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Question on Landau and Lifshitz volumes

  1. Mar 29, 2012 #1
    What are the mathematical prerequisites of these books? In particular, what are the mathematical prerequisites of volume I?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2012 #2
    For volume 1, you should be ok with multivariable calc and differential equations, plus a bit of linear algebra (eigenvalues and stuff). They have pretty high expectations as far as computational calculus skills go, especially to solve the problems. It probably helps to be familiar with the calculus of variations too, as it's not explained very well as far as I remember.
  4. Mar 29, 2012 #3
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  5. Mar 30, 2012 #4
    I was thinking only of the first volume, Mechanics. For the other volumes you will need some knowledge of PDEs (e.g. wave equation), Fourier analysis, contour integration, and some exposure to tensor analysis.

    And really, the Physics background needed to study these texts is more important, as you'd pick up most of the needed math in undergrad Physics courses.
  6. Apr 7, 2012 #5
    I agree with all the above opinions. The math prerequisite is not very high, but the physics prereq is pretty much an undergraduate physics degree, in my opinion.
  7. Apr 7, 2012 #6
    The first volume?
    Mathematical Methods in the physical sciences by M Boas level
    The other books require a little more though
  8. Apr 10, 2012 #7
    I agree with this completely. Just wanted to add something: I hadn't seen calculus of variations before, and struggled quite a bit with the first chapter at first. But then I watched this MIT lecture by Strang, and it made a lot of sense after that. I would recommend watching it first. After the first chapter, if I recall correctly, you don't see calculus of variations for the majority of the book (although you use the results you obtained in the first chapter).

    I disagree with the last point. L&L v1 was my first exposure to the material and I really enjoyed it, and believe I understood it well - the style works well for me. It imagine it depends on how each individual learns best. There isn't nearly as many problems as in other texts, but you can augment it by expanding on the problems they assign and just creating your own problems.

    Also, a lot of the other books use tensor analysis and assume you know a bit about PDE's.
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