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The classical theory of fields by Landau

  1. Jul 14, 2008 #1
    "the classical theory of fields" by Landau

    I hope this is in the right forum, if not sorry- please move it.

    I'm reading "the classical theory of fields" by Landau and Lifgarbagez at the moment (if you've not heard of it it covers special relativity/ relativistic em/ general relativity). Though it introduces all the maths used, I'm finding the explainations a bit too brief and a bit hard to follow when it's applied later in the book. So I was wondering if there are any suitable books that just go through the maths I could read in combination with Landau?

    The material I'm struggling with is mostly tensor calculus, as an example of level please see pages 20-23 on the google preview: http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=...=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA21,M1

    Any suggestions welcome,
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2008 #2
    Re: Books

    to really get into that stuff you need some tensor analysis and riemannian geometry, but that can be a bit overkill. If you are interestest in math though, then this is two great topics to study, but it is not easy.

    The reason these two things is a bit overkill, is that it seems that in the book you are reading, they use tensors as physicist do it (some mathematicians call it the old way), that is working with tensors in a coordinate system.

    Maybe it would be good to read Tensor analysis on manifolds by Bishop and Goldberg, many people in this forum say they like it, and it is very cheap, it will learn you manifold theory and some tensor math. Then you could look in General relativity by wald, he is using a kind of an in between what bishop does and what physicist often do. You could also look in gravitation by Misner, i recall he have some chapters on how tensors work.

    A lot of physicist never learn how mathematicians work with tensors and they may not even need to know, they just learn how to do calculations, and therefor thy learn how to work with them in coordinates. I think that without the math behind tensors will seem very confusing untill you used it hundreds of time.

    But if you don't like math, you should try to look in misner, and maybe in t'hooft free short lecture note

  4. Jul 18, 2008 #3
    Re: Books

  5. Jul 19, 2008 #4


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    Re: Books

    One book you want to have is Nakahara's "differential geometry, topology and physics". For me it's the perfect balance between mathematical rigor and physical relevance.
  6. Jul 19, 2008 #5
    Re: Books

    wauw never seen that book, just looked in the contents pages, it looks so interesting. Especially because i have had many of the courses in math, but even though I am a physicist I never seen the complete connection.
  7. Jul 20, 2008 #6
    Re: Books

    This is a case where the Schaum's Outline on Tensors would be helpful.
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