1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min 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!

Intimidated by an Upcoming Course

  1. Apr 22, 2014 #1
    I have been out of school for 15 years (for physics at least), and plan on going back for my masters. I have been teaching chemistry and physics at the high school level for 9 of those years. I have often challenged myself with calculus problems so that I don't loose it completely. I have been reviewing with Boas and find it perfect for where I am at, but when I saw the course description of the course I am planning to take in the fall I was a little intimidated. After looking at the contents of the text book:

    https://www.amazon.com/Mathematical-Methods-Physicists-Sixth-Edition/dp/0120598760

    I became really intimidated. I am not sure if I should put it off another year and finish Boas -- maybe start reviewing some Junior and Senior college level physics.

    Here is the course description:

    http://physics.fullerton.edu/~heidi/510.html

    What do you guys/gals think?

    Thanks,
    Chris Maness
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2014 #2

    ZombieFeynman

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The coursework seems like the standard for a one semester mathematical methods course. Perhaps in addition to Boas, you could supplement your preparation with Byron and Fuller. You should be able to find a Dover edition for ~25 dollars at most. You may want to do some problems from Morin's classical mechanics text (or Taylor's) and perhaps some problems from Griffith's E&M and Shankar's quantum mechanics. The four of those books is what I used the summer before I came to graduate school to prepare. I came straight from undergrad, but even if I didn't I think that would have been the best bet.

    Edit: Arfken and Weber is a great book, as a reference. I never used it while taking Math Methods in graduate school (except as reference). To learn the mathematics, I used a combination of Byron&Fuller, Hassani, and Lea. Classmates of mine also found Boas helpful. Now that I am doing research, I have found Stone and Goldbert to be the text of choice when I want to refresh my mathematical memory.
     
  4. Apr 22, 2014 #3
    Thanks, Zombie. Do you think I can get all this done by fall? I do have the summer off, but my break from work is only two months. It has taken me a two months to get to the middle of chapter three, so not really fast going. When I am off, I can do a section a day -- when I am in work I can do about half of that.

    Thanks,
    Chris Maness
     
  5. Apr 22, 2014 #4

    ZombieFeynman

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think that depends a lot on how much you recall from your undergrad courses. I would focus on the core competencies of each undergraduate subject. Try to draw parallels and get a unified picture of what's going on. Honestly, physics came together a lot for me during my first two years of graduate school.
     
  6. Apr 22, 2014 #5
    I am solid on lower division stuff. Upper division is a murky mess at very best.

    Chris
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook