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Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics

  1. Aug 22, 2011 #1
    So I'm looking for a decent book which I can use as a reference for now (and hopefully at some point read all the way through) on the mathematics of physics. And by "mathematics of physics" I mean a single book which covers the bases of most math needed for any undergraduate and maybe even the odd graduate course in physics.

    One use for it would be say, I'm taking a more advanced course on quantum mechanics and I'm a bit rusty on my linear algebra. It would be nice to have a book I could quickly reference.

    I found the book, "Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics" by Byron and Fuller online and by briefly surveying the table of contents, it seems to be just the thing I need. Does anyone have any experience with this book or reccomend any books similar in nature to this one??

    *EDIT: I should mention that I have a pretty decent knowledge of basic, multivariable, and vector calc, along with a decent textbook which covers this pretty well (Stewart's text on calculus), so the book I'm looking for should cover material above this level.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2011 #2
  4. Aug 23, 2011 #3
    I'm looking into something a bit more advanced than the first two books you listed. The third one looks decent though.
  5. Aug 23, 2011 #4


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    In my experience, the sort of books you are after "mathematics for physicists" etc. are usually a little soft. In my honest opinion your are better going for texts for each individual topic and looking for books with more emphasis on the mathematics.
  6. Aug 23, 2011 #5
    I do agree with you on this. However, there are several reasons I would prefer a text on mathematical physics:

    A) a lot of the material I have covered before (if even just briefly), and I just need a refresher on it

    B) I don't have the money to purchase a textbook for each individual topic, nor the time/motivation to look through them all, making it an even bigger waste of money

    C) as much as I'd love to understand everything math, I just don't have time, and I would rather focus on something which condenses the math into things that are very important for physics. I'm concerned that if I bought a full text in say group theory, that I may only really need a couple chapters, and the rest would again just be a waste of time/money to read

    Of course, if I have trouble understanding something, or realize a much deeper understanding is required, I could always go purchase a particular mathematical topic and read that through. However, I would rather use that as a last resort.
  7. Aug 23, 2011 #6
    I'm currently about halfway through the book by Byron and Fuller and it's one of the best books I've seen. He offers physical intuition and insights to otherwise very technical mathematics. There were some points I couldn't follow due to lack of experience, but if I spent enough time, I usually could see what was going on. (edit) I'm not sure how good it would be as a reference though...
  8. Aug 23, 2011 #7
  9. Aug 23, 2011 #8


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    Byron Fuller is ideal for the purpose you describe
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