Physics books for a mathematician

In summary, as a first-year mathematics PhD student with a strong understanding of basic mathematics concepts, you have a strong interest in physics, particularly quantum mechanics. While you have a good collection of math books, you are looking for recommendations for physics books. Some good options for someone with your background are the 10 volume series "Course in Theoretical Physics" by Landau and Lifshitz, and "Quantum Theory for Mathematicians" by Hall. It is also recommended to first read Vladimir Arnold's book on mathematical methods of mechanics before diving into quantum mechanics.
  • #1
Oats
11
1
Hello, I am a first-year mathematics PhD student. I am completely initiated in rigorous mathematics, and have a strong intuitive and working understanding of basic mathematics concepts across analysis and algebra.

I also have a strong interest in physics, and want to learn enough to be quite advanced in the subject, especially fields like quantum mechanics. While I have a good collection of books and a pretty well-established progression of math texts for me to read in the future, I don't have the same for physics. What are some good physics books for someone of my background?
Of course, it may entirely be the case that it doesn't offer too much of an advantage, in which case I should just go through a standard book progression.
As a physics background, I did take a standard physics 1 course back in undergrad and did very well in it, but don't remember much.
Thanks in advance for any response.
 
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  • #2
I suggest that you look at the 10 volume series called Course in Theoretical Physics by Landau and Lifshitz. These are known for rigor with a high degree of physical insight and beauty. Try vol. 1 Mechanics to see how you like it. As you progress, you can begin to pick and choose topics, and supplement with other authors. Dirac’s Quantum Mechanics appeals to many mathematically-minded.
 
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  • #3
Oats said:
Hello, I am a first-year mathematics PhD student. I am completely initiated in rigorous mathematics, and have a strong intuitive and working understanding of basic mathematics concepts across analysis and algebra.

I also have a strong interest in physics, and want to learn enough to be quite advanced in the subject, especially fields like quantum mechanics..

As a quantum mechanics book suitable for someone with your background, I highly recommend "Quantum Theory for Mathematicians" by Hall,

https://www.amazon.com/dp/146147115X/?tag=pfamazon01-20

It is a very beautiful book.
 
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  • #4
@Oats would you like to learn physics from a mathematician perspective or from a physicist perspective? For instance, are you more interested in theorems or in physical intuition?
 
  • #5
You cannot go to QM without going through classical mechanics first. So first read Vladimir Arnold's beautiful book on the mathematical methods of mechanics.
 
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Related to Physics books for a mathematician

What is the difference between a physics book for a mathematician and a regular physics book?

A physics book for a mathematician is designed to approach the subject of physics using mathematical concepts and equations, while a regular physics book may use more descriptive language and explanations.

Do I need to have a strong background in mathematics to understand a physics book for a mathematician?

Yes, a solid understanding of mathematical concepts, such as calculus, algebra, and geometry, is necessary to fully grasp the content of a physics book for a mathematician.

Can a physics book for a mathematician be used as a substitute for a regular physics textbook?

No, a physics book for a mathematician may provide a deeper understanding of the mathematical principles behind physics, but it may not cover all the topics and concepts included in a regular physics textbook.

Are there any recommended physics books for mathematicians?

Some popular physics books for mathematicians include "The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics" by Leonard Susskind and "The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe" by Roger Penrose.

Can a physics book for a mathematician be helpful for someone studying mathematics?

Yes, a physics book for a mathematician can provide real-world applications for mathematical concepts and can help deepen understanding of mathematical principles through their use in physics problems.

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