A Course in Mathematics for Students of Physics: Volume 1

A Course in Mathematics for Students of Physics: Volume 1

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This textbook, available in two volumes, has been developed from a course taught at Harvard over the last decade. The course covers principally the theory and physical applications of linear algebra and of the calculus of several variables, particularly the exterior calculus. The authors adopt the 'spiral method' of teaching, covering the same topic several times at increasing levels of sophistication and range of application. Thus the reader develops a deep, intuitive understanding of the subject as a whole, and an appreciation of the natural progression of ideas. Topics covered include many items previously dealt with at a much more advanced level, such as algebraic topology (introduced via the analysis of electrical networks), exterior calculus, Lie derivatives, and star operators (which are applied to Maxwell's equations and optics). This then is a text which breaks new ground in presenting and applying sophisticated mathematics in an elementary setting. Any student, interpreted in the widest sense, with an interest in physics and mathematics, will gain from its study.
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Table of contents

1. Linear transformations of the plane; 2. Eigenvectors and eigenvalues; 3. Linear differential equations in the plane; 4. Scalar products; 5. Calculus in the plane; 6. Applications of differential calculus; 7. Differential forms and line integrals; 8. Double integrals; 9. Gaussian optics; 10. Vector spaces and linear transformations; 11. Determinants; Index.
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'... a very well readable and highly recommendable addition to the existing courses in mathematics for students of physics.' Zentralblatt fur Mathematik und Ihre Grenzgebiete '... there is to my knowledge no comparable book, and it is hard to imagine a more inspiring one.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
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