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Div, Grad, Curl, and All That: An Informal Text on Vector Calculus (Fourth Edition) [Paperback]

H. M. Schey
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1, 2004 0393925161 978-0393925166 4th

This new fourth edition of the acclaimed and bestselling Div, Grad, Curl, and All That has been carefully revised and now includes updated notations and seven new example exercises.

Since the publication of the First Edition over thirty years ago, Div, Grad, Curl, and All That has been widely renowned for its clear and concise coverage of vector calculus, helping science and engineering students gain a thorough understanding of gradient, curl, and Laplacian operators without required knowledge of advanced mathematics.

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Div, Grad, Curl, and All That: An Informal Text on Vector Calculus (Fourth Edition) + A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations + A Student's Guide to Vectors and Tensors
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

H. M. Schey is Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 4th edition (December 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393925161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393925166
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 101 people found the following review helpful
By Kris
I picked this book up, based on the reviews that said it would explain vector calculus to "engineers". I probably read the book 3 times, but I never felt I really _understood_ the material. A few years later, I think I do understand the material; looking at the book, many of the things I read seem obvious now. I feel this is where most of the reviewers were coming from...

The book is great if you already know the material, and just need a nice, unifying refresher. It is not that great for learning it the first time, since there is very little application of the material, and for me that is what motivates me to understand something. Morse & Feshbach is much more rigorous and dense, but that is where it first "clicked" for me. Also, I think this book is supposed to be in tandem with a more standard Calculus reference. Between two books one might have a better time at figuring things out.

There are a few very good figures in the book that have helped me understand some key concepts (the flowchart relating the different operators and their associated assumptions), but the lack of rigor and general long-windedness of the book could actually be considered a fault, rather than a benefit "for engineers".

Also, buy the cheapest edition of this book you can find. They are all basically the same (only the problems and very minor wording change between editions). Don't think you need to get the latest edition, get a cheaper earlier edition.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to learn your basics! January 2, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had three years of higher-level calculus between my BS and MS in mechanical engineering, and none of these classes have explained the concepts in this book with such clarity and accessibility. The sample problems at the end of each chapter cement the concepts just learned. For me, they were just challenging enough to test and hone my skills, but not so crazy that I felt like I was stroking some intellectual ego instead of learning practical concepts.

I highly recommend it to people of similar backgrounds as myself--people with already decent math backgrounds, but who need to hone their vector calculus skills to enter the world of physics, electrical engineering, fluid mechanics, continuum mechanics, or anything else along those lines (lines! Hah! Pun!). I feel like this book was written just for me! Are there really that many of us?

One tip on this book--get serious with it, and you will really cement your skills. Do the problems, for real--work them out with pencil and paper; don't just skim them while you watch TV. They are, as I've said, challenging enough to be rewarding, but none are the type that would send you sobbing to your prof in office hours. Suck it up, fix yourself a nice cup of tea, get your dog to sit with you, and go for it! It's well worth the effort.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent companion book to supplement vector calculus November 27, 2005
By S. Park
Recently an acquaintance of mine asked me for help on passing her advanced calculus course. I was delighted to hear that Schey's book was one of her references. Because the book was not the main text (nor could it ever be in my opinion), she had not been reading it, so I urged her to do so. After a couple of hours of reading she was back on track.

As many reviewers relay, the book is a great companion book to vector calculus. If a reader hasn't at all with vector calculus the reader will not benefit much from the book. However readers with even the faintest acquaintance to the subject matter and having difficulties understanding will appreciate it enormously. For it is exactly such audience the book addresses (the title of the book also alludes to this fact -- how would one know what "div grad curl and all that" mean without hearing those terms from elsewhere?). The book serves as a nice step back from the usually hurried vector calculus courses. It allows you to revisit the very fundamentals (for e.g. defining div, grad, and curl via limits instead of from differential operators), and relates the topics in a highly readable manner.

As mentioned earlier, the book by itself cannot be a text on its own, primarily due to its limited scope of coverage. For instance there are no mentioning of exterior forms, or neither inverse nor implicit function theorems. Many advanced students will not need this book either. However if you find yourself uncertain in recalling how to compute surface integrals, or you are having difficulties understanding Stoke's theorem and/or Gauss' divergence theorem, this is a good place to build your foundations.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By Mable
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The math world and the physics world are not consistent with one another in their naming conventions for the angles in spherical coordinates (which angle is theta and which is phi). (see the 3rd paragraph on this page [...])

The third edition of this book follows the physics convention, but the fourth edition switches to the math convention. This reduces the helpfulness and ability to use the book as a "quick reference" for a physics class, because one must remember to switch all of the variables any time spherical coordinates are used. This is so annoying that I am probably going to sell my copy of the fourth edition and buy the third edition.

If you are using this book for a reference for a physics class, I would highly recommend purchasing the third edition (or earlier) unless you enjoy being really confused and creating extra, unnecessary work for yourself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great supplimentary text
I've studied with this text and used it in grad classes since edition 1. I think it is an excellent text.
Published 4 months ago by Jim Nicholls
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need and more
My prof for structural geology told me to get it.

I've learnt all this in my math class, but this provides a very concise, easy to read, easy to refer to kind of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Adonara Mucek
5.0 out of 5 stars Merry early Christmas
Bought this as an early Christmas gift for my husband's uncle who is into reading these types of books. Shipping was on time and he's very happy with his book.
Published 6 months ago by FlatLiquid
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
Great book for anyone studying multivariable calculus, physics, engineering, etc. It explains the principles and concepts, the trigonometry, the geometry, in plain language, while... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Conrad
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference
This is a great vector calc reference. You'll find yourself turning to it again and again. Written clearly, with good examples -- its the standard, concise reference on the topic.
Published 9 months ago by Earnric
2.0 out of 5 stars Good material, but fails to make things clear
The title of the book "an informal text on vector calculus" makes you believe that somehow you are going to understand what vector calculus is all about, maybe an instructor didnt... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ssound
3.0 out of 5 stars Vector calculus and electrostatics
All of the examples in this book are taken from electrostatics. I had hoped for a broader treatment of vector calculus, as my primary interest is in its application to... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Michael L. McCurdy
5.0 out of 5 stars From an engineering student.
This is a great supplemental text to go along with a standard multivariate calculus textbook. It explains the concept of vector calculus with many physics applications. Read more
Published 17 months ago by a student
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
This book requires a pre-requesite course in
multi-variable calculus before one can really absorb it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by J. J. Techead
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction to Basic Vector Calculus
This book is ideal for students with a basic multivariable calculus background that wish to start learning vector calculus. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jason Dowd
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