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My Mathematical Methods in Physics is written to weed out students, help me!

  1. Oct 2, 2012 #1
    what is a mathematical methods in physics book that you all would recommend? I need One that shows enough steps, explains clearly, etc.

    At ASU, my mathematical methods in phyiscs book covers the following topics with excruciatingly little detail and cryptic wording/notation, skipping so many important steps that leaves me and most everyone in the class hanging out to dry.

    I want to make the mathematical connection to physics, and this book we have doesn't do that. Here's an outline of the material we cover:

    Complex Arithmetic
    First order diff eq's
    Second order diff eq's
    "Trigg" Functions - (infinite summation notation of sine and cosine)
    Vector Algebra and intro to Matrices
    Matrix theory
    Orthogonal functions and Fourier Series
    One-Dimenisonal Wave Equation

    2nd half:
    Vector Calculus
    The delta function
    Fourier Transforms
    Bessel Functions
    Legendre Polynomials
    Associated Legendre functions and spherical harmonics
    Sturm-Liouville Theory and Orthogonal Functions
    Analytic Function theory
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Which book is it?
  4. Oct 2, 2012 #3
  5. Oct 2, 2012 #4


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    Homework Helper

    Excellent, but is there a book on the market, or just some lecture notes written by the profs at your uni inspired from let's say 20,30 books ?

    So you want a reccomandation for a book, then. Mine would be Arfken & Webber. You can search this forum for other useful suggestions to maybe some better books. Many people fancy the book by Mary Boas. I like A&W or even deeper, pour les connaisseurs, the 2 volumes by Morse and Feshbach.
  6. Oct 3, 2012 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Looks like lecture notes prepared by the professor specifically for this course, not a "real" textbook. I'd go with Boas or Arfken, myself, for a supplement.

    Go back to the thread list for this forum, and click the "Search this forum" link at the top of the list, on the right side. Search for either "boas" or "arfken" and you'll turn up previous threads about math methods books.
  7. Oct 3, 2012 #6
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  8. Oct 3, 2012 #7
    do you read the hints at the end of the sections? usually these help enormously.

    It took me a long time to get used to math methods, but rest assured, your homework in 310/314 will NOT be any easier, so work hard on this homework to get good habits developed (e.g. start the hw as soon as it is assigned).

    314 is especially onerous if Schmidt teaches it.
  9. Oct 3, 2012 #8
    Also this isn't a weedout course, the curve is extremely generous at the end.
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