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Group theory for physists?

  1. May 30, 2013 #1
    Hi, I'm interested in doing some self-study this summer and learning some group theory. This has come up a lot as I'm getting into graduate level physics courses, so I'd like a good solid introduction to it.

    Any recommendations on a book? Preferably one that's at the level of an introductory graduate level/senior undergraduate text.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. May 30, 2013 #2

    dextercioby

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    Wu Ki Tung's book in the '80s is the one I like most. You should consider it.
     
  4. May 30, 2013 #3

    Fredrik

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    Brian Hall's book on representation theory is very nice, very easy to read.
     
  5. May 30, 2013 #4
    Thanks I'll check them out. I should point out that I'm a bit rusty on my linear algebra.
     
  6. May 31, 2013 #5

    Fredrik

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    In that case, I also recommend Axler's Linear algebra done right. It works with complex vector spaces from the start, introduces linear transformations very early, is a bit more "proofy" than most introductory texts, and doesn't spend a lot of time on how to solve systems of linear equations, applications to geometry, etc. So it's great for people who have studied linear algebra before but have forgotten a lot.
     
  7. Jun 2, 2013 #6

    Dr Transport

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    What are your interests???

    Wu Ki Tung is heavy on Lie groups for high energy/particle physics.

    Tinkham is weighted towards solid state and atomic and molecular....

    Both give very good intros provided you have the requisite math.
     
  8. Jun 3, 2013 #7
    My interest is learning how group theory applies to condensed matter physics and quantum mechanics in general. Eventually I'd be interested in learning how it all leads into topology.

    By Tinkham are you referring to, "Group theory and Quantum Mechanics"? If so, I actually already checked this book out of the library since it seemed like a gentle introduction compared to some of the other books I found there.
     
  9. Jun 3, 2013 #8

    Dr Transport

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    I would look for a copy of S.J. Joshua, Symmetry Principles and Magnetic Symmetry in Solid State Physics and work thru that first. I took a course from Tinkham's book during my first stint in graduate school and didn't do very well. When I went back, I found Joshua and did it from cover to cover (it has solutions in the back to check your work). I then redid Tinkham and I was much more successful in retaining the material which was very useful in my dissertation.
     
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