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Contour integration and Calc. of complex functions

  1. Feb 25, 2014 #1

    I would like to learn some contour integration and complex analysis at the simplest level possible. My maths education only goes up to A Level, so I haven't covered any "calculus of complex functions" yet, and with the books I'm trying to read at the moment I keep getting stuck because I can't do contour integrals in the complex plane. Could anyone give a brief explanation of contour integration, or link to a document that explains it in simple terms for a beginner?

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2014 #2


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    Complex integration is usually part of a semester long course in complex variables. You usually need exposure to things like Green's Theorem and other vector calculus theorems as a pre-requisite.

    You can google "complex integration" and find various hits for relevant techniques.
  4. Mar 8, 2014 #3
    Thank you. I have had a look at some methods online, but I would like to learn in a little more detail. I have also looked at some lecture notes on the topic, but as I mainly want to learn about it in order to understand physics, it is hard to see which parts are the most relevant. Do you know of any undergraduate-level Mathematical methods books for physicists that explain this well?
  5. Mar 8, 2014 #4
    Visual Complex Analysis has the best explanation. Two different explanations, one in terms of Riemann sums, and the other in terms of vector fields.
  6. Mar 11, 2014 #5
    If you just want to be able to apply the techniques, and have some vague intuition about it you could try Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Boas.
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