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Partial Differential Equations book for self-study

  1. Nov 30, 2009 #1
    I want to self-study partial differential equations.

    i have done some pure math course but I wish to keep proofs to minimal. If possible I don't want to be bothered with PDE proofs in my self study. Instead, I want to learn how to apply and solve PDEs.

    the ultimate goal is to prepare myself my quantum mechanics course and Applied PDE course. It seems I'll be doing Applied PDE course after QM.

    "Applied Partial Differential Equations by Richard Haberman" is used in PDE course.


    any feedback and suggestions will be highly appreciated.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2009 #2
    I have used the Haberman book and it's decent... for learning techniques.

    His style of writing bugs me to no end though. He uses a lot of words to say very little. Furthermore, there are some paragraphs in which the phrase "(non)-homogeneous linear partial differential equation" appears at least once per sentence, which gets very annoying. He also exclusively uses Leibniz notation. In fact, I think the book would be half its current size if he switched to subscripts to indicate partial derivatives, and started sections with a disclaimer like "in this section we will be discussing (non)-homogeneous linear partial differential equations". These are nit-picky points, obviously. All things considered, it's a decent book.

    The book by Strauss is also very good, but requires a lot more work on the part of the reader than does the Haberman book.

    Edit: I also suggest looking into the PDE book by Farlow as a sort of prelude to other more comprehensive books. Also the book "An Introduction to the Mathematical Theory of Waves" by Knobel is good, it covers a lot of material but not very deeply, and has accessible sections on interesting things like solitons and shocks which are completely avoided or glossed over in other introductory PDE texts.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  4. Nov 30, 2009 #3


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  5. Dec 1, 2009 #4
    I'm not gonna buy Haberman until few months before i take the course. Who knows they might just change the text for the course or a newer edition of the book might come out. This book is expensive afterall.

    I'll skip over Strauss as it does not seem to be suitable for self-study.

    I've heard positive things about Farlow's PDE book before. It is also cheap. So can i get more words on it? Is it suitable for first time PDE learner? I hear it has lots of mistakes.

    Also what about Applied PDE by Paul DuChateau?


    thnx for the info and online resource both of u :)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Dec 4, 2009 #5
    All You Wanted to Know About Mathematics but Were Afraid to Ask by Lyons is a two-volume set written for physics students. About 3/4 of volume 2 is devoted to PDE stuff. A lot of motivation, examples and intuition is from physics. A lot of emphasis is placed on understanding methods and results, rather than formal proofs. He even has a section on estimating Fourier coefficients simply from the graph of the function!

    Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers by Stephenson is a very short book, which covers the fundamentals of each topic. Few examples and excercises. To-the-point and only 161 pages long. Just an outline. Well written though.
  7. Dec 5, 2009 #6
    For beginning pde Hans Weinberger´s book Int. to PDE, is quite good, because it introduces the usual heat-wave eqns. at a beginner´s level. The text is elementary without being needlessly verbose, and makes use of complex numbers as well as some complex analysis. The mathematical sophistication needed is perhaps more than Haberman, but certainly not that of Evan´s PDE, where you would learn hilbert space methods or and prove difficult inequalities in the exercises.
  8. Dec 8, 2009 #7
    unfortunately, i have not done a course on complex analysis yet.
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