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

K. F. Riley , M. P. Hobson , S. J. Bence
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: £75.00
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Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering: A Comprehensive Guide Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering: A Comprehensive Guide 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

15 Aug 2002 0521813727 978-0521813723 2
The new edition of this highly acclaimed textbook contains several major additions, including more than four hundred new exercises (with hints and answers). To match the mathematical preparation of current senior college and university entrants, the authors have included a preliminary chapter covering areas such as polynomial equations, trigonometric identities, coordinate geometry, partial fractions, binomial expansions, induction, and the proof of necessary and sufficient conditions. Elsewhere, matrix decompositions, nearly-singular matrices and non-square sets of linear equations are treated in detail. The presentation of probability has been reorganised and greatly extended, and includes all physically important distributions. New topics covered in a separate statistics chapter include estimator efficiency, distributions of samples, t- and F-tests for comparing means and variances, applications of the chi-squared distribution, and maximum likelihood and least-squares fitting. In other chapters the following topics have been added: linear recurrence relations, curvature, envelopes, curve-sketching, and more refined numerical methods.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1256 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (15 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521813727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521813723
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 17.4 x 6.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,804,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From reviews of the first edition: '… 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

From reviews of the first edition: '… 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 … clearness of presentation, comprehensiveness and value for money. It contains a thousand pages, there are plenty of exercises with each chapter, and … the layout and print quality are very good. 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

Book Description

The new edition of this highly acclaimed textbook contains several major additions, including more than four hundred new exercises (with hints and answers). The authors have included a preliminary chapter covering areas such as polynomial equations, trigonometric identities, and coordinate geometry, as well as two separate chapters for statistics and probability.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and accessible 3 Feb 2004
A book that is designed to cover all the mathematics required for physics being studied at undergraduate level (at least first and second year). It does what it says on the cover. It is very comprehensive, however, reading it is not easy. The print is small, and the book is so large, that not only is it physically difficult, but you become depressed by the fact that no matter how fast you read or understand, it'll take a while to get through it!! Probably two years! Probably the only book you need for the maths involved in undergraduate physics, if only for reference.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best maths textbook for physicists 22 Mar 2007
This book is simply the best. It is lightyears better than Boas (the most often suggested alternative), and it basically contains all the maths You'll ever need in all but the most theoretical undergraduate course of any natural science (well, except maths, if that's a science ;-) ).

In fact, now slowly finishing my PhD in physics, I think I can say that unless You are doing actual theoretical/mathematical physics, it probably contains all or most of the maths You'll need for the rest of Your life.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best.Forget the rest. 10 Sep 2005
By Mr. B. I. Precious VINE VOICE
This book is a watershed in the teaching of calculus and the essential mathematical methods required by undergraduate mathematicians, physicists and engineers.It will easily become the standard reference for methods courses , if it has not done so already.It starts right at the beginning with a refresher in basic calculus etc , and then proceeds to carefully develop multi-variable calculus, linear differential equations,complex variables, calculus of variations , tensors, representations, numerical analysis and prob&stats.What I really like about this book is the way general curvilinear coordinate transformations are explained at the end of the vector calculus section, to which you can refer when reading the chapter on tensors.I know of no other methods textbook which introduces tensors like this:many lesser texts (and that means all the rest) seem to feel that it is sufficient to teach people about raising indices, and give readers some vague hand-waving about coordinate transformations.This book is one to buy for this alone, as you will then have a firm grasp of why the tensor notation is like it is.Indeed, I would say that this book makes most other methods textbooks look the half-arsed disgrace that they are.Jacobians could be more carefully introduced, and the writing style can be a little Enid Blyton (phrases like 'one can consult the many excellent textbooks on such and such' can become rather monotonous), but apart from tiny niggles like this, this really is a truly comprehensive methods book, which really starts from the beginning and takes you well into the foothills of genuinely advanced techniques, and which you will keep through your professional life.An instant classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great reference. 12 Mar 2010
By Josh
I phrased the title of this review carefully. Riley, Bence and Hobson is a standard text for many engineering and physics undergraduate courses with good reason. It covers the majority of topics required to complete a physics degree and will remain useful after you graduate. I bought mine in my first year (now in year 2) and it looks like i'll be using it for a long time yet.

There are plenty of derivations, discussions and perhaps most importantly for physics/engineering students, examples that are related to the course. This could be relating partial derivatives and heat transfer, fourier transforms and Fraunhofer diffraction - you get the idea. There are plenty of general maths examples and enough problems to keep you busy for a few nights.

On the downside, this is - for me at any rate - a reference text first and foremost. Students looking for a lucid account of the mathematics behind the physics should look no further, but it isn't necessarily the book to buy if you want lots of simple problems for practice. The solutions manual goes a little way towards sort this out, you can buy it them both as a pack (recommended) and it covers many of the examples in depth. If you just want a book for practising your vector calculus or ironing out your calculus worries, look to one of Schaum's outlines instead.

Whilst the discussion is, on the whole, pretty lucid, it does move quickly. A certain amount of reading between the lines is required for some topics and this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it might put some people off. I found better explanations of things like Fourier transforms in books on digital signal processing, for instance.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what is says on the tin... 28 Aug 2009
By Mark Shackelford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been looking for a complete guide to higher level Mathematics (for revision of a wide range of methods such as Fourier Transforms, Calculus, Group Theory etc.) and spent a considerable time looking at the various choices on Amazon. This book seemed to have the most consistent set of 5 star reviews - so I took the plunge.

I am delighted - it is well written, thoroughly comprehensive, has every topic I was looking for, and, although HUGE (well over 1300 pages!), is clearly laid out and easy to read.

I wish I had had this book when I was younger (I am now over half a century old!). I am a Computer Science PhD, rather than an Engineer or Physicist - but this book is the one for me!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars like Quantum Mechanics
This book contains all the basics on physics. From basic function analysis to most specific mathematics to many disciplines, like Quantum Mechanics. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Arthur Freitas Vieira
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, wish I'd bought this at the beginning of my degree!
I really wish I'd bought this 2 years ago - it's a brilliant book, it explains things in great depth, and I really wish I'd bought it sooner. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Spring
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice
Nice, i really like the book cause it helps me in my math studies, it's great! I can learn the maths that I need to be a good physicist without having to delve in the maths too... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Arjun
5.0 out of 5 stars Good investment
As the authors claim, this book really does contain all (and more) of the maths you're going to need for any science course. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of information, exercises (and answers)
Contains most (if not all) of the mathematical material needed for and undergrade physics course (definitely up to Yr3, possibly after) whilst at the same time being very... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Q
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 18 months ago by André Gargoura
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing else like it
This is simply the best maths textbook for physicists. By the best I mean the easiest to understand, the easiest to find what your looking for and the most comprehensive. Read more
Published 20 months ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed
I ordered this to refresh my mathematics 40 years after taking a degree in physics. I was looking for a book to cover all the techniques that I vaguely remember with a practical... Read more
Published on 27 Mar 2012 by Procyon
5.0 out of 5 stars maths
this is my second book of maths. is an almost excellent book and as the title states is appropriate for physics and engineering...
Published on 12 Jun 2011 by Antonis
4.0 out of 5 stars Good breadth and adequate depth
This is a good overview of a broad range of mathematical topics of interest to engineers and physicists, with quite a few practical worked examples from various fields. Read more
Published on 20 Mar 2010 by C. Lecomte
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