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1 point

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13th Feb 2021

I just remembered on more thing. If you start getting into the higher stuff and are confused on the math, there's a number of books that are geared towards teaching math techniques that are commonly used in physics. I used Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences in school, but there are a number of other ones that should do the trick. They often have misleading titles like "Theoretical Physics" even though they're basically math books.

1 point

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21st Dec 2017

Even in astronomy, by the end of your undergrad, you should have covered basically everything in a book like this:

1 point

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5th Feb 2015

If you want you can read it, but seems to be highly involved and may be difficult to read for an engineering undergrad. Also when referred to physics, just calculus is not what u need. There are a few more things. I looked around and this book seems to have great reviews. It contains most topics you will need to 'understand' physics. http://www.amazon.com/Mathematical-Methods-Physical-Sciences-Mary/dp/0471198269/ref=pd_sim_b_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=0XAVBC4P3FKY3ZNWMRBP

1 point

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25th Feb 2012

Whatever you do, do *not* get Boas. It may have a provocative title that seems to be everything you want, but it is just a confusing mess of pseudo-math and is very unhelpful in teaching anything. The people who gave it positive reviews are all idiots.

3 points

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12th Sep 2018

While the AoPS are phenomenal books and should be used instead of the terrible books used in middle and high schools today, I think you may want to look elsewhere if your primary interest for mathematics is to cover engineering mathematics. The topics covered in these textbooks are mostly at a middle to high school level of mathematics.

To give you an idea of how they are written (at least from their algebra book), they are written in a tone of casualness to guide readers, typically younger students, into the concepts, many times having cute examples to go along with them (Captain Hook trying to find buried treasure comes to mind). After each concept is presented, further concepts are explored through problems. You are told to do each of the problems on your own and to check with the provided solutions that come right after each problem set. The idea behind this is to present the reader with different methods to tackle problems as well as to point out common errors and mistakes that a student might make. After every few sections, there is an exercise set with no solutions for you to do. To fully benefit from these problem sets, the authors recommend that you consult the solutions manual (if you order from their website it will come with the textbook) after giving the problems a good attempt or after you finished finding a solution. At the very end of the chapter there will be a large set of problems to do, including what they call "challenge" problems. These challenge problems, unlike the section problems, come from math competitions or are designed to probe more difficult concepts that are usually ignored in the standard curriculum.

For the money they are amazing but, again, you might want to look elsewhere for the level of math you are looking for. There exist mathematical method textbooks specifically aimed at engineers that cover essential topics, usually by the title of "mathematical methods for engineers". One that I know of is Boa's textbook. Google around for what you like. If anything you should be looking to learn calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra as a start.

2 points

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15th Nov 2015

This was my math bible for my undergrad

http://www.amazon.ca/Mathematical-Methods-Physical-Sciences-Mary/dp/0471198269

1 point

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21st Jun 2014

I recommend Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Boas. It is a book that covers a broad selection of math required for pretty much all undergraduate physics courses. It has ODE and Vector Calculus sections, as well as Complex Analysis and many, many more topics.

This was a recommended book for a year long Mathematical Methods in Physics course I look after Calculus 3. One drawback is that it may be a bit lower on the number of problems. There is simply too much stuff to cover to have a large amount of questions. Also, the specific sections aren't going to be as detailed as a complete course.

You might like MIT OpenCourseWare's complete lecture videos on Ordinary Differential Equations and the Recitation.

For a much more complete treatment of ODEs specifically: Ordinary Differential Equations by Tenenbaum & Pollard.

I don't have the book myself, but I've considered getting it and haven't gotten around to it yet. Its over 800 pages long and supposedly covers every nearly every solution method possible. It also supposedly has lots of problems and most of the solutions. The reviews on Amazon absolutely rave about it.

1 point

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29th May 2016

This is the math bible for undergrad physics.

https://www.amazon.ca/Mathematical-Methods-Physical-Sciences-Mary/dp/0471198269

1 point

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4th Oct 2015

Hands down:

There are digital copies that exist.

1 point

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20th Jul 2015

Math Methods by Boas served me well.

0 points

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7th Jun 2015

Look at some of the books used in the first year / second year mathematics classes. You will likely get a lot more use out of learning the tools that physics is based on than learning physics on your own. I recommend just going through something like Boas and making sure that you understand everything and can recall the tool with relative ease. For most students (either my peers or the ones I've taught), math is the thing that obscures the physics for them. So if you know the math well, you'll learn and understand much better when you get to college physics.

0 points

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24th Jun 2014

I don't want to learn all the maths but I plan to go back to school and study Physics (I have a bachelor's degree in IT at the moment).

If I finish Khan Academy and the book of Mary Boas.

Do you know by any chance if that's enough to start studying Physics or is there another particular area of mathematics that I should study ? I don't want to be in a class where I cannot understand what's being taught because I didn't learn the basics of something.

Thanks.

0 points

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25th Jun 2012

I would say it depends on your background more than a little bit. I think Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Mary Boas is perfect for the problem you describe, and I wish somebody had recommended it to me before I started 300-level physics.

I switch to physics from mathematics, and I had a lot of trouble really grokking the implicit conditions being asserted in physics textbooks. Where we might take a limit, a lecturer and a textbook would both handwave and say "we don't care about this part". Where we learn that the imaginary part of a wave function is physical reality, we'd simultaneously be told that the imaginary part of some derivation relating to it is unreal and therefore non-physical.

Almost every case like this, which would just throw a cognitive road-block in my brain that I couldn't pass until I could explain it, was explained in some manner by Boas.

Frankly, I wish undergraduate physics textbooks would do what undergraduate mathematics textbooks do, and assign a name to the physical theories they use to hand-wave equations to something manageable. There's far too much hand-waving going on.

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