Good introductory textbooks for group theory

  • Thread starter steve0606
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  • #1
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Hi there. Can anybody recommend a good textbook for an undergraduate wanting to study group theory (especially representation theory). I'm thinking of reading "visual group theory" by Carter for conceptual understanding but I also need a book to study alongside this that gives a more formal exposition.

I took a class at university that involved group theory but I bombed it! (Ended up with a D) Mostly because I struggled to understand representation theory (especially irreps) in detail.

Im now taking a class in Lie algebras and Lie groups (at graduate level) next year but of course I want/need to gain a solid understanding of the basics! I tried hammermesh but I found it quite strange (the explanation he gives for representations is very odd I found!) and also Raymond which I found too advanced, given I was an undergrad at the time.

Many thanks!
 

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  • #2
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Sorry, I should also mention that I'm studying theoretical physics (not mathematics).
 
  • #3
verty
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Ramond looks really good to me. Are you also considering getting a book to use before Ramond? This one by Ehrlich looks really nice (no representation theory though).
 
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vanhees71
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I don't know, whether it is available in English, but I like Smirnov, Higher Mathematics vol. III/1 very much, of which I know the German edition. It covers linear algebra and group-representation theory for the physically important groups (rotation group, Lorentz group).
 
  • #5
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I would suggest the following 3 books are very good for theoritical physics;

1: Lie Algebras in Particle physics--Georgi
2: Group Theory--Ramond
3: Lie Groups, Physics and geometry --Gilmore

a concise and very good book for Lie Algebras is
Symmetries and Conservation Laws in particle Physics--Haywood.

If finance is the problem then get the Haywood and Georgi in anycase.
 

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