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Book on Tensor Analysis

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Could anyone tell me what a good book is that describes Tensor Analysis from the basics to the advanced material? It would be truly helpful.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
robphy
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What is the context?
What is your current preparation and your long-term goals for learning this?
 
  • #3
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Well, I've been through Calculus, Vector Calculus, Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, and Complex Variables. I guess I just want to learn it because I was planning on going on towards Relativistic Physics and Quantum Mechanics and Field Theory.
 
  • #5
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Oh yeah, Schaum's Outlines. I almost forgot about them. I've read the "Advanced Calculus" from them. Thanks!
 
  • #6
Geometrical Methods of Mathematical Physics - Schutz
Tensor Analysis on Manifolds - Bishop & Goldberg (Dover = cheap)
General Relativity - Wald
,etc.

All under $40 each.
 
  • #7
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I really liked

Tensor Analysis on Manifolds - Bishop & Goldberg

it covers alot of the basic things, and tensor analysis in general. It also have some small chapters covering the next things to read, such as riemannian geometry
 
  • #8
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I second Bishop and Goldber's Tensor Analysis on Manifolds. I'm reading through this book right now, actually, and it has been quite a pleasurable experience. The notation is a bit awkward (he writes f(x) as fx without parentheses, for example) sometimes, but for the most part this is a thoroughly modern book.

I will say, however, that to get the most out of this book you need some basic background in topology. You could make it through this book without knowing much about topology, but I think you'd miss out on a lot of good material concerning the topological peculiarities of various structures studied in the book. You also need to be familiar with some topics from advanced calculus such as the jacobian, the implicit function theorem, the inverse function theorem, and integration on arbitrary-dimensional Euclidean spaces.

Previously I was grappling with Edwards' Advanced Calculus: A Differential Forms Approach (which isn't really about tensors in general but differential forms specifically). This book took too pragmatic an approach for my taste. Maybe I'm insane, but I actually find the modern, abstract definitions easier to understand and use than the old, often physics-based explanations. Eventually I got tired of trying to translate the practical explanations into the abstract currency of modern mathematics, and I got myself a copy Tensor Analysis on Manifolds, which cured all my tensor-analytic ills.
 
Last edited:
  • #9
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Thanks. I've already have "Tensor Analysis on Manifolds" and I am reading it now. Thanks anyway. It was a big help.
 

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