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Thomas' or Apostol's calculus for beginner

  1. Mar 23, 2014 #1
    I am a high school student . I am a beginner in calculus . In the future i wil study theoretical physics and pure mathematics . I am puzzled which to use Thomas'nor Apostol's ?? I am a self learner .
    Should i choose whether Thomas' or Apostol's to use ? then, which ?
    Or should i read both,one after another, . I mean reading Thomas' then Apostol's . ?

    Thanks in advance .
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2014 #2
    I have used Thomas calculus for preparation of AP Calculus BC in High school. After that I gone through Apostol single variable calculus. So I will recommend to go in same order.

    PS:- Thomas is very big book, if you learning just for fun then go with I A Maron calculus/ G N Berman Analysis otherwise Stewart/Larson/Thomas (9th Ed.) are good to go with.
  4. Mar 24, 2014 #3


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    Do you have access to both books? If so, see if you are able to read and understand Apostol, including the exercises. If so, then there is no point starting with Thomas, and you can go directly to Apostol (or Spivak).

    If you need a more introductory book then Thomas may not be a good choice for self study, assuming it is the typical 1000 page brick. Most people who use such a textbook while enrolled in a course never read more than a fraction of the book, but you won't have that luxury. So get something more efficient - I would recommend Serge Lang's "A First Course in Calculus" for this purpose. It's not a short book either but it's shorter than most because doesn't have as much filler. Lang's style is also more a bit more sophisticated than most intro books, so it will be good preparation for future math studies.
  5. Mar 24, 2014 #4
    I don't think anybody will be surprised that I second this advice.

    That said, you should at least try to do Apostol. Most likely, it will be too difficult, but perhaps you like it anyway. If it's too difficult, then Lang should suit you perfectly.
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