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1. Great Physicists: The Life and
2. Mathematical Methods for Physicists,
3. The Instant Physicist: An Illustrated
4. Astrophysics for Physicists
5. Geometric Algebra for Physicists
6. The Spiritual Universe: One Physicist's
7. The Great Physicists from Galileo
8. The Physicists
9. Thinking Like a Physicist, Physics
10. Physicists in Conflict
11. Cremona Violins: A Physicist's
12. Essential Mathematical Methods
13. Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists
14. Mathematics for Physicists (Dover
15. Mathematical Methods for Physicists:
16. Fluid Dynamics for Physicists
17. The Physicists
18. A Physicist's Guide to Mathematica,
19. Radiation Physics for Medical
20. The Physicists: The History of

1. Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking
by William H. Cropper
Paperback: 512 Pages (2004-09-16)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$10.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195173244
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Here is a lively history of modern physics, as seen through the lives of thirty men and women from the pantheon of physics. William H. Cropper vividly portrays the life and accomplishments of such giants as Galileo and Isaac Newton, Marie Curie and Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, right up to contemporary figures such as Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, and Stephen Hawking. We meet scientists--all geniuses--who could be gregarious, aloof, unpretentious, friendly, dogged, imperious, generous to colleagues or contentious rivals.As Cropper captures their personalities, he also offers vivid portraits of their great moments of discovery, their bitter feuds, their relations with family and friends, their religious beliefs and education. In addition, Cropper has grouped these biographies by discipline--mechanics, thermodynamics, particle physics, and others--each section beginning with a historical overview. Thus in the section on quantum mechanics, readers can see how the work of Max Planck influenced Niels Bohr, and how Bohr in turn influenced Werner Heisenberg. Our understanding of the physical world has increased dramatically in the last four centuries. WithGreat Physicists, readers can retrace the footsteps of the men and women who led the way. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cliff Notes of Physics through History of Physics
I found this book to be just excellent, in every respect. If you want to read about the history of history and also get a consise yet excellent explanation of the physics that each physicts created, then this is your book. This is why I refer to it as "Cliff Notes of Physics through the history of Physics". It's very clearly written.

4-0 out of 5 stars Physics - A human story
I received it as a present and I found it much better than I expected. The book tracks the progress of physics and some cosmology (with a dash of chemistry) from Galileo through the 20th century.

The format of the book is broken down into sections dealing with a topic (i.e. thermodynamics, particle physics) and then by chapter dealing with the biography of a scientist.The chapters roughly follow the format of biography, the science, and ending with later life / legacy / thoughts. But Cropper does not hold rigidly to this chapter format.Some scientists get mini biographies embedded into the chapters of others (Hetz, Otto Hahn) and some prolific scientists work outside of their "primary field" shows up in the chapters about other scientists; Maxwell's thermodynamic work appears in Boltzmann's in the Statistical Mechanics section.If one reads the book straight through this has the effect a making for a smoother narrative.If one is just looking up a single scientist this leads to some index work.

The biographies, while tertiary overviews based on longer works, are well done summaries.They are not overly romanticized accounts, and acknowledge personality flaws as well as strengths.The contributions of families and wives are also well noted, as well as when they are blown off or even betrayed.

A great advantage of this book as an overview is that Cropper is willing to put equations in the text, unlike some popular books about physics.The equations are not difficult, and can be understood by anyone who has taken middle school algebra.There are some calculus symbols that show up, but these are explained in the chapter on Newton.I was disappointed that the amount of math drops off in the later chapters.Some of this is understandable, the mathematical tools get more complex, but when he writes about Schrödinger's equation, I would really like to see the equation (in some form).

The only other, slightly unreasonable, complaint is that there are a number of physicists that are skipped over. For example those who worked on Mechanics after Newton, such as Laplace and Hamilton, or those who followed up on Relativity are given only passing reference.However, the book is 500 pages, trying to fit more will become unwieldy.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a general interest in science, or a teenager who is enthusiastic about physics. The book is long but is broken up into bite sized pieces, most chapters are under 15 pages, and are further broken up into sections of a half page to two pages.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview of the History of Physics
As others have stated this is an excellent summary of the history of physics.The mix of biographical background and technical overview is very well done.
I was disappointed only in the section on relativity which diminished the roles of Lorentz, Poincare and Minkowski. Unlike the section on thermodynamics, which traces the development of key ideas among several important players, Cropper seems to present Einstein as having developed the ideas of special relativity in a historical vacuum. For example, the key equation of relativity, the Lorentz transformation, is mentioned only in passing as having been developed by Lorentz. The mathematical structure of special relativity, developed by Minkowski, is also mentioned in passing.I would liked to have learned a little more about the lives of these important contributors. In general, these three figures (Lorentz, Poincare and Minkowski) deserved more attention than provided by Cropper.
The sections on the development of thermodynamics and quantum mechanics provide as good a historical summary as I have ever read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow - Great Book!
This is a great book.It is part biography and part physics (mostly the evolution of different disciplines).It is divided into sections covering: Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism, Statistical Mechanics, Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Nuclear Physics, and Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology.Each of the 29 chapters focuses on a different Physicist, with additional biographical information on others who interacted with the subject of the chapter.

I have read several other books on "Great Scientists" but this is far and away the best. Most of the others were largely superficial, focusing on the man (or in a few cases women).These other books generally had a lot of illustrations that added very little to the text and provided few details about the scientific work of the person being profiled.This book is different; its focus is more on physics, with the illustrations limited to a portrait or photograph of the subject of the chapter and any figures are limited to diagrams that support the physics being discussed. In some chapters the text is only 20% biography with 80% physics, but in others there is somewhat more biography (perhaps as much as 60-80%).There are great discussions spread throughout the book that clarified a lot for me.For instance, there is a half page discussion of symmetry and conservation laws that did more to clarify this idea than the other general physics books that I have read; likewise for the discussion of Hawking Radiation.

I particularly liked the section of thermodynamics.This subject is often overlooked in other books on scientists.Cropper (who is a physical chemist) shows the evolution of thermodynamics and how it was refined from scientist to scientist.Seeing how the discipline evolved was very helpful and provided a very good foundation for this important subject.While very good, the other sections were not quite as thorough.I found the quantum mechanics section to be somewhat weak; it was good, but not as good as the thermodynamics section.In fact, I found it somewhat superficial in that it did not get into the implications of quantum reality and described the uncertainty principle completely in terms of it being an experimental problem.Heisenberg used this idea, but I think that it tends to obscure the mathematics that generated the uncertainty principle and the degree to which it may reflect the underlying nature of reality.There is a lot of physics in this book; all treated in a general manner that does not compromise the importance of the ideas.

This book contains some mathematical equations (there is even a general section of vector analysis), but does not require any actual problem solving or the use of these equations.This is a great book for college physics, chemistry and engineering majors, as well as practicing scientists and engineers.However, it may be beyond most high school students.For the right reader this is a terrific book.I loved it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book, but ...
Good (93-page) section of thermodynamics' history. An inaccuracy, however, occurs on page 107, where Cropper states "Clausius appears to have made no comment on Gibbs's work." Correctly, in 1875, Clausius refers to his (seemingly favored) Gibbs use of the term "isentropic" (pg. 68, The Mechanical Theory of Heat, 2nd ed.), for expansions where the entropy remains constant. ... Read more

2. Mathematical Methods for Physicists, Sixth Edition: A Comprehensive Guide
by George B. Arfken, Hans J. Weber
Hardcover: 1200 Pages (2005-07-05)
list price: US$125.00 -- used & new: US$74.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0120598760
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This best-selling title provides in one handy volume the essential mathematical tools and techniques used to solve problems in physics. It is a vital addition to the bookshelf of any serious student of physics or research professional in the field. The authors have put considerable effort into revamping this new edition.

* Updates the leading graduate-level text in mathematical physics
* Provides comprehensive coverage of the mathematics necessary for advanced study in physics and engineering
* Focuses on problem-solving skills and offers a vast array of exercises
* Clearly illustrates and proves mathematical relations

New in the Sixth Edition:
* Updated content throughout, based on users' feedback
* More advanced sections, including differential forms and the elegant forms of Maxwell's equations
* A new chapter on probability and statistics
* More elementary sections have been deleted ... Read more

Customer Reviews (62)

1-0 out of 5 stars An unnecessary book
In my early days as a lecturer I did attempt to use Arfken but found it rather treacherous in that it would
lead one into difficulties and strand one. Its explanations were not satisfactory, its coverage was spotty, etc.
I am fascinated in reading the other reviews to find that someone actually likes it.

It is mendacious if not self-contradictory to refer to it as a "comprehensive guide".

My old favorite was Margenau and Murphy, which doesn't go far enough any more; but is nearly ideal for clarity.
Most of my needs could be met with Jackson, or monographs on special functions etc. These days I usually use
Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics,
as well as more specialised references (it's still hard to beat Watson A Treatise On The Theory of Bessel Functions for Bessel functions and for many examples on the use of complex analysis. For elliptic functions,
Whittaker and Watson A Course of Modern Analysis. Fourth Edition is an excellent introduction.
And any serious applied mathematician will own Abramowitz and Stegun and its successor, or even the Bateman
MS Project. Andrews Special Functions is a good modern ref. for special functions,
especially for q-functions.

"Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics" is not quite an undergrad text (neither is Arfken) but works well
as a source for the instructor.

I suppose that I'll have to reread Arfken. Of course Arfken's co-author
might have improved it drastically

5-0 out of 5 stars Still a great one
This book is still a great source of information to learn and review. There are a lot of books on mathematical methos for physics, but this one is very complete.

2-0 out of 5 stars books damaged
a great book, but during delivery the books had been damaged before arrived.
as a thick hard-book, a bit heavy and not very easy to carry.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference text.
I am a graduate student who studies perceptual systems. My research interests are neuroscience, vision, statistics, classification, and machine learning.

While this text is not directly in my line of research, it offers a superb and comprehensive mathematical treatment of many topics in physics.Such treatments are useful to researchers from other disciplines.

In statistics, I could not find a treatment of tensors, spherical harmonics, and orthogonal polynomials (as they relate to multivariate probability distributions).I was forced to turn to this textbook for the Physics-related treatment.I soon discovered that it is a treasure-trove of knowledge.It is beautifully written and accessible to the mathematically inclined reader without proper training in Physics.(I took AP Physics in high school -- and that was it.)

This is a very thick text.A great reference for many topics.

2-0 out of 5 stars Handy reference, terrible textbook
Rating this "textbook" is virtually impossible, so please take my two star rating with a grain of salt.There is too much content to thoroughly review it all and, as many others have said, the value of this book depends greatly on how one uses it.I can say one thing for certain: this book does not deserve five stars.

I bought this book for an introductory graduate level physics course.Our professor said there are no good books for the course but this one was the "least bad".I was initially impressed by the breadth of material covered in the text.I still am somewhat impressed, but I see now that there are major holes.For example, there is a section in the book on Hermitian and unitary matrices.The two kinds of matrices are defined in about a page, but the rest of the section (three pages) is devoted to a whirlwind tour of Pauli and Dirac matrices that would make all but the steeliest physicist's head spin.In fact, unless I'm sorely mistaken, it is never explicitly stated whether the Pauli and Dirac matrices are Hermitian or unitary.An astute reader can discover that for himself by inspection, but I would prefer the authors state it so that their discussion ties in with the section's heading.

The following section is on the diagonalization of matrices.I was appalled to find *no* clear mathematical expression of diagonalization-- i.e., expressing a matrix as a product of a matrix of its eigenvectors, a diagonal matrix of its eigenvalues, and the inverse of the first matrix.Instead, they opt to cover examples such as the moment of inertia matrix, Hermitian and anti-Hermitian matrices, and matrix exponentials.The moment of inertia tensor is explicitly diagonalized, but this is only a special case.In two pages, I see *nothing* on the diagonalization of Hermitian matrices, which is a shame because it *could* be tied in very well with the section.Once again, an astute reader who already has a strong background in math and physics could probably put all the pieces together, but that should not be necessary.This spotty coverage renders some of the problems at the end of each chapter essentially impossible to do.I find myself often citing properties that should have been covered in the book but weren't.

As I said, my two star rating has some caveats.First, we have only covered a few chapters so far, so it would not be fair to judge the entire book based on such a small sample (perhaps one of the authors is far better than the other).Second, despite what I've said, there is quite a bit of material in this book and at least some parts of some chapters are quite accessible and valuable.If you are a well-versed graduate student, post-doc, or professor, I can easily imagine this being a handy supplement to have on your bookshelf.As a struggling student, however, I cannot recommend this book, especially as part of a class.

Final verdict: two stars, plus or minus two stars. ... Read more

3. The Instant Physicist: An Illustrated Guide
by Richard A. Muller
Hardcover: 144 Pages (2010-12-06)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$11.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393078264
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Wine is radioactive? Organic foods have more poison in them than those grown with pesticides? Best-selling author Richard A. Muller enlightens us.Richard A. Muller demonstrated in his recent bestseller, Physics for Future Presidents, that he has a unique talent for delivering the “aha” moment—making difficult topics accessible. In The Instant Physicist he shows his ability to entertain, too, by presenting the best of the scientific curiosities he has assembled over his distinguished career. Assisted by award-winning cartoonist Joey Manfre, who has created an original color cartoon for each “physics bite,” Muller will have readers chuckling while they’re absorbing more science than they ever thought possible. From the surprising (chocolate has more energy in it than TNT) to the scary (even kids can make a bomb), this book contains a revelation on every page. Once finished with this page-turner, readers will be the stars of their next cocktail party.

The book consists of a color cartoon on each right-hand page and explanatory text on the left. Color cartoons throughout ... Read more

4. Astrophysics for Physicists
by Choudhuri Arnab Rai
Hardcover: 490 Pages (2010-04-30)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$53.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521815533
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Designed for teaching astrophysics to physics students at advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level, this textbook also provides an overview of astrophysics for astrophysics graduate students, before they delve into more specialized volumes. Assuming background knowledge at the level of a physics major, the textbook develops astrophysics from the basics without requiring any previous study in astronomy or astrophysics. Physical concepts, mathematical derivations and observational data are combined in a balanced way to provide a unified treatment. Topics such as general relativity and plasma physics, which are not usually covered in physics courses but used extensively in astrophysics, are developed from first principles. While the emphasis is on developing the fundamentals thoroughly, recent important discoveries are highlighted at every stage. ... Read more

5. Geometric Algebra for Physicists
by Chris Doran, Anthony Lasenby
Paperback: 592 Pages (2007-12-10)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$64.82
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Asin: 0521715954
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book is a complete guide to the current state of geometric algebra with early chapters providing a self-contained introduction. Topics range from new techniques for handling rotations in arbitrary dimensions, the links between rotations, bivectors, the structure of the Lie groups, non-Euclidean geometry, quantum entanglement, and gauge theories. Applications such as black holes and cosmic strings are also explored. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars definitely for physicists
This book has a good introduction to geometric algebra.This includes an excellent axiomatic presentation, unlike the Hestenes New Foundations book where the basic identities are presented rather randomly.

The title of this book "for Physicists", is very accurate.This book assumes a great deal of physics knowledge and many subjects are not covered in enough detail for comprehensibility for first time study.With an engineering education, much of the physics in this book is over my head.Many important details are treated very much more briefly than I would personally like.This is justifiable unfortunately since the book would otherwise be three thousand pages long.

In order to understand the parts of this book that I have now covered, I have had to also go off on the side and learn aspects of relativity, tensors, electromagnetism, Lagrangians, Noether's theorem, and much more (QM and more relativity and more E&M are next on my list before returning to this book).

Studying this text continues to be a fun project, and if I ever finish this book I believe I will have a fairly good understanding of basic physics. Despite being a very hard book to grasp due to brevity and advanced topics, taking the time to work through the details provides valuable insights, and yields approaches that would not be obvious with only traditional formulations.

5-0 out of 5 stars makes your head buzz...
I'm reading this book somewhat in parallel with Hestenes' New Foundations for Classical Mechanics. Both are fantastic books (Hestenes' predates this one), and in some parts they are complementary, while of course they overlap in the foundations and many special topics. What is so fascinating about Geometric Algebra and Calculus? I think it's mainly the recognition that many seemingly complicated theorems of mathematical physics really become much clearer - in a sense of getting a guts feeling about the geometry. The method opens a way to look at the same thing from totally different angles: If one can't imagine something based on geometric arguments, one can take the presented formalism and translate it back into geometry, and suddenly things become clear.
Is the book (or that by Hestenes) basic and easy to understand or are they difficult? Certainly they require some work by the reader. To follow the entire book, one really can't do without learning to master the formalism of geometric algebra, which is simple, yet sometimes bizarre. I suspect though that it is only bizarre to the one who "knows it all" already: The student or scientist who has grown familiar with vector spaces, matrix notation and wiggling around with tensor notation, needs to go through the same exercises as the bloody beginner to whom even the idea of a vector may not be clear. In fact, the beginner could be at a real advantage to not being poisoned by vector calculus. For example, take the very basic notation for a geometric product of two multi-vectors: ab = a.b + a^b (the sum of inner and outer product). What's so confusing about it? Nothing, really, after one really understands what "+" here means. But it happens often enough that one only thinks about this product in terms of the right hand side of the equation, because those are totally familiar for anyone who took basic linear algebra, and then ends up making simple things complicated again. I must say that it was like loosing shadows from the eyes to see how the formulations in this book and Hestenes' work explain so well why it is that the quantum mechanical psi function needs to be complex, or better yet what really the i means in physics, and how the entire set of Maxwell equations (all 4 of them) are one simple continuity equation. That's the kind of thing that makes your head buzz. I'm not done with these books, but I have a clear feeling that in the end I will have an entry point to understand QM and parts of general relativity not just formally (especially QM) but really develop a guts feeling for it.
One thing that I'm still a bit missing in any of the books related to geometric algebra is classical continuum mechanics. This may be so because many of the authors are immersed in fields related to cosmology. In this book, one can find a tiny little bit also about elasticity (linear and nonlinear). However, I keep wondering what it would be like to reformulate the entire underlying theory of continuum mechanics (about deforming solids, elastic or viscoelastic or plastic, about fluid flow, about polarized materials, biological active materials, etc). Could something new be learned? I bet it could!

4-0 out of 5 stars Provides a very interesting point of view
Provides a very interesting point of view, absolutely necessary for grasping the bolts and plumbing of modern physics.

The material covered was not present in other texts that I had a look at so this book serves as a good corner stone to build advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on.

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful mathematical language for physics and engineering
This is a well-written book on a very interesting and important subject: geometric algebra (GA) is a powerful and elegant mathematical language -- based on the works of Hamilton, Grassmann and Clifford -- that is especially well-suited for spacetime physics and several fields of engineering.

The authors adopt David Hestenes' viewpoint of a graded GA as a unified mathematical language that is coordinate-free, thereby stressing the fundamental role of geometric invariants in physics.

In fact, the elementary vector analysis -- which pervades almost all undergraduate (and even) graduate approaches to electrodynamics -- finds its roots in the misguided Gibbsian approach: Gibbs advocated abandoning Hamilton's quaternions and just work with scalar and cross products of vectors. However, the cross product has a major flaw: it only exists in three (or seven) dimensions -- if we require that (i) it should have just two factors, (ii) to be orthogonal to the factors, and (iii) to have length equal to the corresponding parallelogram.

Electrodynamics and relativistic physics, particularly, are elegantly presented through GA and otherwise cumbersome calculations may be circumvented in a simple and insightful way.

Mainstream physics and engineering cannot overlook GA anymore.

5-0 out of 5 stars Compared to what ?
This is truly a great book for any one who is interested in not just physics, but physical reality. Although the ideas expressed therein have a long history and are by no means as uniquely those of its authors as were Albert Einstein's in his day, I believe that they will have comparable lasting value. Moreover the synthesis presented in this book, which builds pre-eminently on the work of Hestenes, is absolutely superb. Interested readers need not take my word for these claims, but are invited to prove it to themselves.

Although the above should be a sufficient review, my experience nevertheless indicates that it is a good idea to warn potentially enthusiastic readers against several common semantic misconceptions, lest they jump to conclusions which prevent them from ever taking that vital first step. Thus let it be clearly understood that Geometric Algebra is NOT:
(1) A replacement for linear/matrix/tensor algebra (on the contrary, it is a very nice complement to these formalisms).
(2) Identical, or even very close, to Emil Artin's earlier excellent book on bilinear forms with the title "Geometric Algebra".
(3) Another name for the enormous field "algebraic geometry" (it is indeed appropriate that the word stemming from "geometry" comes first in "geometric algebra").
(4) Just another reformulation of complex / quaternion / octonian analysis; for it connects all these purely algebraic objects, and many generalizations thereof, to Felix Klein's Erlangen Programme and Sophus Lie's theory of continuous groups.
(5) The ultimate theory of everything (although it probably will eventually be found to have something to do with it).

Geometric algebra IS a practical and natural (canonical) tool for formulating physical and mathematical problems in homogeneous spaces in a fully covariant fashion. But more importantly, you do not need to understand all those words in order to benefit from it, and this book is an excellent place for physicists of all stripes to start. ... Read more

6. The Spiritual Universe: One Physicist's Vision of Spirit, Soul, Matter, and Self
by Fred Alan Wolf
Paperback: 352 Pages (1998-10-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0966132718
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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In The Spiritual Universe, Fred Alan Wolf brings the most modern perspective of quantum physics to the most ancient questions of religion and philosophy.Taking the reader on a fascinating tour of both Western and Eastern thought, Wolf explains the differing view of the soul in the works of Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas--the ancient Egyptian's belief in the nine forms of the soul, the Qabalistic idea of the soul acting in secret to bring spiritual order to a chaotic universe of matter and energy, and the Buddhist vision of a "nonsoul."Wolf also mounts a defense of the soul against its modern critics who see it as nothing more than the physical body. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Spiritual Universe
When I first received this book, I couldn't put it down.Even though a lot of it seemed to be going over my head, I knew it was resonating with me inwardly.I love the way Fred Alan Wolfe brought his own spirituality into the book mingled with his scientific mind.His vision of the Soul as a Universal Soul was an eye-opener for me.Seeing the Spirit as vibrations of energy with the Soul as a reflection of those vibrations in time was amazing!To read that the self is only an illusion arising from these reflections of Soul in matter.... leaves so much to ponder. I felt drawn to the Soul in a way I'd never felt before with this book.I felt the love and caring of the Soul even though it is a reflection of Spirit...falling from the heavenly realm to see the self and then dream or remember to return to that heavenly realm...WOW!!!I would recommend this book to anyone who desires to 'come out of the box' of conventional teaching and dare to broaden the vastness of their existence.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wolf Among others are Setting the Stage for Spiritual Transformation
Even if the way this book is written is a bit rough around the edges, the point booms out ferociously loud and eminently clear.

Esoteric scientists and modern alchemists of the soul - like Wolf - are fostering and nurturing the growing spiritual movement and war on the modern and sometimes arrogant scientific mentality. This book among others of its kind (The Tao of Physics, The Invisible Landscape, The Holographic Universe) set the stage for this movement.

Wolf comes up with fresh arguments for the existence of a single soul and single mind using technical jargon, wit, analogy, and metaphor that is sometimes confusing, but all the time intelligent. As a physicist he gives logic and science its due credit, but realizes its limitation in dealing with matters of the heart and spirit. He explains his ideas but bounces of other peoples work, from the likes of: Carlos Suarez, Frank Tipler, The Quabala, Plato, Aristotle, and the ancient prephilosophic Egyptians, a tale is woven about how the soul pushes itself into matter and being.

Wolf uses logic and the A, B, C, to D reductionist elements of science but maintains a big heart and open mind while exploring his ideas. Everyone wants to reduce the spirit, but the soul-talk and other soulful ideas are presented as metaphors and stories to illuminate their paradoxical and oftentimes irrational nature. Thus is the nature of the soul, nonbeing, spirit, quantum spirituality, and so on. These things cannot be objectified, so logic has no say in the matter, but as humans, we can try as so long as we stay mindful of our limitations. We cannot and should not expect to know everything about reality through science or pure reason, because the heart forbids it.

The idea that we are spiritual creatures - to some extent - runs rampant in these works, and is the overarching theme starting to surface in counter-academic and counter-cultural squares everywhere. I highly recommend any students of consciousness, spirituality, and religion to pick this up and swallow its content as soon as possible.

1-0 out of 5 stars Difficult
I found this book very difficult to read.The subject matter is part of the problem, but the author kept saying he would come back to this or that at a later time which tended to get me a bit lost.I also never was real clear in any specific way about the connections between quantum physics and the spiritual world.

3-0 out of 5 stars Wolf does it again
Fred Alan Wolf has brought his far out ideas down to earth again for the general audience. The Spiritual Universe is a worthwhile read showing a good comparison to historical spiritual mysticism and physics. The connections between the soul and quantum phenomena are a bit simplistic and must be taken by faith. Yet, the implications of his are ideas are staggering.

2-0 out of 5 stars Please be cautious...
If you are curious about quantum physics, read books by Werner Heisenberg or Max Born or David Bohm.I you are curious about relativity, read books by Albert Einstein or Max Born or Hans Reichenbach or Wolfgang Pauli.Read books by Richard Feynman.A great source for these is the Dover books catalog.

Learn about these topics from the masters.These "pop-physics" books have a certain appeal, but be careful about speculations and the combination of science with spirituality.It can be entertaining to read these books, but keep a healthy skepticism. ... Read more

7. The Great Physicists from Galileo to Einstein (Biography of Physics)
by George Gamow
 Paperback: 338 Pages (1988-10-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486257673
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding text by one of the 20th century’s foremost physicists dramatically explains how the central laws of physical science evolved—from Pythagoras’ discovery of frequency ratios in the sixth century B.C. to today’s research on elementary particles. Includes fascinating biographical data about such immortals as Galileo, Newton, Huygens, Einstein and others.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Informative!
This book contained everything you could wish to know concerning just about every physicist that has had a major scientific contribution.This is a great book for intermediate scientific readers.I also liked that it had diagrams especially drawn by the author himself.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of discoveries in physics.
I have read a fair amount of books on physics and found this one to be very enjoyable. Gamow keeps things pretty simple (until the end when he starts talking about his specialty) and very accessible. He is careful that the math is sequential; he always builds on previous examples to take you to the next step.

The book was published in the 60's, so there are many recent discoveries missing, but you need to know your history of physics to see how we got where we are.In fact, I found that this bookshowed just how new all of our current theories are and that there is promise for many new things on the horizon. ... Read more

8. The Physicists
by Friedrich Durrenmatt
Paperback: 96 Pages (1994-01-21)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.67
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Asin: 0802150888
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The world’s greatest physicist, Johann Wilhelm Möbius, is in a madhouse, haunted by recurring visions of King Solomon. He is kept company by two other equally deluded scientists: one who thinks he is Einstein, another who believes he is Newton. It soon becomes evident, however, that these three are not as harmlessly lunatic as they appear. Are they, in fact, really mad? Or are they playing some murderous game, with the world as the stake? For Möbius has uncovered the mystery of the universe—and therefore the key to its destruction—and Einstein and Newton are vying for this secret that would enable them to rule the earth.
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Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars old friend
"the physicists" is a delightful short play that our amateur theater group staged years and years ago, in which i played the part of einstein.

in the play, a manaical doctor virtually imprisons famous scientists in the hope of getting her hands on the "unified theory" which would explain all scientific and natural phenomena and would therefore make her rich beyond anyone's dreams.

but needless to say, her plans go awry ... (i shall not divulge any more of the storyline!)

what made me look for this play at this time? i remembered from my lines that einstein was born in ulm, and my wife and i were taking a river cruise down the danube ... we didn't go to ulm, though; the nearest we got to it was vilshofen.

i was glad to find the book!

4-0 out of 5 stars Like a Mobius Strip, It Twists and Turns in on Itself Repeatedly
The Physicists (1962) is difficult to categorize, a conglomeration of conflicting theater genres -mystery, melodrama, farce, morality play. There is an admitted affinity between the theater of Swiss playwright Durrenmatt and the theater of Brecht but Durrenmatt was very much his own man.

A common vein runs through much of Durrenmatt's work: to expose hypocrisy, the twistings and turnings that otherwise respectable people go through to justify self-interest in supposedly `moral' terms.This preoccupation is seen clearly in his best known play, The Visit (1956), which premiered in New York with America's foremost acting couple, Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontaine, playing the leads: an elderly woman returns to her hometown and offers fabulous wealth to the town's inhabitants on one condition: that they execute the lover who abandoned her years before, though he is guilty of no offense but having spurned her.It shows also in Durrenmatt's philosophical detective stories, The Judge and His Hangman (1952) and The Pledge (1958), in both of which detecting takes second place to musings on the human condition, and in particular our tendency to pursue self-aggrandizement to the detriment of moral obligation.

The Physicists is considered a modern classic in German-speaking countries. Three madmen, all physicists -Sir Isaac Newton, Alfred Einstein and a nonentity named Mobius--inhabit a special wing of a Swiss hospital for the insane.Its proprietor is a hunchbacked psychiatrist, the last of a long line of distinguished but utterly mad financiers and military men.The police have been called in for the second time in two months: one of the physicists (Einstein) has just murdered his nurse. The inspector arrives. The mad man who calls himself Newton sits down with the inspector and tells him in confidence that he's really not Newton, he's Einstein but he doesn't want to make his true identity public because it would upset the other madman who says he's Einstein -and that man is truly insane. Another madman, Mobius emerges from his room and announces in stentorian tones that King Solomon has just appeared to him in all his glory. When Mobius's wife confronts him to tell she's divorced him and married a Bible-thumping missionary who is now going to take her off to the Marianas, it doesn't faze Mobius. When his nurse falls for him, Mobius cautions her that it is too dangerous for her to love him and then suffocates her. Things become more and more complicated. And more. More.

There are many comic moments in the play but The Physicists is a serious play about a very serious topic: mutually assured destruction (MAD), and the role scientists played in making MAD possible in the 1950s and early 1960s.Nuclear proliferation was a major issue then: it was, after all, the era of the Cuban missile crisis and the Iron Curtain. But has the urgency of this issue faded with the decades? A quick look at today's world --Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, the threat of pocket bombs-- suggests not. The strengths of the play are its idiosyncratic characters, the plentiful twists and turns of its plot, and hidden puns sprinkled throughout the play: the sanatorium, for instance, is located in Les Cerisiers, French for `cherry orchard' a la Chekhov's great play. And the Mobius of the play? Is he an echo of the Mobius who invented the Mobius strip, a two dimensional-strip that doubles back on itself, joining opposite sides of a sheet of paper together in one flat but twisty plane, so that both sides are now really one side? That would certainly be a fitting choice for a play that constantly veers from reality to fantasy and back again.

The Physicists makes you laugh but it also makes you think. Which is not a bad combination for one play!

5-0 out of 5 stars A paradoxical play about physicists

Friedrich Duerrenmatt appended "21 Points to THE PHYSICISTS," and in Point 14 he insisted that, "A drama about physicists must be paradoxical." His next point stated that, "It cannot have as its goal the content of physics but its effect." Duerrenmatt's 1962 play (which was translated into English from the original German in 1963 and then appeared on Broadway) succeeds most memorably by adhering to these two points (and his other nineteen which are printed in this edition as well).

THE PHYSICISTS features three characters who make claims to being the famed physicists Newton, Einstein and Moebius. These three toddle into the action as unpredictably as individual gas molecules move in a heated, sealed container as the play utilizes bizarre happenings in an old section of a sanitarium to examine the potential destructive power of physics (and by extension, all branches of science) and the moral and ethical dilemmas arising from that. Plot twists and turns abound as the main characters -- and some minor ones -- change like chameleons and the contexual frame of reference is turned repeatedly on its head.

THE PHYSICISTS will soon reach the half-century mark, but its themes continue to be relevant as twenty-first century scientists and the public at large confront an ever widening arena of scientific "advances" that could conceivably unleash immense, even catastrophic, repercussions. As Duerrenmatt says in Point 19, "Within the paradoxical appears reality." Within the play, one can see truths for our times.

Anyone who has seen or read the more recent plays COPENHAGEN or PROOF will probably find THE PHYSICISTS a great read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Uniquely Playful, Entertaining, Suspenseful, and Thoughtful
Three physicists have been confined to a very expensive posh mental institution, Les Cerisiers. Herbert George Beutler says he is Isaac Newton, but he knows that he is really Einstein. He adopted the guise of Newton to avoid upsetting another patient, Ernst Heinrich Ernesti, who claims he is Einstein. The third, Johann Wilhelm Mobius is himself.As a long term patient, he enjoys frequent visions of King Solomon.

I had the great fortune of knowing little about the plot. I was continuously entertained by the playful unraveling of a murder mystery. I urge you to avoid learning more. The imagination of Durrenmatt is quite remarkable. He weaves an entertainingly unpredictable story.

This short play warrants reading more than once, even more than twice, as the Swiss playwright Friedrich Durrenmatt not only entertains us, but explores fundamental questions regarding the role of science in modern society.The Physicists was written in 1962 when the world faced the possibility of nuclear war at any moment. The Physicists has been produced at the London Royal Court Theatre, on Broadway, and by many university theatre departments. I intend to become acquainted with the plays of Friedrich Durrenmatt.

4-0 out of 5 stars Scientific Responsibility and the Inevitability of Ideas
I originally read this play some time ago while studying German in college and it is one of the few works from those years that has "stuck with me".In fact I still have the German language edition that I used at that time.
As other reviewers have said, one of the central themes of this work is the degree of responsibility that scientists have to humanity or something called "the public".Having worked for over twenty years now as a nuclear scientist, I can definitely say that at times the desire for knowledge can override the consideration of all the possible uses of a given technology.The question them becomes, can an idea be "unthought"?This secondary theme of the book is intertwined with the theory of the inevitability of ideas at a given time and place.
The translation by Kirkup is quite good as compared to the original German version that I have.Though the expository style (some very long dialogs) may be a bit daunting at times, stick with it.This play is a philosophical discussion, not a Hollywood action film. ... Read more

9. Thinking Like a Physicist, Physics Problems for Undergraduates
by Thompson
Hardcover: 160 Pages (1999-01-01)
list price: US$29.00 -- used & new: US$39.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0852745133
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This unique collection of problems and solutions, selected from examination and tutorial questions used in the University of Bristol, is the first book of its kind to address the 'art' of problem solving in a truly constructive manner. The reader is encouraged to apply basic physical principles, judicious assumptions and approximations, and simplified 'models' of complex situations, and to consider the limitations of the resulting solutions - in short to 'think like a physicist'. The problems are taken from all branches of the subject, but most deal with topics that are essentially elementary, and should therefore be accessible to first and final-year undergraduates alike. The inclusion of a full set of solutions ensures that the student cannot become 'lost' in a problems, and can therefore avoid much of the frustration associated with problem solving 'in the dark'. Students who use this book will no longer be faced with the feeling of helplessness - even despair - experienced upon opening an examination paper and being confronted with a seemingly impenetrable set of questions, apparently designed to foil even the the most diligent and attentive of pupils. They will no longer complain 'They didn't tell us that in lectures; how were we supposed to know that?' and will be confident when faced with problems outside their direct experience. As a teaching and learning aid, this book will prove to be an invaluable acquisition for lecturers and students in physics and the physical sciences, and should therefore not be missed. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A special kind of book.
I COMPLETELY agree with Daniel Lemus that for the purpose of passing the quals, his list of other books is not only better, but all that is needed. BUT I STONGLY disagree that this book is not worth it.

But let's first understand something. Most US quals consist of formulaic problems, such as:

- The "rigid body problem," where if you know how to calculate the inertia tensor, and you know Euler's equations, then you can find the angular momentum vector, the torque, the precession, etc.
- The "boundary value problem" in electrostatics or magnetostatics, which, knowing Maxwell's equations, can be solved by purely mathematical methods.
- The "perturbation theory problem," where if you know the formulas from quantum mechanics, you can find the level shift of an atom in an external field, or some such situation.
- The "partition function problem" where response functions, for example, magnetic susceptibility, or other thermodynamic functions, can be calculated knowing how to calculate partition functions for simple systems.
- Etc. You all know the long list. Just look at your last 4 years of homework problems.

I am in NO WAY denigrating these kinds of problems or these kinds of exams! They are and were an essential part of training in physics.

But Thompson's book is different. It's about messy, squishy, ugly real life problems. Things like interstellar gunk condensing into a planet or star, surface tension and viscosity in real fluids, i.e. more realistic models of the physical world. For that reason, this book is a gem, not to be missed. It is very much in the spirit of Pippard's "Cavendish Problems in Physics," another gem. But unlike Pippard, Thompson gives detailed solutions.

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10. Physicists in Conflict
by Neil A. Porter
Hardcover: 275 Pages (1998-06)
list price: US$65.95 -- used & new: US$13.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0750305096
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Editorial Review

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Dialogue in science is essential for progress. But when dialogue becomes conflict or further intensifies to persecution the situation is harmful not only to science, but also to the wider society in which science exists. This is true whether the conflict is internal, in the case of Boltzmann, or external, as with Galileo and Oppenheimer against their respective authorities.

Physicists in Conflict: From Antiquity to the New Millennium examines the nature of conflict in science through examples chosen from the history of physics. These cases fall into three broad themes: physicists in conflict with religion, conflict between physicists on significant scientific issues, and physicists in conflict with each other and politicians on matters of public policy with scientific content. Conflict is singled out as a common element in otherwise disparate areas precisely because it has characteristics that are common to the different cases, and sometimes the similarities are remarkable, such as in the cases of Galileo and Oppenheimer.

The book is suitable for general readers with an interest in physics as well as for undergraduate physics students and professional physicists. It will also be of interest to those working in the fields of peace and conflict studies. ... Read more

11. Cremona Violins: A Physicist's Quest for Secrets of Stradivari
by Kameshwar C. Wali
Hardcover: 157 Pages (2010-01-30)
list price: US$49.00 -- used & new: US$48.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9812791094
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book contains a brief account of the history of Cremona violins - the rise and fall of the art that dominated over two centuries - and is primarily devoted to the physics behind the violin acoustics, specifically the research of William F "Jack" Fry over the past four decades and more. It chronicles his early research and the evolution of his ideas leading to a holistic approach to its acoustics, in sharp contrast to the conventional "reductionist" approach. With rare insights, he has come closer than anyone before in reproducing the sound of the great Italian masters. This historic achievement makes the book extremely valuable for violin makers, violin researchers, and young and aspiring violinists who would like to own excellent-sounding instruments with all the desirable characteristics of old instruments at affordable prices. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars science revealed
A great source for understanding the power of the Cremona violins, but surprisingly also a very lucid account of scientific method and why it is not always about "reduction"! Very well written and fun to read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
A very well written and informative book.
Takes you into the thinking of a passionate physicist as he tries to decode the mysteries of the world's most celebrated instruments. Also wonderful historical account of the rescueof Cremona violins from the dustbin. ... Read more

12. Essential Mathematical Methods for Physicists: and Engineers
by Hans J. Weber, Frank Harris, George B. Arfken
Hardcover: 932 Pages (2003-08-22)
list price: US$118.00 -- used & new: US$65.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0120598779
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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This new adaptation of Arfken and Weber's bestselling Mathematical Methods for Physicists, Fifth Edition, is the most comprehensive, modern, and accessible text for using mathematics to solve physics problems. Additional explanations and examples make it student-friendly and more adaptable to a course syllabus.

· This is a more accessible version of Arfken and Weber's blockbuster reference, Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 5th Edition
· Many more detailed, worked-out examples illustrate how to use and apply mathematical techniques to solve physics problems
· More frequent and thorough explanations help readers understand, recall, and apply the theory
· New introductions and review material provide context and extra support for key ideas
· Many more routine problems reinforce basic concepts and computations ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
This book is perfect for my needs.It is just what I needed to review my mathematical skills for my Master in Physics.

2-0 out of 5 stars Weak on rigor & physical insight = bad book
- Fairly complete coverage of the various properties of special functions.The introduction of these subjects is not good, but one could use it as a refrence for formulas.

- Topic selection and rigor are weak.Many important areas of mathematical physics are skipped over, or short changed.For example, the section on tensors is far too short.In addition, everything is introduced in index notation instead of coordinate free form.Also, the group theory section is very weak (not to mention short).The rotation group and lorentz group are discussed briefly, but there is no systematic introduction to lie groups or other important topics.
- The book seems to focus on special functions, and solving differential equations.However, it does not introduce hilbert spaces well, and therefore the presentation seems like a bewildering array of bessel this and fourier that, without anything to tie it all together.

Overall, I'd say the book sacrifices depth by covering too many topics.If you want to really succeed you're going to need a full course each on linear (& some multilnear) algebra, mutlivariable calc & vector analysis, differential equations, complex analysis, differential geometry and group theory.If you want a condensed version, get byron and fuller.It's written systematically, and strikes (in my opinion) a perfect balance between rigor and pragmatism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great undergrad physics major book!
This undergraduate text makes Arfken really accessible. The new examples are great and most are from various fields of physics. This has helped me in my mechanics, E and M, and quantum mechanics classes. The long index is complete and really helps to find things quickly. The chapter on probability & statistics explains concepts especially well.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better Overview then Book
This book is much better as a reference book for someone who already understands the material then for a student just learning.The book covers everything from Coordinate Systems to Calculus of Variantions, PDQ's, and Special Unitary Groups in highly dense sections, with little or no examples.

The problems are extraordinarly tough, and they seem disjointed, lacking any real focus and coherence, exp. towards the front of the book.Once you get past the physics in the first part, and into the math section of the book, it slows down, and really explains ideas, as well as providing excellent problems to work.

I would recommend this book as a reference, but there are better books out there.For reference, I would also recommend Schaums Outlines; and for a text book, I would recommend David Hilbert's Mathematical Methods Vol I, and Vol II.

2-0 out of 5 stars Better as a reference
I used this book for an undergraduate math methods for physicists course.While in the class I found it very difficult to learn anything from it, as it is rather dense.I found that most websites I looked to for help cited the book though.Now I find this book to be a very useful reference.It's definitions are fairly concise and topics are not spread throughout the book.Bottom line: great reference, poor learning tool. ... Read more

13. Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists (Volume 0)
by Simon Gindikin
Paperback: 388 Pages (2006-11-17)
list price: US$54.95 -- used & new: US$8.98
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Asin: 0387360263
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This revised and greatly expanded second edition of the Russian text Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists contains a wealth of new information about the lives and accomplishments of more than a dozen scientists throughout five centuries of history: from the first steps in algebra up to new achievements in geometry in connection with physics. The heroes of the book are renowned figures from early eras, such as Cardano, Galileo, Huygens, Leibniz, Pascal, Euler, Lagrange, and Laplace, as well some scientists of last century: Klein, Poincaré, and Ramanujan.

A unique mixture of mathematics, physics, and history, this volume provides biographical glimpses of scientists and their contributions in the context of the social and political background of their times. The author examines many original sources, from the scientists’ research papers to their personal documents and letters to friends and family; furthermore, detailed mathematical arguments and diagrams are supplied to help explain some of the most significant discoveries in calculus, celestial mechanics, number theory, and mathematical physics. What emerges are intriguing, multifaceted studies of a number of remarkable intellectuals and their scientific legacy.

Written by a distinguished mathematician and accessible to readers at all levels, this book is a wonderful resource for both students and teachers and a welcome introduction to the history of science.

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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into the biographies of some great minds!
Simon Gindikin did an excellent job in this new edition of his book. I got acquainted with his research not too long ago when reading an essay on Penrose's Twistor theory in the "Mathematical Intelligencer" by Springer dating from early 80's.
Eventually I found out the first edition of his book, which was already quite delightful.
The book, besides being filled with witty historical facts, contains also a few interesting problems to improve one's mathematical culture.
I'm particulary kind of the chapter on Huygens and his mechanical works,Poincare's ideas on non-euclidean geometry and finally and the above mentioned article on twistor theory(which could be included on a course on analytical/projective geometry, example).
As my usual cliche, "Two thumbs up!".
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14. Mathematics for Physicists (Dover Books on Mathematics)
by Philippe Dennery, Andre Krzywicki
Paperback: 400 Pages (1996-08-14)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486691934
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Excellent text provides thorough background in mathematics needed to understand today’s more advanced topics in physics and engineering. Topics include theory of functions of a complex variable, linear vector spaces, tensor calculus, Fourier series and transforms, special functions, more. Rigorous theoretical development; problems solved in great detail. Bibliography. 1967 edition.
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Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent, easy to follow
Having never really followed a course in a classroom, I have always tried to find books that are suitable for self-study. This book does an excellent job in that quarter. This is an excellent book for physicists looking for a familiar notation. Various subjects are treated rigorously and in an engaging manner. Definitely recommended for self study.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent if you have some background beforehand
This is an excellent book if you have a little background beforehand of the topics covered in this book. Though authors try to cover the topics right from the beginning and they do it quite well, I couldn't benefit much from it as I had not studied the topics covered in this book before. I had to go back to the text books to study each of the topics and then I hope to come back to the book again. I really wouldn't blame the authors, as the topics they are trying to cover in one chapter are full fledged one-semester courses each. It is not easy to cover one semester course in one chapter.
The bottomline is - There is no way to by-pass your undergrad textbooks. if you've studied those before, this book will work very good for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars readable and elegant account of mathematical physics
Dennery and Krzywicki is somewhat unusual in the sense that it puts noticeable emphasis on the mathematical formalism and it
strives to give a broader picture of each topic instead of tedious algebraic manipulations for solving certain special problems that might not be of interest to everyone.

Moreover, the authors do not try to cover a very broad spectrum of topics and rather focus on the formal aspects of fewer mathematical subjects. Altoughthe book`s lacking of sections on group theory and differential geometry might be seen as glaring omissions, it excels didactically in all the topics it touches upon. Especially, its treatment of complex analysis and orthogonal polynomials is absolutely exceptional.

For those who want to have a reference work that contains almost every standard topic at senior undergraduate/beginning graduate level while not taking the mathematical elegance and rigor as a priority, Arfken`s text would be a better choice. For more advanced and up-to-date account of mathematical methods, I would recommend Hassani`s (Mathematical Physics) or Szekeres`s texts.

All in all, I find this text as an excellent work on graduate level mathematical physics and refer it constantly for my work.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too much in too-little space.
I would only recommend this book to people already fairly well-versed in the topics it covers.In this book, the authors attempt to cover FAR TOO MUCH material for such a short text.As a result, the reader ends up confused and with a feeling that the author isn't telling them NEARLY everything he knows, even about the basics.The book's coverage of complex analysis is truly pitiful, and I would recommend A Course of Modern Analysis by Whittaker and Watson, even at the much higher 60 dollar price, as a useful source on this topic.Concerning such topics as Lebesgue integration, Hilbert Space, and orthonormal bases--consult good books on real-analysis and/or functional analysis rather than this book.Perhaps the author's greatest mistake is the book's complete lack of excercizes and it's few-and-far-between, weak examples of applications to problems.That said, the reason I still gave this book three stars is that it is good in one way--namely, as a reference for those who already know the material.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good book
I strongly recommend this book! I am university lecturer and I was using it over recent years as a main source for the course
"Mathematical Methods in Physics". The material is well chosen,
supplemented with good examples which illustrate interesting and
non-trivial issues in an accessible for a student way.
It is a safe and a good buy! ... Read more

15. Mathematical Methods for Physicists: A Concise Introduction
by Tai L. Chow
Paperback: 555 Pages (2000-07-31)
list price: US$80.00 -- used & new: US$62.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521655447
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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This text is designed for an intermediate-level, two-semester undergraduate course in mathematical physics. It provides an accessible account of most of the current, important mathematical tools required in physics. The book bridges the gap between an introductory physics course and more advanced courses in classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, and thermal and statistical physics. It contains a large number of worked examples to illustrate the mathematical techniques developed and to show their relevance to physics. The highly organized coverage allows instructors to teach the basics in one semester. The book could also be used in courses in engineering, astronomy, and mathematics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Difference Of Opinion
After completing the first six chapters of professor Chow's book, I feel he has been treated a little too harshly by earlier reviewers. It is true that there are many typos, but finding typos can build confidence especially if they are not too egregious. When I studied undergraduate math, many years ago, most of the techniques we needed were taught in the science classes themselves. Few books covered in a single place the mathematics needed for science and engineering. Most of the ones that did were at the graduate student level making then rather obscure for the neophyte scientist. From what I have read and browsing through the rest of the book it appears that Dr. Chow covers a good selection of modern mathematic at a level an undergraduate student can comprehend. I agree with the other reviewers that a thorough editing is needed for the next edition. However, this book is a good introduction to the graduate level books, which must eventually be read and understood by most scientists.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible, terrible, terrible
As a student in a math for physicist course who tried to learn the material for the first time, this book was totally worthless.Not only are the errors rampant but the text makes leaps between problem solving and solution, with no explanation.This book needs an editor (because it obviously didn't have one this time) and an intellectual properties rights attorney.

1-0 out of 5 stars Do Not Buy This Book
This book mixes the brevity of Schaum's Outlines with the incomprehensibility of The Tao of Pooh.The author copies, sometimes, directly from either Schaum's or Arfkin.There is nothing noteworthy in this book and your money is better spent buying the original books, i.e. Schaum's. I am supprised that Cambridge University Press would publish this and not fear the litigation from more respectable authors who Chow copied this from. If you wrote a Schaum's or any Math Methods book please check for plagairism, it is there.If you are a Prof. thinking of assigning this book, Don't.And if you are a student who is required to buy this book, use the original Schaum's Outlines!

2-0 out of 5 stars Too many typos. Vague explanations. Unoriginal exercises.
This is not the one I would recommend. This book amuses you with lots of typos, such as ``head conduction'', instead of ``heat conduction'' and some weird mathematical notations, like 1 over vector r, in TeX notation, \frac{1}{\vec{r}}. (Some say it is better than Chow's _Classical Mechanics_. That book had three ``vertical'' dots over a varaible.) Not just that. I just finished solving an exercise set for a chapter on complex variables and some problems are identical to Murray R. Spiegel's _Complex Variables_. Not a word was different. ... Read more

16. Fluid Dynamics for Physicists
by T. E. Faber
Paperback: 472 Pages (1995-08-25)
list price: US$93.00 -- used & new: US$36.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521429692
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This textbook provides an accessible and comprehensive account of fluid dynamics that emphasizes fundamental physical principles and stresses connections with other branches of physics. Beginning with a basic introduction, the book goes on to cover many topics not typically treated in texts, such as compressible flow and shock waves, sound attenuation and bulk viscosity, solitary waves and ship waves, thermal convection, instabilities, turbulence, and the behavior of anisotropic, non-Newtonian and quantum fluids. Undergraduate or graduate students in physics or engineering who are taking courses in fluid dynamics will find this book invaluable. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Insightfull, readable, somewhat unconventional
I probably wouldn't select this as the primary text for a fluid dynamics course, as it's organization of topics seems somewhat esoteric.As the author admits in the preface, their are already a number of excellent texts available in the classic style.I would however recommend this book highly for supplementary reading, as it delves into a number of detailed examples and manages to elucidate many physical insights that get buried or glossed over in the conventional treatments.The author also conveys a great passion for the subject, which he believes has suffered neglect in most physics curricula in favor of more sexy and modern topics, which I tend to agree with.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not quite 'Fluid Dynamics for Dummies'
Having never had a Fluid Dynamics course as an undergrad some 30yrs ago, I was recently asked to join a team working on said problems.I asked around for an introductory book, hooping against all hope that there would be an easy primer for me to pick up the basics.This book was recommended, and after going through the first chapter I can say that due to the problem types involved no such book exists.
This one is pretty good, but as solving Fluid Dynamics problems is high order mathematics, there is no way to have a 'Dummies' book :-(

5-0 out of 5 stars This is how textbooks should be written
This book is a page-turner.I originally picked it up while studying for a postgraduate course on shock waves, but soon decided that I wanted to know more about the various other topics Faber discusses: gravity waves, vorticies, etc.I ended up reading the majority of the book, just for fun!The pleasure of reading this book is aided further by some marvelous photographs of the various phenomena.

This book's great strength is that it presents the physics of the situations without getting bogged down in the mathematical details.(As for the symbol definitions, I was initially annoyed by that--until I realised that all symbols are conveniently defined on the inside cover.After I realised this, it was much faster to find symbol definitions in this text than any other I've used, where one usually has to flick through entire chapters looking for the definition.)

There are plenty of highly mathematical books on fluid dynamics; this isn't one of them, and I dare anyone to gain physical insight on how fluids behave by staring at chapters filled with partial differential equations.There is more to life than derivations.That said, all the results which I needed were fully derived, so it's not fair to say that this book presents the math poorly.It just isn't the book's focus, and rightly so.

Thus, I have to disagree with both of the other reviewers.I was using the book as an introductory text, and (although I had others) I found it made an excellent stand-alone source.For my situation (having little knowledge of fluid dynamics and wanting to get the necessary background to study a certain phenomena, shock waves, in great depth) this book was invaluable.I would highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in the physics of fluids.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Book With A Different Purpose
I felt compelled to write a more favorable review of this book after reading the 1 star review. Actually I can not only sympathize with the other reviewer (from Singapore) but totally agree with that person. This book is not an introductory text, nor is it really a good stand alone reference. It really is weak on the development of the mathematics for any particular fluid situation discussed. It would be an absolutely terrible place to learn fluid mechanics. However it is good at discussing the mechanisms behind the phenomena. Many books offer equation after equation without a very good explanations; this book offers good explanation after explanation without very good equations. Thus for me I see it as a companion text.

It has its welcome place on my shelf with reason. It covers a lot of fluid phenomena not found in an intro text in what I would call a quick and dirty way.

For example - hydraulic jump. An intro text might have a section on this and would explain it in terms of energy arguments etc.. However the Faber book approachs the problem from a completely different angle and discusses the hyperbolic nature of little waves travelling on top of big waves and discusses the underlying reason why the waves gather on top of each other to form one breaking wave front.

Another example - Taylor vorticies and Benard convection (rotationl flow and natural convection) are treated together because they have the same underlying Raleigh instability - an insight skipped by most texts.

I would recommend this book for people in the field of fluid mechanics for the long haul that also happen to be book collectors. I would also recommend it for any corporate library where fluids are studied.

1-0 out of 5 stars Redefines 'reading between the lines'
This is one of the most confusing and discouraging physics textbooks I've ever read.Faber has an annoying habit of using symbols without properly defining what they are, or only defining them much later in the text, which leads to extreme confusion and frustration.Furthermore, he covers the topics in a wierd order, making it extremely hard to compartmentalise information, especially if you're a first-time reader (to fluid dynamics).What exasperated me most was the fact that Faber simply dumped equations on me without properly deriving them.Faber set out to write a comprehensive book on fluid dynamics for physicists, but in my opinion has come out short.Way short. ... Read more

17. The Physicists
by Charles Percy Snow
Paperback: 150 Pages (2008-09-23)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$9.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1842324365
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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C P Snow's sketches of famous physicists and explanation of how atomic weapons were developed gives an overview of science often lacking. This study provides us with hope for the future as well as anecdotes from history. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A terrific overview of great science in the 20th century.
Physics in the 20th century has become something that even non-scientists know something about.Albert Einstein and some of the other greats have become household names, invoked almost as often as the names of deities. On the other hand, the purity and innocence of physics was forever changedby the development of the atomic bomb, causing a kind of dreadful fear ofscience in mainstream culture.C.P. Snow gives a wonderful picture of howit all came about, up to 1980.Hisanecdotes and personal sketches of themajor figures read like short biographies of old friends.He shows howatomic weapons were developed, each step building on the previous ones,until the ultimate destruction became inevitable.He also writes of hopefor the future: hope in new minds and new discoveries.The book iswell-illustrated with black and white photographs and drawings and it isnot too long to read in a couple of evenings. ... Read more

18. A Physicist's Guide to Mathematica, Second Edition
by Patrick T. Tam
Paperback: 641 Pages (2008-12-15)
list price: US$64.95 -- used & new: US$53.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0126831920
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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For the engineering and scientific professional, A Physicist's Guide to Mathematica, 2/e provides an updated reference guide based on the 2007 new 6.0 release, providing an organized and integrated desk reference with step by step instructions for the most often used features of the software as it applies to research in physics.

For Professors teaching physics and other science courses using the Mathematica software, A Physicist's Guide to Mathematica, 2/e is the only fully compatible (new software release) Mathematica text that engages students by providing complete topic coverage, new applications, exercises and examples that enable the user to solve a wide range of physics problems.

. Does not require prior knowledge of Mathematica or computer programming
. Can be used as either a primary or supplemental text for upper-division physics majors and an Instructor's Solutions Manual is available
. Provides over 450 end-of-section exercises and end-of-chapter problems
. Serves as a reference suitable for chemists, physical scientists, and engineers
. Compatible with Mathematica Version 6, a recent major release
. Compact disk contains all of the Mathematica input and output in this book ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good
The explanations are simple and efficient, direct to the point. Some exercises are very mechanical but the examples are physically motivated and interesting. The final chapters about physical problems are very good. I strongly recommend for undergraduate students who wants to make some didactically calculations about basics physics

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent - must read for beginners
I read many Mathematica books, introductory and advanced - yet this one clearly stands out (even in this high quality field).

The title and the previous reviewer suggest that this is a book for physicists or physics students. This is quite unfortunate, as it may put off others from learning proper use of Mathematica from this book. True, the examples are from physics, but most of them are elementary physics, done by students of science, life sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering etc.

The reason why non-physicists should read that book is extremely clear exposure of three areas of Mathematica: a) introductory level use of mma as a simple calculator/grapher/equation solver; b) very good illustration on practical aspects of using mma to solve slightly larger problems - showing the right _methodology_ of mapping real world problems into mma so they can be solved neatly; c) very good introduction to programming in Mathematica on the introductory to intermediate level (with some hints of advanced)

I admit to having a strong bias towards this book - it is one of many introductory books I read and I regret it was not my first one. That would have saved me reading others - beginners, intermediate and advanced alike. [OK, I read them just to compare, anyway :-)]

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good Mathematica introduction for physics students!
If you need to apply Mathematica to study real physical systems,then i think you can find a lot of useful material in this book.The book begins with the use of Mathematica as an advanced interactive calculator andgraphic display ,then elucidates its use as a programming language andfinally shows a series of Mathematica packages that deal with specificproblems in different physical areas.The author mixes explanations andhints with one to one reproduction of the computer screen inputs andoutputs.The exposition is very clear and student-friendly.On the whole agreat text! ... Read more

19. Radiation Physics for Medical Physicists (Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering)
by Ervin B. Podgorsak
Hardcover: 745 Pages (2010-05-21)
list price: US$169.00 -- used & new: US$132.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3642008747
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This book summarizes basic knowledge of atomic, nuclear, and radiation physics that professionals need for efficient and safe use of ionizing radiation. Concentrating on the underlying principles of radiation physics, it covers prerequisite knowledge for medical physics courses on the graduate and post-graduate levels, providing the link between elementary physics on the one hand and the intricacies of the medical physics specialties on the other.

... Read more

20. The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America, Revised Edition
by Daniel Kevles
Paperback: 537 Pages (1995-03-03)
list price: US$25.50 -- used & new: US$10.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674666569
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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This magnificent account of the coming of age of physics in America has been heralded as the best introduction to the history of science in the United States. Unsurpassed in its breadth and literary style, Kevles's account portrays the brilliant scientists who became a powerful force in bringing the world into a revolutionary new era.

The book ranges widely as it links these exciting developments to the social, cultural, and political changes that occurred from the post-Civil War years to the present. Throughout, Kevles keeps his eye on the central question of how an avowedly elitist enterprise grew and prospered in a democratic culture.

In this new edition, the author has brought the story up to date by providing an extensive, authoritative, and colorful account of the Superconducting Super Collider, from its origins in the international competition and intellectual needs of high-energy particle physics, through its establishment as a multibillion-dollar project, to its termination, in 1993, as a result of angry opposition within the American physics community and the Congress.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Clear Historical Presentation
Kevles account of the participation of American Physicists in the practice of fundamental research most genuinely begins with Willard Gibbs as a primary contributor to the field of Thermodynamics. Early on, he also cites the contributions of Henry to the field of Electrodynamcis. Kevles goes on to describe the motivation behind the creation of various American scientific societies and government organizations. A particular point of interest is the creation of the National Bureau of Standards as a regulatory agency responding to the vast proliferation of medical "miracles" commonly refered to as "snake oil". Clearly, Kevles lays the fundamental ground work for further academic research concerning the creation of modern government regulatory agencies. Later chapters of Kevles book present more familiar material relating to military research, but this seminal work is of greatest academic value when viewed from the perspective of dynamic cultural change within an emerging scientific community of American Physicsts.

4-0 out of 5 stars very interesting story of a scientific community
This is a very good and well written book about a truly remarkable community that flourished first in Europe and then emigrated en masse to the US around the time of WWII.The ideas of these men - and a few women - are evoked briefly as are vivid portriats of their personalites.There is, for example, Robert Oppenheimer and the ups and downs of his tumultuous career.

While this is fun to read, it is very broad and general.If you want more on anyone or any subject from a scholarly point of view, you will need to go to a more detailed source.That doesn't change the fact that this is a great overview and can serve as the beginning of a lifetime of study on these creative and influential people.Afterall, the 20C may well be remembered as the century of the physicists.

Warmly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, but a bit tough at times
The physicists is a well researched, scholarly work that sums up the history of american physics.Its a good read for those who are highly interested in the field, or those who can handle books of a more scholarly bent.For the casual reader you might find this book a bit dry.It lacks a cohesive story or character to make it come alive.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, but a bit tough at times
The physicists is a well researched, scholarly work that sums up the history of american physics.Its a good read for those who are highly interested in the field, or those who can handle books of a more scholarly bent.For the casual reader you might find this book a bit dry.It lacks a cohesive story or character to make it come alive. ... Read more

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