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I am looking for a multivariable calculus book that is really physics oriented. Anyone know of any?

EDIT: My wife is looking to brush up on multivariable at the same time she needs to brush up on the related physics.

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Maybe ask on physics.SE? –  Asaf Karagila Jun 7 '12 at 18:15
    
What do you dislike of the book you use now? Do you need something on differential forms? –  Vittorio Patriarca Jun 7 '12 at 18:56

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Kline's Calculus, which someone else recommended doesn't cover multi-variable calculus at all, so that's definitely not what you want.

Mathew's Vector Calculus is a thin book that covers the basics quite well, and includes some material on suffix notation many texts omit. It's probably what you're looking for.

Marsden and Tromba's Vector Calculus is a standard text, with a reputation of being more difficult. It's thorough.

Lang's Calculus of Several Variables is nice if you're more mathematically oriented.

Antonio Galbis's Vector Analysis versus Vector Calculus is an interesting book if you want a book that goes more in depth into how things work.

Schey's Div, Grad, Curl and all that is a classic text explaining the ideas intuitively from a more physical perspective.

EDIT: And I just found another one that looks promising, a textbook which specifically emphasizes applications. Damiano and Freije's Multivariable Calculus. It's not too thick, and the writing looks relatively rigorous.It's expensive, but there are a number of reasonably priced used copies available on amazon.

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My wife thanks you. –  Joe Johnson 126 Jul 17 '12 at 23:01

Although not restricted to multivariable calculus, perhaps Kline's Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach would be worth a look. There is also a solution manual available, making it good for self-study. If you're looking for something specifically to help you make sense of the vector calculus employed in Gauss's Law, Maxwell's equations, etc, perhaps A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations would be useful. It has very good conceptual explanations of how the concepts of vector calculus apply to electromagnetism.

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I'm a fan of Hubbard's Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Forms. It's used in the freshman honors calculus class at Cornell. It emphasizes theory and gives proofs of everything, with the harder proofs relegated to an appendix in the back. It also shows how differential forms are connected to the usual div, grad, and curl using electrodynamics.

Although you may be looking for something "quick and dirty" in order to get to the physics faster, I'm a fan of the more theoretical, proof-based approach, which Hubbard's book emphasizes. If you just want the formulas, this is not the right book for you.

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I would Stewarts calculus is very physics oriented.

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Just to add my opinion on this question. I would not say that Stewart's Calculus book is very physics oriented –  Thomas Jun 7 '12 at 18:20
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You would what? :) –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez Jun 8 '12 at 15:03
    
In my opinion, Stewart is "jack of all trades" –  sidht Jun 21 '12 at 3:54

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