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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
By 
Tivadar Mach "mivadar" (Bremen, Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering (3rd edition): A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
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 (London, Greater London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great reference., 12 Mar 2010
This review is from: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering (3rd edition): A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
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. What you will find is that almost all the maths you'll ever do on a science course is in the book, even if it doesn't have a lengthy paragraph explaining it.

Mainly it is important to understand where the maths is coming from instead of blindly applying the required formula to set situations. Inevitably there will come a time when you actually have to know what the symbols are doing, rather than what process to apply to them. When that time comes, this is what you look to.

The verdict: It's a great book, it covers all the bases and has just the right amount of explanation to jog your memory on a forgotten topic. I would not recommend it for learning new principles from though, unless you really need to and stick to Schaum's for general practise - and for that I'd give it a 4.5.
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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 "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering (3rd edition): A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very impressive textbook, 27 Jan 2010
By 
Mr. S. Harrison "Sam" (Chester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering (3rd edition): A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
I'm not a textbook kind of guy - I have loads of them, for Maths in particular, but they tend to sit on my self collecting dust. Occasionally I'll look something up in them, but nine times out of ten I get confused and reach to the internet for my answer (which inevitably results in some rather dubious calculational conclusions).

However, with no exaggeration, this book hasn't been put back on the self since I've had it, it's constantly open. It really has to be THE best book of its kind out there. It takes everything with a very thorough and methodical approach, leaving no stone unturned on its quest to engage the reader whole-heartedly into the subject. Thanks to it I now understand areas of Maths that even after years of lectures I never quite got.

Reasons to buy this book:
- Very thorough approach to every subject includes a great amount of detail to make sure no reader is left confused.
- Plenty of relevant examples make the concepts portrayed more understandable.
- A very wide range of content - I have yet to not find what I want in there, very unusual for me.
- Approachable writing style doesn't leave you confused with over-complex language, but doesn't treat you like an idiot.
- Extremely good value for money, even at its RRP. It's a big book, much bigger than most of my textbooks.

Bad points:
- It's actually a little too big for paperback, and after a few months of regular use the spine looks like it hasn't got much life left - a couple of the middle pages are very close to breaking free.
- If you want the solutions you've got to buy another book (although even with the solution book it still works out cheaper than a good majority of textbooks of its kind).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, marvellously comprehensive..., 4 Nov 2008
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This review is from: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering (3rd edition): A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
I am a games developer and I was looking for a good textbook that I could turn to for the math involved in advanced rendering and physics. I am very pleased to have bought the third edition of this excellent work. For me this book is an absolute winner. It covers a huge range of topics, from quadratic equations to spherical harmonics, differential equations and quantum operators; yet the treatment does not feel hurried and terse like it does in some other books that cover such a scope (Kreyszig for example). It's written in a clear and engaging style and the print is not small - presumably profquantum is refrerring to an earlier edition in his/her review.
Run, don't walk, to buy this book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Textbook for undergraduate Masters in Physics, 6 Oct 2014
This review is from: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering (3rd edition): A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
This has to be the most useful textbook I have found so far.
It has content that covers first year material and continues to be useful until the end of fourth year for most of my undergraduate courses at the University of Manchester, even those that do not explicitly state that they are a mathematics course.

Everything is explained clearly and concisely so there is absolutely no confusion, and useful examples are given during each explanation.

The physical interpretation of concepts (e.g. integration, Dirac delta functions) is given, as opposed to other textbooks that just present the mathematics without this level of understanding. This is an incredibly effective book for quickly learning new topics.

There are questions and solutions provided for each topic, and these are usually both useful and relevant to physics. All of them are written in the style of a typical undergraduate worksheet.

As well as mathematics, this textbook has proven useful for dynamics and relativity with a very strong section on four vectors and tensors. Electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and waves modules have all required use of other sections of the book. Being aimed at the physical sciences, the mathematics is often presented with links to related topics in physics.

As well as learning new topics, Mathematical Methods makes an excellent reference guide to quickly find things.

Definitely recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of information, exercises (and answers), 6 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering (3rd edition): A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
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 accessible for first/ second year ability. Each chapter starts from the basics , and gradually builds up to required level. Very useful to have answers at the back, useless otherwise (cant check whether you are correct or not). Exceptionally good section on vector calculus, as well as applications to different parts of physics.

Recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing else like it, 7 Jan 2013
This review is from: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering (3rd edition): A Comprehensive Guide (Paperback)
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. There are worked examples and the questions in the book are also good with answers for the odd numbered questions.
Yes it may look like a door stop but you do need alot of maths!! anyway it is easy to find what your looking for so thie size isn't an issue.
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