Guide to Essential Math - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123742643, 9780080559674

Guide to Essential Math

1st Edition

A Review for Physics, Chemistry and Engineering Students

Authors: Sy Blinder Sy Blinder
eBook ISBN: 9780080559674
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 24th April 2008
Page Count: 312
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This book reminds students in junior, senior and graduate level courses in physics, chemistry and engineering of the math they may have forgotten (or learned imperfectly) which is needed to succeed in science courses. The focus is on math actually used in physics, chemistry and engineering, and the approach to mathematics begins with 12 examples of increasing complexity, designed to hone the student's ability to think in mathematical terms and to apply quantitative methods to scientific problems. By the author's design, no problems are included in the text, to allow the students to focus on their science course assignments.

Key Features

  • Highly accessible presentation of fundamental mathematical techniques needed in science and engineering courses
  • Use of proven pedagogical techniques develolped during the author’s 40 years of teaching experience
  • illustrations and links to reference material on World-Wide-Web
  • Coverage of fairly advanced topics, including vector and matrix algebra, partial differential equations, special functions and complex variables


Upper-level undergraduates and graduate students in physics, chemistry and engineering

Table of Contents

To the Student 1 Mathematical Thinking 1.1 The NCAA Problem 1.2 Gauss and the Arithmetic Series 1.3 The Pythagorean Theorem 1.4 Torus Area and Volume
1.5 Einstein's Velocity Addition Law 1.6 The Birthday Problem 1.7 p¼ in the Gaussian Integral 1.8 Function Equal to its Derivative 1.9 Log of N Factorial for Large N 1.10 Potential and Kinetic Energies 1.11 Lagrangian Mechanics 1.12 Riemann Zeta Function and Prime Numbers 1.13 How to Solve It 1.14 A Note on Mathematical Rigor

  1. Numbers 2.1 Integers 2.2 Primes 2.3 Divisibility 2.4 Fibonacci Numbers 2.5 Rational Numbers 2.6 Exponential Notation 2.7 Powers of 10 2.8 Binary Number System 2.9 Infinity 3 Algebra 3.1 Symbolic Variables 3.2 Legal and Illegal Algebraic Manipulations 3.3 Factor-Label Method 3.4 Powers and Roots 3.5 Logarithms 3.6 The Quadratic Formula 3.7 Imagining i 3.8 Factorials, Permutations and Combinations 3.9 The Binomial Theorem 3.10 e is for Euler 4 Trigonometry 4.1 What Use is Trigonometry? 4.2 The Pythagorean Theorem 4.3 ¼ in the Sky 4.4 Sine and Cosine 4.5 Tangent and Secant 4.6 Trigonometry in the Complex Plane 4.7 De Moivre's Theorem 4.8 Euler's Theorem 4.9 Hyperbolic Functions 5 Analytic Geometry 5.1 Functions and Graphs 5.2 Linear Functions 5.3 Conic Sections 5.4 Conic Sections in Polar Coordinates 6 Calculus 6.1 A Little Road Trip 6.2 A Speedboat Ride 6.3 Differential and Integral Calculus 6.4 Basic Formulas of Differential Calculus 6.5 More on Derivatives 6.6 Indefinite Integrals 6.7 Techniques of Integration 6.8 Curvature, Maxima and Minima 6.9 The Gamma Function 6.10 Gaussian and Error Functions 7 Series and Integrals 7.1 Some Elementary Series 7.2 Power Series 7.3 Convergence of Series 7.4 Taylor Series 7.5 L'H'opital's Rule 7.6 Fourier Series 7.7 Dirac Deltafunction 7.8 Fourier Integrals 7.9 Generalized Fourier Expansions 7.10 Asymptotic Series 8 Differential Equations 8.1 First-Order Differential Equations 8.2 AC Circuits 8.3 Second-Order Differential Equations 8.4 Some Examples from Physics 8.5 Boundary Conditions 8.6 Series Solutions 8.7 Bessel Functions 8.8 Second Solution 9 Matrix Algebra 9.1 Matrix Multiplication 9.2 Further Properties of Matrices 9.3 Determinants 9.4 Matrix Inverse 9.5 Wronskian Determinant 9.6 Special Matrices 9.7 Similarity Transformations 9.8 Eigenvalue Problems 9.9 Group Theory 9.10 Minkowski Spacetime 10 Multivariable Calculus 10.1 Partial Derivatives 10.2 Multiple Integration 10.3 Polar Coordinates 10.4 Cylindrical Coordinates 10.5 Spherical Polar Coordinates 10.6 Differential Expressions 10.7 Line Integrals 10.8 Green's Theorem 11 Vector Analysis 11.1 Scalars and Vectors 11.2 Scalar or Dot Product 11.3 Vector or Cross Product 11.4 Triple Products of Vectors 11.5 Vector Velocity and Acceleration 11.6 Circular Motion 11.7 Angular Momentum 11.8 Gradient of a Scalar Field 11.9 Divergence of a Vector Field 11.10 Curl of a Vector Field 11.11 Maxwell's Equations 11.12 Covariant Electrodynamics 11.13 Curvilinear Coordinates 11.14 Vector Identities 12 Special Functions 12.1 Partial Differential Equations 12.2 Separation of Variables 12.3 Special Functions 12.4 Leibniz's Formula 12.5 Vibration of a Circular Membrane 12.6 Bessel Functions 12.7 Laplace Equation in Spherical Coordinates 12.8 Legendre Polynomials 12.9 Spherical Harmonics 12.10 Spherical Bessel Functions 12.11 Hermite Polynomials 12.12 Laguerre Polynomials 13 Complex Variables 13.1 Analytic Functions 13.2 Derivative of an Analytic Function 13.3 Contour Integrals 13.4 Cauchy's Theorem 13.5 Cauchy's Integral Formula 13.6 Taylor Series 13.7 Laurent Expansions 13.8 Calculus of Residues 13.9 Multivalued Functions 13.10 Integral Representations for Special Functions


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© Academic Press 2008
Academic Press
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About the Author

Sy Blinder

Affiliations and Expertise

Wolfram Research, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Sy Blinder

Affiliations and Expertise

Wolfram Research, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA