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Good Physics/maths book

  1. Aug 17, 2008 #1

    madmike159

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    I'm looking for a book which covers all the maths I will need for doing a degree in physics. I found one called engineering mathematics (by K.A Stroud), it has every thing I think I need and give examples of where they can be used. It covers calculus, algebra, matrices, vectors, stats, probability and some basic stuff (logs etc).

    If any one has this book and can tell me what its like it would be very usful. If any one has a book they would like to recommend please do.
     
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  3. Aug 17, 2008 #2

    nicksauce

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    Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Boas is great. Many people on this site will recommend it highly. FYI the titles of the chapters are Infinite Series, Complex Numbers, Linear Algebra, Partial Differentiation, Multiple Integrals, Vector Analysis, Fourier series and transforms, Ordinary Differential Equations, Calculus of variations, Tensor analysis, Special functions, Series solutions of differential equations, Partial differential equations, Functions of a complex variable, Probability and statistics.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2008 #3
    Huh. Is that really all the maths you need for an undergrad degree in physics? I was under the impression it was more than that.
     
  5. Aug 17, 2008 #4

    nicksauce

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    It seems like a fairly complete list to me. Care to cite any specific examples? If you're in a more intensive program, such as Honors math-phys at my school, you might also see a lot of analysis and algebra, as well as some differential geometry and number theory, but I wouldn't think these are necessarily required maths of an undergraduate physics education.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  6. Aug 18, 2008 #5
    The physics philosophy regarding mathematics is to learn just enough to be able to solve problems. Thus a book/course in mathematical methods in physics will cover a lot of topics in relatively few pages/lectures because it will not be obsessed with proving everything, but will focus on showing how particular mathematics can be used to describe and solve physical problems instead.
     
  7. Aug 20, 2008 #6

    madmike159

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    Ok. Can some one give me a list of maths topics I would need for a physics degree course, then I can work out if a book is good or not.
     
  8. Aug 20, 2008 #7

    George Jones

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  9. Aug 21, 2008 #8
    You are trying to put the cart before the horse. Which degree in physics are you planning to take? What book of mathematical methods do they recommend? Get that.

    If you can't understand a section in the recommended MM book that's the time to go looking for another book that can explain that particular section in a way you can understand.
     
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