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Solutions of Selected Problems for Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences [Paperback]

Mary L. Boas
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Do not get carried away! March 12 2002
Yes, everyone loves the book - and so do I (see? I have given it 5 stars!). There is one little problem: this excellent book cannot replace the "real" mathematical books. When I first started using this book I was always concerned about the completness of the material. In other words, when she gave a "receipe" for solving a problem I would always think to myself "how do I know, that this solution is complete? are there not any other solutions? WHERE IS THE PROOF? etc."
You are always given the receipe, and, yes, this receipes will help you solve most problems and prepare for most examinations, but will you really understand MATHEMATICS behind the problems?
The solution in my opinion is to get hold of a few good and rigorous books on calculus, advanced calculus, variational methods, elements of complex analysis and basics of functional analysis. Once you have worked through them you can read M.Boas and really understand and appreciate the book. But the question is: will you need M.Boas then?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is not the best math methods book Sept. 19 2003
Boas is overrated. The book "Mathematical methods for Physics and engineering" by Riley, Hobson, and Bence is much better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book that has everything. Nov. 5 2003
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Physics Bible July 21 1998
Everyone doing a physics degree knows that it is often the case that there is no ideal book for the area that you're studying. For instance, in atomic physics, you need to use Eisberg, Bransden, and Rae (or at least, you do for my course). Here's the good news: when it comes to maths, there is only one book that you will ever need, and it's this one. No matter what stage of your degree you're at, this book will always come in handy. The maths behind quantum mechanics or thermodynamics is made trivial thanks to a few clarifying words from good ol' Mary L. When it comes to revising for those dreaded finals, Boas is the ideal aid - you just do a quick couple of questions to remind yourself how Lagrange Multipliers work and you're home and dry.
I really can't say enough good things about this wonderful little book. If you only buy one book for your physics course, do yourself a favour and buy this one.
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I'm a physics undergraduate. Out of all my books on math, this is far and away the most comprehensive and useful book! It has supplanted my other, thicker books and is the one thing I turn to whenever I need to refresh myself on a math method.
It covers practically every useful math technique for physics, and never assumes that you're a genius (unlike other books). Each step is explained in clear, refreshing language and in a very logical order. From Laplacian transforms to Fourier series to ODEs, each subject is introduced so well that, even when I've missed a lecture, I can understand the topic just from reading it.
Highly recommended and worth the price, this is one book physics undergraduates should have. The only thing else needed with it is the solutions manual.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Boas is the best math methods book
It is not only well written, it has lots of worked examples! It is not as comprehensive as some "standards" such as Arfkin or Butkov, but it is much more useful for... Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Eric Landahl
5.0 out of 5 stars A "pocket" reference that even Math students secretly use
Hey, Math undergrads! Home for the summer? Only room in that case for one math text? Make it Boas. Read more
Published on July 14 2003 by TDrinkrrr
4.0 out of 5 stars Great review, not so good to learn from
This was the textbook for my first advanced math-physics (mathsics) class. While the review of vector calc and other things I already knew was really helpful, I found it just too... Read more
Published on July 3 2003 by Carynn Luine
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book on undergrad Math Physics
This book covers basic topics(vector analysis, ode, series, multivariable calculus, calculus of variations, Fourier, etc.) in a very original and understandable way. Read more
Published on May 20 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Mathematical guide for physics
In the world of science literature, physics and mathematics in particular, there exist a few outstanding works, illuminating the horizon like a pilot light in the dark. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2002 by Robert Gloor
5.0 out of 5 stars Long-Lost Lover
It hit me today that I need my Boas.
I need to review some linear algebra, and was browsing for some sort of cheapo Dover book, when I remembered that I have Boas at my... Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2001 by Desultor
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mathematical Treatise of Physics
One of the most elegant texts I have ever learned from and have myself used. Mary Boas is simply the best in explaining and presenting examples of ODEs, PDEs, Fourier Series,... Read more
Published on July 18 2001 by Dr. R. Vento
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for born again physicists
Having been out of mathematics for quite some time, I purchased a few books to get me back into things for a physics class I was taking. Read more
Published on June 10 2001 by G. J. Gage
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