Good math methods in physics book?

  • #1
Hello. I am looking for a good math methods in physics book. I am currently taking Mathematical methods in physics at my university. The tutorial we use isn't very helpful. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
585
2
Lots of people like Boas, I don't have it though. Courant and Hilbert is classic I guess, real in depth with way more than you would ever cover in a course though. I also have Menzel which is good I guess.
 
  • #4
dx
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,014
18
I would also suggest "Spacetime, Geometry and Cosmology" by William Burke as a very good first introduction to what is called 'calculus on manifolds' which has become indispensable for modern physicists, but is not usually treated in the older 'mathematical methods for physicists'-type books like Boas.
 
  • Like
Likes Joker93
  • #5
Thanks for the suggestions.
 
  • #6
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,482
1,206
I am currently taking Mathematical methods in physics at my university.

At what level? Does the course has assigned or recommended texts?

At the most introductory level there is Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness Program for Science Students by R. Shankar,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0306450356/?tag=pfamazon01-20.

I, too, recommend https://www.amazon.com/dp/0471198269/?tag=pfamazon01-20 by Boas, which is a standard text for junior-level mathematical method courses. I wasn't very familiar with this book until I used as the text for a course that I taught a few years ago

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0120598760/?tag=pfamazon01-20 by Arfken and Weber is a standard text for grad-level (or possibly senior-level) mathematical methods courses.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
At what level? Does the course has assigned or recommended texts?

At the most introductory level there is Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness Program for Science Students by R. Shankar,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0306450356/?tag=pfamazon01-20.

I, too, recommend https://www.amazon.com/dp/0471198269/?tag=pfamazon01-20 by Boas, which is a standard text for junior-level mathematical method courses. I wasn't very familiar with this book until I used as the text for a course that I taught a few years ago

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0120598760/?tag=pfamazon01-20 by Arfken and Weber is a standard text for grad-level (or possibly senior-level) mathematical methods courses.

Thanks. The course is taken over 3 semesters. One is at the end of you sophomore year (spring), and the other is in the beginning of your junior year (fall). There is a "tutorial" that was put together by a Professor Emeritus of Physics at my university. I believe the course is 7-8 years old by now. I can give you the table of contents for the first and second semesters.
1st:
Complex Arithmetic
FODEs
SOLDEs
"Trigg" Functions
Vector Algebra and intro to Matrices
Matrix theory
Orthogonal functions and Fourier Series
One-Dimenisonal Wave Equation

2nd half:
Vector Calculus
The delta function
Fourier Transforms
PDEs
Bessel Functions
Legendre Polynomials
Associated Legendre functions and spherical harmonics
Sturm-Liouville Theory and Orthogonal Functions
Analytic Function theory
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #8
99
0
Although the text I'm going to mention is more advanced than the class you've described, I feel that it is indispensable to understanding deep structural connections within physics. It is "Mathematical Physics" by Robert Geroch. It is not computational but proof based, though it gives a very deep insight into the relationship between mathematics and physics from a more formal (and structuralist) point of view.
 

Related Threads on Good math methods in physics book?

Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
5K
Replies
3
Views
4K
Replies
4
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
5K
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
4K
Top