesting?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2015 #2
    why not?
  4. Jul 23, 2015 #3
    Actually, there's a good reason: it needs a good amount of editing, and it's only one of a dozen projects. A sudden outpouring of enthusiasm would help me decide if it's worth the effort. :)
  5. Jul 23, 2015 #4
    I majored in chemical engineering, though at heart I was always a physicist (it's a long story). Life got in the way (another long story) and it took me years to finally get back on track and go to physics graduate school. I barely managed to squeak in, and when I did I struggled severely because I had forgotten most of the few things that would have been useful to me, on top of there being things that I didn't even know I had to know. The mathematical tools and physics were scattered all over the place, and I had a hard time putting things together. Eventually I completed my Masters, but a book like the one you describe would have made things a lot easier for me.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  6. Aug 28, 2015 #5


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    I am writing something similar, but I suspect aimed at a slightly more advanced level. It started out as a collection of lecture notes for a course I am teaching, but now includes some additional topics.

    I assume knowledge of calculus and ordinary differential equations as these are course prerequisites. The idea is to present several familiar examples but using the more general framework to arrive at the result and to connect it to previous knowledge. In the end, I am planning to introduce some more advanced physics using the very same methods.
  7. Aug 30, 2015 #6
    I would almost certainly use this if it were published.
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