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An Introduction to Tensors and Group Theory for Physicists
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I read this book during my first year of graduate school. For a little background, I was a math and physics double major as an undergraduate, but I didn't take any courses on Tensors or Lie Groups, which is why I decided to look into this text.

This book introduces Tensors and Group Theory with far more rigor than you normally get within a Physics classroom, grad or undergrad. If you don't have a mathematics background, you should be OK looking at this book. While it certainly helps to have exposure to proof based math, the book starts at the foundations of groups and linear algebra so all the topics build naturally. In short, you will never be lost if you read carefully, so it's also perfect for an advanced undergraduate as well.

The underlying mathematical structure of Physics that is covered in this text is usually only superficially learned through rote problem solving during grad school. This is a significant deficiency in graduate Physics pedagogy that this book concisely addresses. It's a shame no one has written something this accessible sooner.

The author is very good at breaking the concepts down in his exposition. It is definitely worth rereading from time to time, as there is usually a new insight to be gained from the text. The exercises and examples in the book are also well chosen. They are usually pretty short, but very illustrative. It's pretty much always clear how the concepts tie to Physics when you work through them.

In short, I found this book to be extremely helpful. It provides a good framework to understand much of the advanced mathematics that one encounters in graduate school.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
This book gives a self-contained introduction to tensors and group theory in a very pedagogical style. It moves quickly and stays interesting without losing the reader. My favorite thing about it is the quasi-rigorous approach: rather than proving every statement, Jevanjee provides references to other authors for the proofs and instead focuses primarily on definitions, concepts, and examples. He also takes a thoroughly modern perspective (e.g. tensors are linear functions), though not without making helpful connections to the older terminology used frequently in physics books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Jeevanjee's textbook is excellent. I am a Materials Scientist with a Physics background, and yet tensors have always been a little mysterious to me. This text lays the mathematical framework you need in order to understand tensors (and group theory), while providing concrete examples in physical contexts; everything is exceptionally clear and easy to understand. I highly recommend this book to any Physicist who feels the way I used to feel about tensors (i.e. you can work the math, but don't have a clear understanding of why it's working). Great text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
As with several other reviewers, I read this book in my first year of grad school. The book is laid out in a tremendously pragmatic fashion. The first chapter is a short survey and does a great job getting you to understand the general thrust of the book's writing style and level, so I would recommend reading those quick 10ish pages on the amazon preview to see if this title is for you.

The book's paradigm is the simple and effective mathematical style of a definition followed by a set of examples or case studies, but the writing isn't as dry and intolerable as some of the mathematical literature will look to the first year physics graduate student or advanced undergrad. I admittedly have not read this book cover to cover. On my first run, I went through chapters 1, 2, then 4 in about a 3 week span during a break in classes and I came back near the very top of my class in terms of understanding of group theory for the needs of classical and quantum mechanics. The presentation of the material very clear, pedagogical, and most importantly mathematically precise (something that seems completely lost on most authors of the subject in the physics literature).

Mr. Jeevanjee did a great job making the material enjoyable to the interested student, and weaving the chapter on tensors into the material in a way that it can be skipped without much loss of understanding for students who only care for the vector algebra and group theory portions. I will be on the lookout for any other Nadir Jeevanjee titles in the future, and I recommend this book with the highest praise for any physics student who feels they want a precise mathematical introduction to theory of groups for coursework or a handy reference. This is the book that I go to when I need a refresher on the algebra of groups and the book I learned from, that is a rare occurrence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Very understandable exposition of tensors theory for the needing of Mathematical Physics (that is, Rational Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity). Also useful the equally large part about Lie Groups and Algebra. It is not about calculations (for this you can take a Schaum) but about the nature of tensors: it gives you the sensation of finally grasping the meaning of these objects, beyond usual definitions. Nice english also for the foreigner. Recommended to students. Worth the price.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Unlike conventional physical mathematical text on Tensors, it explains in a more abstract mathematical way for physicists, which makes tensors make sense for the first time for me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is a valuable resource and a service to the community. The author not only seems to have a deep appreciation for mathematics, but also great insight into the mind of budding physicists. Many thumbs up!
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on November 1, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I started reading this book for fun as a high schooler, and continue to read and re-read as I work through my grad-level quantum course. To be brief, I wish every physicist knew how to explain math like Jeevanjee. He does not shy away from formalism or brush subtleties under the rug, yet he also lets the reader know what "the heart of the matter" is.
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on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book introduces the subject of tensors from a conceptual (as opposed to a mechanistic) point of view. It allows one to entertain its application to real systems. It helps clarify what linear requirements are necessary for a physical system to yield to this approach. If one chooses to understand what is going on (as opposed to just cranking out numbers), then this is where to broach the subject.
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on October 8, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Finally a book on tensors which tells us what's really behind all these indices.
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