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Dover publication books for upper level math

  1. Mar 26, 2012 #1

    I wanted to know if anyone knows which dover publication books are good to learn the contents of courses such as mathematical methods for physicists. Main topics include complex analysis, probability, mathematical statistics, integral transformations,ODE, PDE, linear algebra, calculus of variations, etc.

    Also what dover publication books would be good to learn the contents of common undergrad physics courses. Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2012 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Mar 26, 2012 #3
    I have to note that Dover is just not as cheap as they used to be. You can often find better deals by surfing Amazon for used hardcover copies of classic texts. And even very old Dover printings compete with the new printings because they had sewn bindings rather than the glued bindings of recent years.

    For math methods, Byron and Fuller is excellent:


    However, I'd recommend starting with an old copy of Boas:


    They don't seem to have an introductory mechanics text. The books they do have seem to be graduate level or engineering oriented. I like Fowles for intro mechanics. Here's the 3rd ed:


    Symon is also an old classic:


    Dover is strong on E&M books, my favorite being Schwartz, but he's somewhat intermediate between undergrad and grad level.


    Park looks like a pretty good intro QM book and is recommended in the bibliography of Sakurai's QM book, and they now also have the book by Saxon which seems to get good reviews.

    For thermo, get Fermi's book.

    For stat mech, I have the little book by Atlee Jackson, which looks very good, but I haven't had a chance to get much into it.

    A few others:

    Complex analysis: the book by Flanigan is neat and an easy read:


    PDEs: Farlow's book is an easy read.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Mar 28, 2012 #4


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    I would agree that used copies of old editions of other books are usually a better bet. While some dover books are good, in my experience many fall into the "cheap and not worth it" category. (I forgot where I read that quote - it is not my original).

    Anyway, for single-subject books, I recommend (in all cases get used copy of old edition, also, I may have titles slightly off but amazon should find them):

    Saff and Snider: complex analysis. used copies of old editions go for a few $ on amazon. includes elementary aspects of integral transforms (and Z transforms!)

    Ablowitz and Fokas: applied complex variables; great for complex variables and integral transforms, including basic asymptotic expansions of integrals. 1st edition is $20+, but is very good, imho.

    Ross: a first course in probability: something like 3rd or 4th edition is cheap. very good for basic probability

    Hogg and Craig: introduction to mathematical statistics, good for stats. any edition is probably fine.

    Boyce and Diprima, elementary differential equations with boundary value problems, good and cheap!

    Haberman: elementary applied partial differential equations. good pde book for physics. I covet a copy but already have too many books on the shelf.

    Farlow: partial differential equations. One of the dover books that is really good. This is the clearest pde book you will find - the cost is that it also skips a lot of details and theory.

    There are many threads on linear algebra books. Two free ones I like are



    Also, a general math methods book that is free is:


    For special functions, you can get free copies of Abramowitz and Stegun online, and Whitaker and Watson. Both of these books are legal and free:


    many other free math ebooks worth a look:

    good luck!

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