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Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering: A Comprehensive Guide [Paperback]

K. F. Riley , M. P. Hobson , S. J. Bence
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 13, 2006 0521679710 978-0521679718 3
The third edition of this highly acclaimed undergraduate textbook is suitable for teaching all the mathematics for an undergraduate course in any of the physical sciences. As well as lucid descriptions of all the topics and many worked examples, it contains over 800 exercises. New stand-alone chapters give a systematic account of the 'special functions' of physical science, cover an extended range of practical applications of complex variables, and give an introduction to quantum operators. Further tabulations, of relevance in statistics and numerical integration, have been added. In this edition, half of the exercises are provided with hints and answers and, in a separate manual available to both students and their teachers, complete worked solutions. The remaining exercises have no hints, answers or worked solutions and can be used for unaided homework; full solutions are available to instructors on a password-protected web site,

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Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering: A Comprehensive Guide + Student Solution Manual for Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering Third Edition + Advanced Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers: Asymptotic Methods and Perturbation Theory (v. 1)
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Editorial Reviews


From reviews of previous editions: '...a great scientific textbook. It is a tour de force ... to write mathematical sections that are both complete and at an appropriate academic level. The authors have clearly succeeded in this challenge, making this a remarkable pedagogical book ... The choice of exercises is excellent and possibly the best feature of the book. In summary, this textbook is a great reference at undergraduate levels, particularly for those who like to teach or learn using lots of examples and exercises.' R. Botet, European Journal of Physics

'... the book provides scientists who need to use the tool of mathematics for practical purposes with a single, comprehensive book. I recommend this book not only to students in physics and engineering sciences, but also to students in other fields of natural sciences.' P. Steward, Optik

'... suitable as a textbook for undergraduate use ... this is a book that in view of its content and its modest softcover price, will find its way on to many bookshelves.' Nigel Steele, The Times Higher Education Supplement

'Riley et al. has clear, thorough and straightforward explanations of the subjects treated. It rigorously adopts a three-stage approach throughout the book: first a heuristic, intuitive introduction, then a formal treatment, and finally one or two examples. This consistent presentation, the layout, and the print quality make the book most attractive ... and value for money. It contains a thousand pages, there are plenty of exercises with each chapter.' J. M. Thijssen, European Journal of Physics

This is a valuable book with great potential use in present-day university physics courses. Furthermore, the book will be useful for graduate too, and researchers will find it useful for looking up material which they have forgotten since their undergraduate days.' J. M. Thijssen, European Journal of Physics

'This textbook is a well-written, modern, comprehensive, and complete collection of topics in mathematical methods ranging from a review of differential and integral calculus to group and representation theory, probability, the calculus of variations, and tensors.' Science Books and Films

'This is a very comprehensive textbook suitable for most students enrolling on undergraduate degree courses in engineering. It contains 31 stand-alone chapters of mathematical methods which enable the students to understand the principles of the basic mathematical techniques and the authors have produced a clear, thorough and straightforward explanation of each subject. ... finding a single textbook which covers the engineering student's need throughout their entire course is by no means an easy task. I believe the authors have achieved it ... complete fully worked solutions ... which I think is a useful asset for both students and lecturers.' Civil Engineering

' ... this highly acclaimed undergraduate textbook is suitable for teaching all the mathematics ever likely to be needed for an undergraduate course in any of the physical sciences. As well as lucid descriptions of all the topics covered and many worked examples, it contains more than 800 exercises.' L'enseignement mathematique

Book Description

This highly acclaimed undergraduate textbook teaches all the mathematics for undergraduate courses in the physical sciences. Containing over 800 exercises, half come with hints and answers and, in a separate manual, complete worked solutions. The remaining exercises are intended for unaided homework; full solutions are available to instructors.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 1359 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 3 edition (March 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521679710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521679718
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.9 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars comprehensive AND comprehensible October 15, 2007
I've been teaching an upper-level course in math methods of physics on and off for thirty-five years or so. This is as good a text as I've found. In fact, I've been using this book since it began life as a much smaller volume by Riley alone. It has always provided a down-to-earth exposition of applicable mathematics. Now it provides more than ever, include two nice chapters on group theory, with more problems than the previous editions.

Despite its broad coverage, it is not an encyclopedia. Individual sections are thorough, well illustrated by examples, and comprehensible. Yes, I might have organized some of the material somewhat differently. But that is largely a matter of taste.

The reviewer who alleges that one must have mastered a lot of math to benefit from this book clearly has not read the first chapter. The book by Boas with which he compares it is a) less comprehensive, b) at a lower level overall, c) and a lot more expensive.

At $63, this volume is a real bargain.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just one comment, this is a great book. May 29, 2007
This is one of the best mathematical methods book, very readable.

It has very clear explainations, in each topic it's developing from basic intuitions until it reaches the genralized equations, several detailed examples help a reader checks his understanding and follows the authors.

The contents are very well-organized and self-contained, one can looks directly at the topic he wants to know. It's lucid and normally answer and teach a reader what he wants to do. All definitions make sense and a reader can accepts easily it's a smart thing to do math that way.

It also serves as a one-stop, if you feel confused when you're reading because your background knowledge is not strong enough, just search for the previous related topics, all brilliant explainations are waiting for you to grasp them, make you ready for what you need.

Any undergrads and beginning grad students in Physics will find this book is great. This is an excellent example how to write an approachable math methods book. Eventhough it has a thick over than 1,300 pages, but it never turns a reader away becuase of its thickness at all. Once one starts reading it, he'll enjoy and come back looking for another explaination.

One more great point is, this book contains a lot of real physical examples besides the math formulations, make a reader understands the topic deeply and sees a practical use.

Besides the book, I totally don't agree with a previous comment from a chemical physicist who gave this book just one star.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clear exposition of practical material October 17, 2007
Beautifuly organized compendium of mathematical tools which are daily bread and butter of every theoretical physicst. Excellent for first year graduate students wanting to pursue career in any branch of theoretical physics.
The main advantages which distinguishes this classic from others is clear and conscise pedagogical style and excellent selection of topics which are being discussed fully and without sacrifising mathematical rigour.
However for advanced students this text may sometimes bore with overdetailed explanations and minor details.
Summing up everything, if you wanna learn mathphys and want to start you are in the right place.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource and good for self study September 28, 2009
By got2ske
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I felt that in my undergraduate Chemistry education, I didn't receive enough mathematical training. As I start graduate school, this book has been helpful in seeing the bigger picture of important mathematical concepts and tools. One can really learn a lot if you take the time to read the chapters AND do the problems. It is, in my opinion, a great resource if you need a refresher on some topic, although (as the authors note) not everything can be covered in detail.

My only personal wish is that there was more visual, esp. graphical, content to accompany the concepts. As a visual learner this approach really helps me. The early chapters do well, but figures become sparse in later chapters. Other than that an excellent book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive AND NOT Comprehensible for beginners April 5, 2009
By Muddler
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a graduate student in Biochemistry with a bachelors in applied math and I wanted to go back and review a lot of math techniques before I totally forgot them. So I started looking at my old math texts and saw that for what I wanted, many of them were far to dense for a quick review.

So I started searching Amazon and purchased this text along with both of Stroud's texts and I am glad I did. Stroud's texts provide easy to follow examples while Riley's text provides a more rigorous concise presentation of the topics. I find myself reading Riley's text first and if I can not quite understand the topic, I then go to Stroud's for some easier to follow examples. Fortunately, they include many of the same topics.

Thus in my opinion, Riley's is a great text as a reference and for reviewing a topic if you are a little rusty. It is not a good text if you are trying to learn something for the first time or for self study.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource to have May 10, 2011
By Jamie
I can't say enough good things about this wonderful book! It is an excellent resource as a reference for mathematical concepts that are commonly employed within the sciences and engineering. One caveat that others have pointed out is that the book does not go in esoteric detail and does not weigh heavily on the theoretical aspects of the material, and while this is true, it does not detract from the substance of the book. It still makes an excellent educational and reference resource and I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to add to their scientific and mathematical library.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to undestand and have everthing
Great book, have good examples , and exercises are excelent aplications of theory. Can be a little difficult in the begin, if didnt have see the point in other's books
Published 2 months ago by Felipe
5.0 out of 5 stars Book for school
Cover to cover math, all thing things you need to know as a practicing mathematician or just some one curious to know some neat math.
Published 8 months ago by Jo Fawna
5.0 out of 5 stars Crucial book for undergraduate physics majors.
Essential mathematical methods with physics context. Daughter using at major university. Will be a good reference book later. Higher level than others.
Published 16 months ago by T. Neff
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a performance !
This fat book is always my last recourse in cases of doubt or memory lapses, as it covers so many mathematical areas in short but sufficient and comprehensive manner. Read more
Published 17 months ago by André Gargoura
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers everything you need to know
This is a wonderfully written reference for any math class. Abstract topics are explained in a manner in which Engineers easily pick them up. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Michael Reichenberger
1.0 out of 5 stars Find a different book
This is decent review for topics that you already know. Otherwise, using it to learn from is a joke. Read more
Published on February 20, 2012 by student
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty comprehensive guide
This book is on the whole exactly what you need in a math textbook. It's very clear and the problems and hints are really useful. Read more
Published on October 25, 2011 by jumpgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful general math text for quick reference
I bought this book a few years ago when I was studying physics in University, I've now switched to engineering and I still use this book regularly. Read more
Published on September 20, 2008 by Adam Redwine
4.0 out of 5 stars Mathematical Methods book
Very good book. Wide range of contents and written in British style, which may seem strange to some.
Published on January 19, 2008 by Sotirios Mamalis
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviewing Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering: A...
The book was in excellent conditions and its content have been very useful. This is the book with a high level but at the same time easier to follow and understand. Read more
Published on November 17, 2007 by Jose De Jesus Bueno
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