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Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences Hardcover – 8 Jun 1983


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 816 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition edition (8 Jun. 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471044091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471044093
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
This textbook supplies a comprehensive and clear introduction to the areas of mathematical physics encountered in university degree courses. It provides understanding, application of mathematical techniques and practice questions (and answers). Working through this book will lead to, in a short time, a basic competence in partial differentiation equations and integrals, through to calculus and vectors.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Mar. 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've found that books catering for 'mathematical methods' are generally less hit and miss than something appalling like optics, but even amongst these Boas seems to have established itself in British univerties as a standard text. I would recommend the use of Kreyszig's 'Advanced Engineering Mathematics' in addition to Boas, to fill in some of the gaps. Kreyszig is a slightly higher level, but still has the same approach of giving a priority to application of mathematical techniques over mathematical rigour-which is as much as can be expected, I think.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Sept. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I'm a first year physics student. Boas is a text book which we were sort of forced to buy... it was one of the main course books.
I can't really say that I found everything useful here. Some chapters, like chapter 4 on Partial differentiation, can be very, very cryptic. Others, like the Fourier Series one, read like a paperback novel!
One thing I found this book very unhelpful for was the more advanced mathematical physics I had to do for the Mathematical Physics option, like Legendre polynomials and partial differential equations. The chapters <i>were</i> useful, but not on their own. I constantly had to refer to other books from the library to understand what the hell was going on, or to apply the stuff to problems that were slightly different.
While I appreciate that the subject is immense, and that it's probable that no single book can cover so much material in a way that is agreeable to everyone, I would have preferred a bit more practicality in some of the sections.

Given the extent of the material it covers, and how much you can actually learn from it if you also get a little bit of explanation from the tutors, this is an excellent book. If you have to study it alone with no help, however, you'll most definitely need other books as well.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jun. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Quite the best undergraduate maths book I have read. Practically every question I had during my degree (physics) was answered in the book and I still refer to it now. Methodology is clear yet concise. The layout is very good starting with basic concepts such as series and linear algebra and moving on to differential equations and integration methods - plus a lot more. Helpful examples are given in each section. All in all a very useful book for every level of undergraduate, and for forgetful postgrads.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ksk on 10 July 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is a classic Jekyl and Hyde book for the student population - some like it, some don't. I personally do. It doesn't cover as much advanced material as you would like (I'm doing a mathematical physics degree at Imperial for reference), but it does occasionally throw you some useful technique that you haven't encountered before (courses can't cover everything you know), along with lots of practise questions.
I'm not sure if this book would be useful in helping you during your course because it never goes into much explanatory detail: I think this is why some people hate it so much. I used the book as 'supplementary' reading in the holidays merely because I was interested. This, I guess, is what the book was made for and is where it excels - as a SUPPLEMENTARY RESOURCE for those who are interested. Some people say the book is too incomprehensible. I've seen much worse, but you have to be comfortable with maths to enjoy this book because it's aimed at the emerging theorist or someone fluent in mathematics. Again, people find this book hard because they are expecting it to be something that it's not. Don't expect to learn a new topic from scratch from this book - it's not detailed enough for that, expect it to develop subjects that you've hade a vague aquaintance with before.
In summary, if you love maths, buy this book. If you see maths as a chore, there are better books for your purpose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam on 5 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this as it was on my reading list as the alternative textbook to the one my course uses. In my opinion, it is one of the better undergraduate textbooks in its category. Although it is quite word-heavy for a mathematics textbook, and the style is somewhat dated, the quality of the instruction and the attention to detail is excellent. It covers virtually all of the mathematics needed for a degree in a science subject, and is less focused on one discipline, unlike some similar textbooks. What this means for the student is that the applied examples tend to be more varied, and often, more rounded and interesting- the same mathematical tools can appear in quite different physical situations. The selling point for this textbook is that its broader scope has the advantage of separating the abstract mathematics from its scientific context, meaning that each element- the mathematical skill and the scientific intuition, can be learned and developed separately. This is ideal where the mathematics content of the course is taught alongside the other modules rather than as a preliminary- this book has been a lifesaver on many occasions where lecture courses on applied content overtake the mathematics teaching.
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