1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal 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!

Calculus for Physicists

  1. Feb 3, 2014 #1
    Can anyone recommend a good book that teaches calculus (particularly integral calculus) in a way that is specifically applicable to applications in physics? I'm looking for something to help me review and solidify the calculus I have already learned but I get lost in all of the formalism that dominates most texts and is of no use to my current pursuit. For example, something that would help me develop an intuition for how to setup integrals based on real physical situations. I want something that helps me understand what the math means in physical terms rather than formal proofs and abstract concepts. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2014 #2
  4. Feb 3, 2014 #3
    Thank you. Sorry about the wrong forum/potentially redundant topic. I've been navigating the site on a sluggish tablet so I haven't yet had a chance to properly familiarize myself.
  5. Feb 3, 2014 #4
  6. Feb 3, 2014 #5
    Just solve many physics problems that require calculus. Maybe An Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner/Kolenkow.
  7. Feb 3, 2014 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I hear the book Calculus by Michael Spivak is great for this purpose!
  8. Feb 3, 2014 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You might want to check out free books; for example at:
    Note that one of these is by Benjamin Cromwell who is a physicist that is very active here on physics forums; I suspect his book is geared the right way for you. If not then poke around that site and there might be one that suits you.

  9. Feb 4, 2014 #8
    "Calculus" by Adams. It may not be tailored to physics directly, but is an awesome tool for quickly learning the math you need to understand physics.
  10. Feb 4, 2014 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

  11. Feb 4, 2014 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    calculus made easy? by silvanus thompson.
  12. Feb 27, 2014 #11
    Spivak's Calculus is a horrible choice for anyone interested in physics. It is written for math majors & it should really be considered an introductory analysis book. He has even written that he would consider giving it a different title if he were to do it again.
    Ricard Currant's calculus book is one of the very few calculus books recommended for college libraries by the Mathematical Association of America.


    In addition to being a wonderful math book it has several sections devoted to physics.

  13. Feb 28, 2014 #12
    That poster was just taking a piss by recommending Spivak. Though someone should have said something at the time.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted