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Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences Hardcover – July 22, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0471198260 ISBN-10: 0471198269 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (July 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471198269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471198260
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary L. Boas is currently professor emeritus in the physics department at DePaul University.

Customer Reviews

We used this book in my undergraduate math physics course.
corey@neto.com
This book is an outgrowth of her lectures, very clearly written and very comprehensive.
Warren Wolfe
The book is full of problems that make you convinced of each step within a proof.
G. J. Gage

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 107 people found the following review helpful By "quantumsean" on August 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
To put it quite simply, if you are a physics student, you must own this book. What does this book do for you? Consider this...
In my school, we do not have a mathematical methods course for science, so I decided to take on a math minor to take all the classes neccesary to do physics "right." This included a class on ODEs, Fourier Series & PDEs, Linear Algebra, and Complex Variables. These classes, although helpful, cover a lot of stuff that is not quite useful for understanding physics concepts, often undermining or dampening the stuff that is actually applicable.
What makes this book so great is that it combines all the essential math concepts into one compact, clearly written reference. If I could do it all over again, I would easily rather take a two semester Math Methods course (like they do in many schools) using a book like Boas than take all these obtuse math courses. With this book, it makes it so handy to review previously learned concepts or actually learn poorly presented topics ( for a physicist anyway) in mathematics classes... (Things like Coordinate Transformations, Tensors, Special Functions & PDEs in spherical & cylindrical coordinates, Diagonilzation, the list goes on.....)
Keep this gem handy when doing homework and studying for exams, learning the math tools from this book enables you to concentrate squarely on the physics in your other textbooks... (since mathematical background information, understandably, is often cut short...)
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Keith Dow on April 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for undergraduates in science and engineering. This book is not for mathematics majors. So anyone who complains about the proofs or lack of rigor is off target. You are not the intended audience.

I include the chapter titles below since they indicate the coveraqe of the book.

1. Infinite series, power series

2. Complex numbers

3. Linear algebra

4. Partial differentiation

5. Multiple integrals

6. Vector analysis

7. Fourier series and transforms

8. Ordinary differential equations

9. Calculus of variations

10. Tensor analysis

11. Special functions

12. Series solutions of differential equations, legendre, bessel, hermite, and laguerre functions

13. Partial differential equations

14. Functions of a complex variable

15. Probability and statistics

Enjoy!
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Frank Carnley on March 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I used this book for a one-semester, senior-level, math-physics-course. At the time of the class, I used the book for the homework problems-mostly. While in graduate school I used the book as a refresher on Laurent Series and residues. When used as a reference, I have yet to find a better text. A well written section on the calculus of variation is very useful as it is rarely taught in undergraduate math courses. To fully take advantage of Boas, I would suggest that you take a proper math course sharing the title of all 15 chapters of her text, and use Boas as a reference. If you are too impatient to study that much math, then please do not suggest this book lacks detail. Further, if you are in high school and understand that properties of orthogonally can be used to find the solutions of most separable, linear-PDEs then there is no need to study this book (another reviewer suggested the topics were written at a high school level).

I would suggest this text without hesitation for anyone in the physical and mathematical sciences-physics, applied math, chemistry, mechanics, acoustics, etc. Also, this book is as `cookie-cutter' as you want it to be. Just change some boundary conditions or make up some unique forcing functions and the section on PDEs becomes a lot of fun.

A great study aid, a great tool for comprehensive exams, and a great reference.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on September 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I was in college working to a double major in math and physics, it was as though the two fields didn't really know each other. The mathematicians were concerned with procedural processes where the mathematical techniques were asimportant, if not more so than the resulting formula. The physicists, on the other hand were concerned with using that formula to describe what's happening. Now the situation is even worse as computers have come in to allow the use of numerical techniques in many areas of physics that can be treated in a completely different by the mathematicians.

There seems to be a trend to develop math and computer science courses to be taught in the science departments. This is the course in math to be taught by the physics department. It strikes a nice balance between procedural math and cookbook physics.

This is the third edition. It has been updated based on feedback from requests. There is also additional information on the use of personal computers. She points out to students buth the usefulness and the pitfalls of computer use in most topics.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By InfiniteVariations on November 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book has a bit of everything from Linear Algebra, Calculus, Analysis, Probability and Statistics, ODE, PDE, Transforms just to name a few. If you get a chance to study everything from this book, you will probably learn more from this book than all your undergraduate math courses combined. Some concepts on this book may be difficult to understand due to the lack of in depth coverage. But I guess the main intention of this book is to focus on the applied side and cover as much material that is relevant to physics and engineering as possible and not go into much detail on the theory side.
If you are a graduate student in physics or engineering and want to buy this book for reference, it will be a good start for the first year courses but won't help you much after that.
Readibility of this book is excellent. You will understand most of the concepts and examples presented.
Bottomline: This is a must have book for engineers and physicists.
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