Which maths textbook is better?

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  • #1
Which one is better?
Mathematical methods for Physicists by George B. Arfken and Hans J. Weber or
Mathematical methods for physics and engineering by K. F. Riley M. P. Hobson and S. J. Bence

P.s Is there a solution manual for the 4th edition of Mathematical methods for Physicists by George B. Arfken and Hans J. Weber ?
 

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  • #2
Orodruin
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Better for what? It is really not a well defined question unless you can specify more precisely what it is you are looking for from those books.
 
  • #3
Hi Orodruin,
Thank you for pointing the ambiguity of the question

I want to know which one is more user-friendly while providing 'enough' maths for a general undergraduate physics course
 
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Orodruin
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User friendliness is a matter of taste an what one person finds good, others will find too theoretical or too sloppy (or simply not like the approach). Both books are bricks and clearly cover more material than you would be able to in a single course. I do not have any personal experience in learning from either, but my impression is that they generally work better as reference material than for plowing through to learn a subject.

I would suggest that you have a look at each book you consider beforehand (in a library or in an online preview) to find out which you prefer.

Disclosure: The books you mention are two of the main competitors to my own textbook although they start at a lower level with regards to prerequisites and cover many basic topics that I assume the reader has acquired elsewhere.
 
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  • #5
Awesome
I will have a look at yours as well
 
  • #6
vanhees71
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Disclosure: The books you mention are two of the main competitors to my own textbook although they start at a lower level with regards to prerequisites and cover many basic topics that I assume the reader has acquired elsewhere.
Well, but your's is much better than Arfken&Weber! I don't know the book by Riley et al.
 
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Orodruin
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Well, but your's is much better than Arfken&Weber! I don't know the book by Riley et al.
While I would like to think so, my opinion on the matter would be rather biased I believe. :rolleyes:

Also, the OP will not find the really introductory stuff (like linear algebra and calculus) in my book and I am not completely sure exactly what topics he is considering.
 
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  • #8
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Hobson Riley starts at a level lower than Arfken Weber. If you are comfortable with Calculus upto Infinite Series, Vector Calculus and with Algebra, Arfken Weber is the better choice. If not then Hobson Riley or ML Boas are of similar level both below Arfken Weber.

As @Orodruin has stated all books cover more material than a conventional course would require. So a guide or professor can only guide you what to read, when to read and how to read.
 
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