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Other What are the best $20 mathematics of physics books?

  1. Apr 28, 2017 #1
    I have the opportunity to receive a book of up to a $20 value that must be related to mathematics, actuarial science, or education, so I was trying to find a good mathematics of physics or mathematics of chemistry book. Some of the ones I found are:

    -Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics by Frederick W. Byron and Robert W. Fuller https://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-...rd_wg=kGj7t&psc=1&refRID=388YDTJE2WBVPQZHNJ6A
    -Mathematics for Physicists by Philippe Dennery and Andre Krzywicki https://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-...rd_wg=qI5nU&psc=1&refRID=HEV6SXA26B09MHB7H2KX
    -Mathematical Physics by Donald H. Menzel https://www.amazon.com/Mathematical...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=RJ70W5173E2WW0F0V621

    Are any of these three especially good or are there any other related books that especially stand out? I am particularly interested in quantum physics.

    Thank you for any suggestions!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2017 #2


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    I can only recommend the first, by Byron & Fuller. It's very good and I hope you are up for it, if you decide to buy it.
  4. Apr 28, 2017 #3

    Dr Transport

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    All about equal, all three are on my shelf.
  5. Apr 28, 2017 #4
    $6 Works? https://www.amazon.com/Theoretical-Physics-Dover-Books/dp/0486652270
    How About https://www.amazon.com/Mathematical-Tools-Physics-Dover-Books/dp/048648212X?
    Take a look at books by Morris Kline
    There are so many good books that meet your criteria that it is very hard to recommend a specific one.
    If I had a choice to buy one, it probably would be https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195105192
    If you are really up to the challenge then https://www.amazon.com/Road-Reality-Complete-Guide-Universe/dp/0679776311 for a few pennies more.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  6. Apr 28, 2017 #5


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    Nearing is free, if one doesn't mind not having it as a physical book. http://www.physics.miami.edu/~nearing/mathmethods/

    Bohm is out of date. It contains a huge error, claiming that there cannot be hidden variables in quantum mechanics. It is interesting, because the most famous counterexample was first constructed by Bohm, in response to Einstein's criticism of his textbook.

    Penrose is good, but it is not a mathematical physics book, but a popsci book.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  7. Apr 28, 2017 #6
    Penrose is sold as a popsci book but it is mathematical. See the preview. I find it harder to read than the other books I mentioned above :) See the preview.
  8. Apr 29, 2017 #7


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    I clicked at your link to Nearing. It's and example for a textbook, one shouldn't even download for free due to typographical sins. I was shocked to see that this was written in LaTeX, and it must have been even very difficult for the author to find settings to get such an ugly result. It starts with using sans-serif fonts (a clear sign that the author doesn't want me to read his text ;-)), but then setting the math in a totally different and unfitting serif font is too much. I've not looked at the contents, and I won't do that. It's just too painful to read!
  9. Apr 30, 2017 #8
    Bohms Quantum Theory is good for its price.
  10. Apr 30, 2017 #9
    I was really thinking the same. The print version somehow reads a little better but not much. It has good content though.
  11. Apr 30, 2017 #10
    I think it is fine. It is comparatively bad but not as bad as you describe it. I can easily read it without searching Ebay for a new pair of eyes.
  12. Apr 30, 2017 #11
  13. May 2, 2017 #12


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    I would classify Penrose as a semi-popular book. You don't need to be a professional physicist/mathematician to read it, but you also cannot read it if you are a layman.
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