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Mathematical methods for physicists by Arfken and Weber

  1. Aug 18, 2017 #1
    I'm searching for a good online lecture series to go with the book Mathematical methods for physicists by arfken and Weber . Tell me If you know about such series . Other general tips on starting rigourous mathematical physics are also welcome.
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  3. Aug 18, 2017 #2


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    I would not recommend Arfken and Weber. I was obliged to use it as an undergraduate physics student and it made me sad: sloppy mathematics, little physical insight, the worst of two worlds.

    A lot of physicists here seem to like Hassani's book on mathematical physics, see this thread, where A&W is also mentioned, but not favorably.
  4. Aug 18, 2017 #3
    Thanks for the help
  5. Aug 18, 2017 #4
    Do you know of any lecture series?
  6. Aug 18, 2017 #5


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    No, sorry, I am more a book person, but I am sure others will know. Did you look around already? Also, is there a specific topic that you are interested in (such as mathematics for classical mechanics, or QM, or...) or is your purpose to learn general mathematical methodology for physicists?
  7. Aug 18, 2017 #6
    I studied classical mechanics through lectures by Leonard susskind but when I started to study using Goldstein I got stuck at use of Lagrange's multipliers in non holonomic constraints so I thought it might be better to first get equipped with mathematical methods. So I started studying mathematical methods for physics. I'm familiar with linear algebra, single variable/multivariable/vector calculus, differential equations, integral transforms etc. After completing the mathematical methods I wish to go for a more rigourous study of classical mechanics , then quantum and statistical mechanics and electrodynamics etc
  8. Aug 19, 2017 #7


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    Don't use Goldstein for this very topic! He discusses not the correct treatment of non-holonomic constraints. Have a look at vol. I of Landau&Lifshitz.
  9. Aug 19, 2017 #8


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  10. Aug 20, 2017 #9


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    Re: Lectures:

    Prof. Balakrishnan, covers a number of topics. I'm not sure how he picked which.

    Carl Bender, who wrote a great book about asymptotics and perturbation theory. The focus of these lectures is more on those methods.
  11. Oct 18, 2017 #10
    You want Mathematical Methods in the Physics Sciences by Mary Boas.

    Boas' textbook should be the first you should look at. If you master everything in Boas, you have an excellent foundation, and you can search more specific works if you want to go more advance into a specific topic.

    Boas' textbook does not require a study guide or another course. It is well-written and well-structured enough you can just dive in.

    In contrast, Arkfen's book is a nightmare; it's basically an encyclopedia. Most useless book I have on my shelf.
  12. Oct 18, 2017 #11
  13. Oct 18, 2017 #12
    But Lagrange's multiplier is a topic covered in calculus texts, it is usually covered in the multivariable part and you said you covered multivariable calculus already. I think just study that part in multivariable calculus and you'll have no problem.
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