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Good introductory textbooks for group theory

  1. Jun 24, 2015 #1
    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!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2015 #2
    Sorry, I should also mention that I'm studying theoretical physics (not mathematics).
     
  4. Jun 24, 2015 #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).
     
  5. Jun 27, 2015 #4

    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).
     
  6. Jun 27, 2015 #5
    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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