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!

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


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    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


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    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.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted