Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Need recommendation: useful book about statistics?

  1. Jan 16, 2008 #1

    I'm in need of a book recommendation :smile: .
    As a practicing physicist I get to use some statistics now and then. I've been through all of the introductory probability courses and I can solve textbook problems (after scratching my head for a bit). The problem is, I've never really gotten comfortable around statistics. I always get the feeling my understanding of it is superficial.
    I'm not looking for a heavy 4kg, 1000-pages tome, nor am I looking for some introductory book that will waste my time with its low signal-to-noise ratio. I was hoping for a book that would talk about statistics from a physicist's perspective: from maximum likelood estimation, to cool tricks you can do with probability distributions (such as estimating the electron's charge from current noise which can be modelled using a Poisson process), to things you should watch out for when using the Chi^2 distribution to estimate the "correctness" of your results. Something an experimentalist could put to good use. If the book would also have some "sexy" topics, such as Levy distributions/fat tails and so forth, that would be a plus, but not a necessity.
    It doesn't have to be a physics book per-se. I don't care if the examples are from biology, or structural engineering, or genetics.
    I'd really appreciate any suggestions you make :cool: .
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Check out CRC publications; they have near-exhaustive formulaic books on almost any technical subject.

    Evans, Hastings, Peacock is a neat little book that describes probability distributions and relationships between them.

    If you are looking for more intuition, though, I'll suggest Mood, Graybill, Boes.

    Stat e-books include the following, but I am not personally familiar with these:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook