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Thread: I need a study book that deals with the math of Physics

  1. #1 I need a study book that deals with the math of Physics 
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    Hello friends,

    Simply stating, I am trying to self-study physics, but the problem is, it's over my head without a good education in algerbra/calculus - the math behind physics. What I am looking for is a suggestion of a book to try that includes a lot of math based physics questions (and answers in the back of book!).


    What would your suggestions be?

    Thanks
    Ron


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Jon View Post
    Simply stating, I am trying to self-study physics, but the problem is, it's over my head without a good education in algerbra/calculus - the math behind physics. What I am looking for is a suggestion of a book to try that includes a lot of math based physics questions (and answers in the back of book!).
    I don't understand. You say that you don't have an education in math but that you want a book which is math based? Those books often assume that you know math. They don't teach it to you. You need to learn math first and then read those more advanced math based texts.

    Would you be willing to hold off on the math based physic text and instead start learning math? At the same kind you can learn into to physics where there is no math. That will give you some motivation too.

    However there is a chance that you could learn them both at the same time. See the Schaum's Outline of College Physics at your local Barns and Noble or at a college Coop. It might just be what you're looking for. But I recommend that you also pick up a Schaum's Outline on Algebra too.


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    Any opinions on whether or not this list would be a good one to go off of: http://www.amazon.com/Favorite-math-...R2NCH1NBTUYXBR ?
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  5. #4  
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    Would you be willing to hold off on the math based physic text and instead start learning math? At the same kind you can learn into to physics where there is no math. That will give you some motivation too.
    Yes, I would. I am eager to learn. I am not terrible at math, but I certainly could use some beginning material. What would you suggest?
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    Beginning and Intermediate Algebra by Gustafson and The Calculus Lifesaver by Banner. Neither are physics related but very good books for math.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Jon View Post
    Any opinions on whether or not this list would be a good one to go off of: Amazon.com: Favorite math books for physics self-study ?
    oh, looks interesting. Anyone used those books?
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Jon
    Simply stating, I am trying to self-study physics, but the problem is, it's over my head without a good education in algerbra/calculus - the math behind physics. What I am looking for is a suggestion of a book to try that includes a lot of math based physics questions (and answers in the back of book!). What would your suggestions be?
    I don't think math-based physics questions will help you at all. Questions are for verifying and strengthening your knowledge once you've learned the concept and any rules that go with it. How will you answer a question, say, asking you to differentiate a function if you don't know what differentiation is? So I suggest instead of practicing the math behind the physics, or practicing the math itself, I say that you learn the math itself. You won't be missing out on anything by learning it purely; the applied math is no different in essence. A mastery of algebra, geometry, linear algebra, and calculus seems necassary. It's a long process I'll admit, one that I'm going through right now, but it's worth it.

    For easy access, I recommend CK-12's free PDF textbooks which covers the basics of algebra to the more complicated subjects of single-variable calculus. If you run into something you don't really get, you can just look up concepts on sites like mathisfun or purple math for good, easy explanations. Of course, you can always post in the math section here if you'd like. The math section needs a little more love anyway.
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  9. #8  
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    There are several open university style maths courses have study / tutorial / discussion groups associated with them.

    Regardless of what book/s you choose, you could profitably spend a few hours on-line looking for a maths teaching course pitched exactly at your current level of knowledge and skill. My husband found just such a linear algebra course last semester to support his maths & physics studies.

    If you get it right, you'll find a course that tests, teaches and reinforces starting from your current level of skill. It will move you along at the pace that you learn best at. Any time you have difficulties, a good program of this sort will revise, retest and challenge you until you get it. If you have a textbook and/or supporting notes from other sources, you'll have good support to help you over these little speed bumps.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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