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Mathematics for physicists books(poll)

Which of the following books do your prefer?(if you can, write the reason you prefer the book below)


  • Total voters
    12
  • #1
483
31

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello, i want to get a mathematics book for physicists, and i have stumbled across some good books, but as i have not read them yet, i can't really decide which one to buy. So, which one do you prefer and why? Also, do you have any other book to recommend?
Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
22,097
3,279
Since you haven't really given any details about what you like and what you're looking for, I'm going to assume this is about what *I* would buy. In that case, my answer would be: none of them.
 
  • #3
483
31
Since you haven't really given any details about what you like and what you're looking for, I'm going to assume this is about what *I* would buy. In that case, my answer would be: none of them.
Well, it's just about undergraduate/advanced undergraduate/beginning graduate level mathematical methods courses.
What would you buy?
 
  • #4
512
121
Boas
 
  • #5
126
48
Jeffreys & Jeffreys
 
  • #6
483
31
Wow, the poll shows a wide spread of opinions!
 
  • #7
Dr Transport
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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Hard to read, but I do like Morse and Feshbach, followed by Courant and Hilbert...
 
  • #8
483
31
Hard to read, but I do like Morse and Feshbach, followed by Courant and Hilbert...
I would like to check out Morse and Feshbach's book, but I would like to ask you the reasons of why do you prefer it?
 
  • #9
Dr Transport
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It is a classic and I always figured if you could do problems out of that book, you'd make a decent theoretical physicist
 
  • #10
483
31
It is a classic and I always figured if you could do problems out of that book, you'd make a decent theoretical physicist
Is it pedagogical? Does it have figures where it should have?
 
  • #11
Dr Transport
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If memory serves me correctly, it only has figures showing you the different coordinate systems.

as for pedagogical, you an learn from it but it takes effort, it isn't an easy set of books.
 
  • #12
483
31
If memory serves me correctly, it only has figures showing you the different coordinate systems.

as for pedagogical, you an learn from it but it takes effort, it isn't an easy set of books.
I just checked it out and it seems pretty good. But, due to its age, isn't it a bit dated?
 
  • #13
Dr Transport
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Math is math, sure it isn't a text on group theory, it is a book written during the 40's and 50's for the math needed to train a physicist, much of which you still need today.

I don't like a lot of the "new" texts in physics, too flashy, not enough substance. I'll go back to my well worn copy of Schiff well before I pick up Griffiths for QM as an example. My math references are the same, I use the ones I learned from and that have been on my shelf for 30 years, just because it is new, doesn't mean it is better. Multiple of my applied math courses professors had it on their shelf, if they didn't like it, it would not be there.
 
  • #14
ZapperZ
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35,538
4,314
Hello, i want to get a mathematics book for physicists, and i have stumbled across some good books, but as i have not read them yet, i can't really decide which one to buy. So, which one do you prefer and why? Also, do you have any other book to recommend?
Thanks!
You are late to this game. You need to do a forum search on "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Science" by Mary Boas. There have been numerous threads written about this book, and I have also explicitly recommended this book in my "So You Want To Be A Physicist" essay.

Zz.
 
  • #15
483
31
Math is math, sure it isn't a text on group theory, it is a book written during the 40's and 50's for the math needed to train a physicist, much of which you still need today.

I don't like a lot of the "new" texts in physics, too flashy, not enough substance. I'll go back to my well worn copy of Schiff well before I pick up Griffiths for QM as an example. My math references are the same, I use the ones I learned from and that have been on my shelf for 30 years, just because it is new, doesn't mean it is better. Multiple of my applied math courses professors had it on their shelf, if they didn't like it, it would not be there.
I am at a very young age, but I can agree with you on this. I use a mix of new and old books and I agree with you about Schiff's book. It's simply amazing as it offers amazing insights. If you have any other book in the style of Morse's and Feshbach's book, please recommend it!
 
  • #16
Dr Transport
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Morse and Feshback along with Schiff is part of the International Series in Pure and Applied Physics, all fine books, older ones included, but really good, well written texts and monographs.

I agree with ZapperZ, Boas is a fine text, but I am not as enamored with it as he is.
 
  • #17
I second Dr Transport's opinion. Very much ! I have both copies: both 2 books from Feshbach and Schiff's copy. Schiff is a hard core brainer, but f* rewarding.
 

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