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Featured Other Undervalued books

  1. Dec 21, 2016 #51

    atyy

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    But you did know I had done physics coursework, right? I think I've mentioned having had statistical mechanics and quantum before.
     
  2. Dec 21, 2016 #52

    Demystifier

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    No, I missed that.
     
  3. Dec 21, 2016 #53

    George Jones

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    "Quantum Concepts in Physics: An Alternative Approach to the Understanding of Quantum Mechanics" by Malcolm Longair (2013)
    This book, intended to be a compliment to (but not substitute for) standard courses and texts on quantum mechanics, presents quantum mechanics from a historical perspective at about the level of a senior undergraduate. At 400 pages, it is much more digestible than the multi-volume comprehensive work of Mehra and Rechenberg. I have thoroughly enjoyed the parts that I have read.

    "Differential Geometry and Lie Groups for Physicists" by Marian Fecko (2006)
    Fecko has lots of examples given as short exercises, which might not be a likable style for everyone, but I certainly have learned stuff from it.

    "Lectures on Quantum Theory: Mathematical and Structural Foundations" by Chris Isham (1995)
    Twenty years ago, I slowly went through this little book, line-by-line. This is one of the very few books for which I have done this. I think that this book, which is not an axiomatic presentation of quantum mechanics, should be read by more physics grad students.

    "Quantum Field Theory: A Tourist Guide for Mathematicians" by Gerald Folland (2008)
    Although Folland doesn't cover as much as physics texts such as Schwartz or Peskin and Schroeder, Folland does cover a lot more than most rigourous math books on quantum field theory. Folland uses mathematical rigour where possible, and where physicists' quantum field theory calculations have yet to be made mathematically rigourous, Folland states the mathematical difficulties, and then formally pushes through the physicists' calculations. I would be interested in hearing some opinions of physics on this book. I think that book states more clearly some of the standard aspects of quantum field, but I know little about quantum field theory, and I could be wrong.

    As a side note, I am trying (sporadically) to learn a little more about quantum field theory, but someone close to me thinks that my efforts are futile. :wink:
     
  4. Dec 21, 2016 #54

    dextercioby

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    @George Jones You do know that Folland's book in 1st (original, 2008) printing had a 5 page errata and the subsequent printings also had errors, right?
     
  5. Dec 21, 2016 #55

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    Don't think too much of your wife's remark.

    As Bohr is creditted of saying:" Nobody understands Quantum Physics".
     
  6. Dec 22, 2016 #56
    I 'liked' parshyaa's citation of Linus Pauling's _General Chemistry_, which I am reading as we speak..... or so I thought. Actually, I am reading Pauling's _College Chemistry. That is a slightly less intensive book for non-majors, whereas _General Chemistry_ was aimed more at undergrad majors.

    Anyway, I have no doubt that 'General' is at least as wonderful as 'College'.

    _College Chemistry_ is well written, readable, follows a logical and comprehensible sequence and is exceptionally clear. From what I have read elsewhere, the actual chemistry is perfectly functional and accurate except for a specific bit about (I think) nuclear structure..... I am not that far yet.

    I really wish I had this book back in high school when I was being swamped with a completely incomprehensible high school textbook.

    An electronic copy of _College Chemistry_ can be found here:

    https://archive.org/details/CollegeChemistry

    I have a really nice hardcover copy that I paid 5 or 6 bucks for from either betterworldbooks.com or abebooks.com... I don't recall which. Inexpensively available, and notably, both books are really nice books as books. Really good bindings, cover that will last 200 years, great paper.... typeface, etc. Not that that is how we necessarily value such a book, but the sheer quality and sense that it is designed to last and be used is a nice contrast to many contemporary textbooks. (I will refrain from any further textbook rant).

    From stem to stern, there is a real pride of quality about both books. It is a nice touch, and perhaps in some small way speaks to pride of authorship, and it seems to be a book that you are meant to keep.....

    Type "Linus Pauling College Chemistry" into your favorite search engine and you will find a lot of interesting and highly complementary commentary on the book.

    It looks like an electronic copy of General Chemistry used to be available on archive.org, but now it is under some sort of lending library checkout system.... go figure.

    Anyway.... I think _College Chemistry_ is strictly top shelf, and I assume that _General Chemistry_ is as well.

    diogenesNY
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  7. Dec 26, 2016 #57
    Goursat, Course of Mathematical Analysis, 5 volumes.

    3 of them are here.

    This is the set of books that Bourbaki wanted to rewrite in modern terms, "According to Chevalley the project was extremely naive. The idea was to simply write another textbook to replace Goursat’s", and we know what that turned into, so that tells you all you need to know about these books, and you could treat this as like Volume 0, the intro to Goursat on it's level :ok:
     
  8. Dec 27, 2016 #58

    Demystifier

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  9. Dec 27, 2016 #59
    They merged them into one in that version!
     
  10. Dec 27, 2016 #60

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    Thanks for pointing this series to me.

    It seems also Barry Simon's comprehensive series is more modern counterpart to Goursat's 5 volume series.

    So many books to own so little money... :-(
     
  11. Jan 2, 2017 #61

    kith

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    There is another book by John R. Taylor which doesn't get mentioned much anywhere:
    Scattering Theory: The Quantum Theory of Nonrelativistic Collisions

    I remember it to be really well-written. In principle, I think that it is a virtue that it doesn't include QFT because you don't get sidetracked from the fundamentals of scattering this way. The only drawback is that it has 500 pages so I didn't have the time to read much of it. ;-)
     
  12. Jan 2, 2017 #62

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    There are books with way more than 500 pages... :-D
     
  13. Jan 2, 2017 #63

    kith

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    Yes but it depends on how deep you can dig into a subject during university. Most books on quantum mechanics hardly spend any pages at all on non-relativistic scattering, so 500 pages are a lot.
     
  14. Jan 2, 2017 #64

    George Jones

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    Both of these books are on my shelf. I haven't completely read either, but I have read bits of both. When I was a grad student, my university offered a grad course on scattering, and Taylor was used as the text. I didn't take the course, but a friend did, and she gave me the book.
     
  15. Jan 2, 2017 #65

    nrqed

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    Ah! You might be tempted to resell them and make a hefty profit :-)

    I hope you enjoy them, I now feel a bit responsible for suggesting them. Knowing you a bit, I fear the book by Garrity may be a bit too basic, but I still hope you will enjoy some of it.

    Talking about QFT (since you mentioned wanting to learn more about it in another post), here is another book that I consider good and undervalued:

    The conceptual Framework of Quantum Field Theory by A. Duncan.

    He has a very original and deep presentation of the concepts of QFT.
     
  16. Oct 27, 2017 #66
    Did you like the two-volume textbook on QFT by Manoukian?
     
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