1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Building a library of physics and math texts

  1. Sep 24, 2007 #1
    Hi,

    A group of curious laymen have entrusted me with a curious project. I've been asked to build a small library of physics and math texts that intelligent students and adults may use to self-study the equivalent of a graduate course. This should include a mix of both introductory texts and more advanced comprehensive works. One member has expressed a desire that rigour, elegance and beauty of presentation be emphasised, though this of course has to be balanced by accessibility, since the goal is self-study rather than a formal academic setting. I've some knowledge about physics, so I've managed to compile the following list:

    Classical Mechanics:
    01)Kleppner and Kolenkow
    02)Marion Thornton
    03)Goldstein
    04)Landau
    05)Greiner-Point Particles and Relativity
    06)Greiner-Systems of Particles and Hamiltonian Dynamics
    07)VI Arnold
    08)Sussman-Structure and Interpretation
    09)Coulson-Wave Motion
    Electrodynamics:
    10)Griffiths
    11)Greiner
    12)Lorrain and Corson
    13)Landau
    14)Jackson
    Fluid Mechanics:
    15)Kundu, Cohen
    16)Landau
    17)Chorin, Marsden
    Optics:
    18)Guenther
    19)Born, Wolf
    20)Shen
    GTR:
    21)Misner, Thornee, Wheeler
    22)Wald
    23)Weinberg
    QM:
    24)Griffiths
    25)Landau
    26)Sakurai
    27)Shankar
    28)Cohen-Tannoudji
    29)Greiner-QM Intro
    30)Greiner-QM Symmetries
    31)Greiner-Relativistic QM
    Statistical Physics:
    32)Chandler
    33)Greiner
    34)Huang
    35)Reichl
    36)Pathria
    37)Landau Lif****z 1 & 2
    38)Kardanoff-Statistical QM
    QED:
    39)Greiner
    40)Cohen-Tannoudji
    QFT:
    41)Peskin, Shroeder
    42)Weinberg 1, 2 & 3
    43)Griffiths-Intro to Elementary Particles
    44)Di Francesco-Conformal Field Theory
    String:
    45)Zwiebach
    46)Polchinski
    Solid State:
    47)Kittel
    48)Ashcroft, Mermin
    General:
    49)Feynman Lectures in Physics
    50)Basdevant-Fundamentals in Nuclear Physics

    Mathematics for Physics
    01)Isham
    02)James Nearing
    03)J Lee
    04)Nakahara
    05)Nash, Sen
    06)Szekeres
    07)Reed, Simon 1 & 2

    I'm sure there are gaps in this list, in the sense that some particular difficulty level in some particular topic is not covered, or a classic book has been omitted. I'll be grateful if you point these out to me. Also, what is the mathematical background required to appreciate Arnold?

    As for mathematics, I don't even know which topics are covered in a standard course (and I suspect it's not as standardised as physics) so I'll like recommendations for a structured library like the one given above, such that one may sequentially proceed through it to get a comprehensive education. The goal is once again to strike a balance between intuitive, student-friendly texts and slick, rigorous classics of the sort that make mathematicians salivate.

    A few obvious choices are Spivak's and Apostle's calculus, baby and big Rudin (what exactly are the differences between them?), Topology by Munkres, Manifold Calculus by same and Spivak etc. I'll like it if you gave recommendations where the different books complement each other, as I've attempted in the physics list. This is an ambitious project and I feel honoured to be given such a weighty duty. I'll be very grateful for your help.

    Thanks a lot.

    Molu
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2007 #2
    Jenkins and White for Optics (intro)

    Boas for Math-Methods

    I see no SR at all... Spacetime Physics, Relativity(Rindler)

    A book that I have not read but one that probably should make your list
    Schutz for GR, and maybe even the one by Hartle for introduction.
     
  4. Sep 24, 2007 #3

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hecht - modern optics
    CRC - handbook physics and chemistry
     
  5. Sep 24, 2007 #4
    Yes, I forgot Hecht. In SR, what is an adavanced text? I mean a text that explores the limits of SR eithout getting into much GTR or QFT.
     
  6. Sep 24, 2007 #5
    Also, QM, a modern development by Ballentine and QFT by L. Ryder, a classic textbook for the field!
     
  7. Sep 24, 2007 #6

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You probably don't want to get into computer texts - but "Numerical Recipes In C/Fortran" is useful.
    If you do lab classes squires - "practical physics", treatment of statistics, error analysis etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  8. Sep 24, 2007 #7

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Some others to consider:

    EM: Purcell
    SR: Taylor&Wheeler(1966), T.A.Moore, Woodhouse http://www2.maths.ox.ac.uk/~nwoodh/ (he also has books published by Springer), Naber, Ellis&Williams
    GR: Ludvigsen (elegant modern SR presentation), Ohanian, Lightman(problem book), D'Inverno, Sachs&Wu, Hawking&Ellis
    MathPhysics: Boas, Lea, Strang, Geroch, Frankel, Isham, Bamberg-Sternberg, Abraham & Marsden & Ratiu, Choquet-Bruhat & Dewitt-Morette, Guillemin & Sternberg, Morse-Feshbach, Courant-Hilbert
    Overviews ("big pictures"): E.G.Harris, W.Thirring, G.G.Emch
    Classics: Lorentz-Einstein-Minkowski, Weyl, Pauli, Dirac(QM), Synge(SR&GR), Lanczos(Variational Principles)

    You might want sections on Astrophysics, Cosmology, and Computational Physics.

    This may be useful... and thanks to the wayback machine, it is still available
    http://web.archive.org/web/20061205215309/http://math.berkeley.edu/~ajt/physics_textbooks.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  9. Sep 25, 2007 #8
    Math suggestions? I'm looking more for these. I want to concentrate more on areas like Topology, Algebra and Analysis rather than Number Theory.

    Some of the books I've listed are

    Friedberg-Linear Algebra
    Spivak-Calculus
    Apostle-Calculus
    Tenenbaum-ODE
    Munkres-Topology
    Rudin-Principles of Mathematical Analysis
    Rudin-Real and Complex Analysis
    Brown-Complex Variables and Applications
    Munkres-Calculus on Manifolds
    Spivak-Calculus on Manifolds
    Farlow-PDE
    Feller-Probability Theory
    Chung-Probability Theory

    As you can see, the current list is heavily dominated by analysis because that's my personal favourite. Please tell me what books I need to fill in the gaps. Thanks.

    Molu
     
  10. Sep 25, 2007 #9
    I'm already pushing the boundaries of our budget, I don't think I can include that many. I didn't find the need for a Purcell-level bridge between Halliday-Resnick and Griffiths. Also, since there's going to be a separate math library, I don't want to include many of those mathematical technique cookbooks. It's better to learn the math from math textbooks and the physics from the physics textbooks. Math methods books are usually neither here nor there. Of course, books like Arnold, Isham etc are not really math methods books.

    Thanks for the link.

    Molu
     
  11. Sep 25, 2007 #10

    J77

    User Avatar

  12. Sep 25, 2007 #11
    I'm adding these to the physics list:

    Mechanics:
    Taylor*
    Calkin
    ED:
    Landau-Classical Fields*
    Elasticity:
    Sadd
    GTR:
    Schutz-A First Course in General Relativity*
    d'Inverno-Introducing Einstein's Relativity*
    Dirac
    QM:
    Ballentine
    Feynman-Path Integrals
    QFT:
    Greiner-Field Quantization
    Zee-QFT in a Nutshell
    Optics:
    Hecht*
    String:
    Witten et al*

    I hope that's a physics library to satisfy anyone. Perhaps the QED/QFT department is slightly lacking. Tell me, what is the standard order of presentation of the subjects QED, QCD and QFT. Will the QFT books listed above cover QCD and Electroweak theory?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  13. Sep 25, 2007 #12
    I know it's a broad range, but in physics I found I could reasonably cover it with 50-60 texts. Note that it's for undergraduate+basic graduate. Also, there's no emphasis on applied maths, there are some pure math geeks in the group I mentioned who enjoy spending their leisure hours proving wonderfully abstract propositions.

    Molu
     
  14. Sep 25, 2007 #13

    J77

    User Avatar

    OK -- from the link I gave, for the level you want; ie. something a bit above UG, for bifurcation analysis, I'd suggest:

    Elements of Applied Bifurcation Theory
    Kuznetsov, Y.A., Vol. 112, ISBN 978-0-387-21906-6, 2004, Hardcover

    and

    Nonlinear Oscillations, Dynamical Systems, and Bifurcations of...
    Guckenheimer, J., Holmes, P., Vol. 42, ISBN 978-0-387-90819-9, 2002, Hardcover

    These have been the two core texts for a long time now...
     
  15. Sep 25, 2007 #14
    Check out http://chaosbook.org/. It seemed very comprehensive to me.

    Molu
     
  16. Sep 25, 2007 #15

    J77

    User Avatar

    Oww... That's a bit strong saying a web resource is comprehensive :smile:

    Check out the Guckenheimer book I gave above to see how a small fraction of "chaos theory" is done in a comprehensive way -- and then another to see how say, symbolic dynamics are done in a comprehensive way -- and so on...

    If you want a list of books to read slightly above UG level, you wouldn't go for something called "University Physics" would you?
     
  17. Sep 25, 2007 #16
    Since you seem to have analysis covered...

    Linear Algebra Done Right - Axler
    Topics in Algebra - Herstein
    Introduction to Topology - Gamelin (Dover, cheap!)
    Algebraic Topology - Hatcher (Free online)
     
  18. Sep 25, 2007 #17

    Stingray

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Dixon's "Special Relativity" is far more advanced and interesting than its title makes it sound (if that's what you want). It's out of print, though.
     
  19. Sep 25, 2007 #18
  20. Sep 25, 2007 #19

    J77

    User Avatar

    Nice link :smile:

    I like this on Arfken:
    Sums up a lot of textbooks for me.
     
  21. Sep 25, 2007 #20

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Dixon's book is probably too specialized for his list.... but, I agree, it is interesting. I've been browsing through it [mainly on the Newtonian limit] on and off for the past year.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Building a library of physics and math texts
  1. Math Books/Texts (Replies: 10)

Loading...