1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Linear Algebra What is a good textbook to start learning tensors?

  1. Jul 15, 2015 #1
    I am currently an undergraduate physics and applied mathematics student, and have wanted to go ahead in my course to learn about particle physics and general relativity. However, these topics, along with Quantum field theory which I want to learn about later, are taught in tensor notation. So Firstly, before i start studying these subjects, I will start tensors!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2015 #2
    Schaum Tensor Calculus.
    Schaum Vector Analysis
    Schaum Differential Geometry
    Here is the best options which I can recommend you
  4. Jul 15, 2015 #3
  5. Jul 15, 2015 #4
  6. Jul 15, 2015 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Chapter 3 of "A first course in general relativity" by Bernard Schutz. I doubt that there's an easier introduction to the essential stuff about tensors. If you also read chapters 1-2, you will get the best intro to SR there is. I'm less enthusiastic about this book's treatment of GR. It's not mathematical enough for me.

    Chapter 8 of "Linear algebra done wrong" by Sergei Treil. This is also the best book on linear algebra, so you will undoubtedly find the rest of the book very useful as well. It can be legally downloaded for free.
  7. Jul 15, 2015 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    I was also inclined to suggest a GR book for intro to tensor analysis/differential geometry. However, there usually you find the treatment in terms of holonomic coordinates or the abstract coordinate free treatment, but usually only a minority of physics students need these ever in their lives and for sure not in the first semesters. There you usually need the classical vector analysis of 3D Euclidean space in Cartesian and orthonormal curvilinear coordinates. I've not found a book, where this is done in a way which completely satifies me, I must admit. A very good review is found in my favorite classical-physics books: A. Sommerfeld, Lectures on Theoretical Physics, vol. II (Fluid Dynamics).

    Of the many books on GR, for my taste the best intro to this topic (in terms of the Ricci calculus in holonomic coordinates) is found in

    H. Stephan, Relativity - An introduction to special and general relativity, 3rd edition, CUP 2004
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted