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Mathematical physicists please help!

  1. Dec 8, 2012 #1
    So I really want to get good at mathematical physics. Below is a list of books I could get from various libraries, but I don't know which one's I should start with and which to do next and so on. I currently understand intro CM, EM, and QM. My math skills are very basic (ODES as of now). I thank you for your time.

    Mathematical Physics :

    1) Mathematical methods for physics and engineering - Riley, Hobson
    2) Math methods in physics and engineering with Mathematica - F. Cap
    3) Applied Mathematical Methods in Theoretical Physics - Masujima M.
    4) A Guided Tour of Mathematical Physics - Roel Snieder
    5) A Course in Modern Mathematical Physics - Groups, Hilbert
    6) Equations of Mathematical Physics - Bitsadze A.V.
    7) Mathematical Tools for Physics - J. Nearing
    8) Mathematical Methods for Physicists - a Concise Introduction - T. Chow
    9) The Fourier Transform And Its Applications - Bracewell
    10) Calculus Of Variations With Applications To Physics & Engineering - R. Weinstock
    11) Determinants and their applications in mathematical physics - Vein R., Dale P.
    12) Geometry, Topology and Physics - M.Nakahara
    13) Introduction to Groups, Invariants and Particles - F. Kirk
    14) Differential Geometry - Analysis and Physics - J. Lee
    15) Topology & Geometry in Physics - Steffen
    16) Topology and Geometry for Physicists - C. Nash, S. Sen
    17) Twistor Geometry, Supersymmetric Field Theories in Supertring Theory - C. Samann
    18) Modern Differential Geometry for Physicists 2nd ed., - C. Isham
    19) Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics, 2nd ed. - V.I. Arnold
    20) Nonlinear Physics with Mathematica for Scientists and Engineers - R. Ennis, G. McGuire
    21) Chaos - Classical and Quantum - P. Civitanovic
    22) Chaos and Structures in Geophysics and Astrophysics - Provenzale & Balmforth
    23) From calculus to chaos - Acheson
    24) Mathematical topics between classical and quantum mechanics - Landsman N.P.
    25) Methods of Modern Mathematical Physics Vol 1 - Functional Analysis 2nd. ed. - M. Reed
    26) Methods of Modern Mathematical Physics Vol 2 - Fourier Analysis, Self Adjointness -2nd ed., - M. Reed
    27) Methods of Modern Mathematical Physics Vol 3 - Scattering Theory - M. Reed
    28) Methods of Modern Mathematical Physics Vol 4 - Analysis of Operators - M. Reed
    29) Numerical Quantum Dynamics - W. Schweizer
    30) Quantum Geometry - A Statistical Field Theory Approach - Ambje, Durhuus B., Jonsson T
    31) Supersymmetric methods in quantum and statistical physics - Junker G.
    32) Path integrals and their applications in quantum, statistical, and solid state physics - Papadopoulos , J. T. Devreese
    33) Path Integrals in Physics Volume 1 Stochastic Process & Quantum Mechanics - M. Chaichian, A. Demichev
    34) Path integrals in physics, vol.2. QFT, statistical physics and modern applications - Chaichian M., Demichev A.

    also, feel free to modify the list in any way. I hope to dedicate two solid years on the subject, and at the end, be able to look at any physics branch and undertand the math behind it (even string theory).
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2012 #2


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    You should realize that this is not possible in two years (or ever). So don't feel disappointed if you don't meet your goals in the end.
  4. Dec 8, 2012 #3
    You have to be patient to learn physics. It won't happen overnight, so don't rush it. It always feels like you don't know enough and that will never go away, so you should just accept it. Haste makes waste. You don't want to spend too much time dwelling on things, either, but if you go too fast, it won't hang together and you'll be wasting your time.
  5. Dec 8, 2012 #4
    The books I have bolded are all excellent books IMO. Your book selection seems to be great already! I think Sneider is an ideal start as he reviews all calculus and Lin Alg concepts and then makes connections to physics. Also check out Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences - Mary Boas. Another excellent resource. Maybe you can use Sneider and Boas in conjuction! Take heed however, go slowly and thoroughly; as micromass has suggested, 2 years seems too ambitious. Don't rush through it just because you need to meet the deadline.

    Good Luck!

  6. Dec 8, 2012 #5
    micromass, homeomorphic, and solstice, thank you for the advice. And thanks for the organizational list solstice fire. Yes, I do have Mary Baos' Mathematical Methods ! How could I not after Taylor brags about it in his book a lot! But anyway, I think thread got me my answers, see you all in another webpage!
    -Thanks again
  7. Dec 8, 2012 #6


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    I like very much the book "Mathematical methods of Physics" by Mathews and Walker.
    I also second the suggestion that Solsticefire made about Boas' book. In fact starting with Boas' book and then moving further would be a good way to go.
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