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"Mathematical Physics: A Popular Introduction" by Francis Bitter

A fine introductory text without too much math to explain it.

Since I generated an interest in Computer Science as early as 2008-2009, it was the subject that helped me sort of "rekindled" my love for math, as I disliked it as much as the next person. Up until today, I've been self-studying continuously, including reading its history, its philosophy and various essays about it. As I expanded, and always had a love for the sciences, namely geological and astronomical, I touched upon Physics for the fun of it. Suddenly, I was intimidated by the subject, even though I've kept perhaps 2 different books on it. As I continued my self studies, I shop around and found this title to try and overcome my fear. "Neat," I said, I'll give it a shot.

Surprisingly, this book didn't make me feel "bitter" as author Francis Bitter made this book as promising as it could be. Given that's it's an introductory presentation, I didn't find anything that's fear-mongering or making it exclusive to those who are experienced in the subject. Even though the title may say otherwise, this is perhaps the best book for those wanting an early grasp on Physics and how to go about tackling basic problems—accumulating the data then going the mathematics. It doesn't attempt to overwhelm the reader in an instant, and knowing that, we may see a book that's highly recommended among those pursuing a career in the physical sciences.

The only "prerequisite" for this book is knowing some high school-level math, namely Algebra. Some of the math presented are gently introduced and not too much is required to understand—namely beyond [Differential] Calculus. Overall, it's enough for the reader to grasp from cover to cover without the author losing their attention. Very much the point of this book is to greet the learner/reader into the world of Mathematical Physics and the disciplines that go about doing it. Along the way, you learn a little bit of history among the physicists who contributed to such amazing subject.

If ever you wanted to be introduced to what happens to be a math-heavy subject, yet fascinated by how our world and our universe works, this is possibly the most friendly and gentle introduction you could ever have. For those that have had experience may not find anything brand new with this book. This is for those who have very little exposure to such scientific study, like myself, and to know the ins and outs of the subject. There's definitely a lot to learn and to acquire, but this book sets the scene before diving into the beautiful story of the "film."

Gentle writing by Mr. Bitter, and a great introduction to what most people see as an intimidating subject. Highly recommended!





  • Excellent introductory text to a beefy subject.
  • With little to no math involved should make this book more approachable.
  • Although not a very popular area of study, this book has enough to entice the curious reader/learner.
  • None.
100% (A+)
Fan Rating
Title Mathematical Physics: A Popular Introduction
Author(s) Francis Bitter
Description What are the laws of physics, and how did they develop? This reader-friendly guide offers illustrative examples of the rules of physical science and how they were formulated. It was written by Francis Bitter, a distinguished teacher and inventor who revolutionized the use of resistive magnets with his development of the Bitter plate. Dr. Bitter shares his scientific expertise in direct, nontechnical terminology as he explains methods of fact gathering, analysis, and experimentation.

The four-part treatment begins with an introductory section on physical measurement. An overview of the basics of data assembly leads to the path of scientific investigation, which is exemplified by observations on planetary motions such as those of Earth, Venus, and Mercury. The heart of the book explores analytic methods: topics include the role of mathematics as the language of physics; the nature of mechanical vibrations; harmonic motion and shapes; the geometry of the laws of motion; and the geometry of oscillatory motions. A final section surveys experimentation and its procedures, with explanations of magnetic fields, the fields of coils, and variables involved in coil design.

Appropriate for anyone with a grasp of high-school-level mathematics, this book is as well suited to classroom use as it is to self-study.
Dedication --
ISBN 0-486-43501-6
Book Dimensions Width: 5.75″ (5 6/8″)
Height: 8.5″ (8 ½)
Depth: 0.44″ (7/16;″)
Page Count 208
Author Photograph --
Cover Design T. Delgado de Quinteros
Illustrations by Kenneth Crook
Published 1963 (Dover Publications published in February 20, 2004)
Publisher Dover Publications (www.doverpublications.com). Originally published by Anchor Books, Garden City, New York, as part of the Science Study Series.
Manufactured in United States of America
Copyright ????
Book Format eBook (????)
Quoted Reviews --
Best Seller's List --
About The Author --
Other Dover (2004) unabridged republication of Mathematical Aspects of Physics: An Introduction, published by Anchor Books, Garden City, New York, 1963. 60 figures. Appendix. Index. viii+200pp, 5 3/8 x 8½. Paperbound.

MATHEMATICAL FALLACIES AND PARADOXES, Bryan Bunch. 224pp. 5 3/8 x 8½. 29664-4

For current price information write to Dover Publications, or log on to www.doverpublications.com—and see every Dover book in print.

Free Dover Mathematics and Science Catalog (59065-8) available upon request.

$12.95 IN USA
$19.50 IN CANADA

International Standard Book Number: 0-486-43501-6

Manufactured in the United States of America
Dover Publications, Inc., 31 East 2nd Street, Mineola, N.Y. 11501


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