New: updated files for Mathematica versions 8 & 9Conversions provided by Kate Evans, Benjamin Clark, & Eric Godat
Robert L. Zimmerman (U. of Oregon)
Fredrick I. Olness (Southern Methodist University)
with a foreword by Stephen Wolfram
LENGTH: 600+ pages
For ordering information, contact
Addison Wesley Publishing
International Customers 1-201-767-5021
MathSource Number: 0206-862
Mathematica for Physics chooses the canonical problems from the physics
curriculum, and solves these problems using Mathematica. This book takes
the reader beyond the "textbook" solutions by challenging the student to
cross check the results using the wide variety of Mathematica's analytical,
numerical, and graphical tools. Throughout the book, the complexity of both
the physics and Mathematica is systematically extended to broaden the tools
the reader has at his or her disposal, and to broaden the range of problems
that can be solved. As such, this text is an appropriate supplement for any
of the core advanced undergraduate and graduate physics courses. This electronic
supplement contains the initialization files for all chapters, and selected
solutions and examples.
- Provides Mathematica solutions for the canonical problems in the physics
- Covers essential problems in: Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Quantum
Mechanics, Special and
- General Relativity, Cosmology, Elementary Circuits, Oscillating Systems.
- Uses the power of Mathematica to go beyond "textbook" solutions and
bring the problems alive with animations, and other graphical tools.
- Emphasizes the graphical capability of Mathematica to develop the
reader's intuition and visualization in problem solving.
- Introduces the reader to the aspects of Mathematica that are particularly
useful for physics.
1. Getting Started
2. GENERAL PHYSICS
3. Oscillating Systems
4. NonLinear Oscillating Systems
5. Discrete Dynamical Systems
6. Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
7. Orbiting Bodies
9. Quantum Mechanics
10. Relativity and Cosmology
This book is intended for the advanced undergraduate
and graduate physics student taking core courses in the physics curriculum.
We expect this text to be a supplement to the standard
course text. The student would use this book to get ideas on how to use Mathematica
to solve the problems assigned by the instructor.
Since we cover the canonical problems from the core
courses, the student can practice with our solutions, and then modify our
solutions to solve the particular problems assigned. This should help the
student move up the Mathematica learning curve quickly.
About: Mathematica for Physics:
Mathematica is a powerful mathematical software system
for students, researchers, and anyone seeking an effective tool for mathematical
analysis. Tools such as Mathematica have begun to revolutionize the way
science is taught, and research performed. Now there is a book specifically
for students and teachers of physics who wish to use Mathematica to visualize
and display physics concepts and to generate numerical and graphical solutions
to physics problems.
Mathematica for Physics chooses the canonical problems
from the physics curriculum, and solves these problems using Mathematica.
This book takes the reader beyond the "textbook" solutions by challenging
the student to cross check the results using the wide variety of Mathematica's
analytical, numerical, and graphical tools. Throughout the book, the complexity
of both the physics and Mathematica is systematically extended to broaden
the tools the reader has at his or her disposal, and to broaden the range
of problems that can be solved.
As such, this text is an appropriate supplement
for any of the core advanced undergraduate and graduate physics courses.
Best Features of Book:
With Mathematica, the entire approach to problem
solving can be drastically changed. We give some brief examples.
This is a topic that is generally treated as an "advanced"
topic. With Mathematica, the solution is relatively straightforward. Once
the solutions is obtained, the textbooks try to describe (in words) the
general properties of the system, and the normal modes. (In particular, the
property that the energy is transferred back and forth between the two segments
of the pendulum.) With the animation capability of Mathematica, we do not
need to lead the student to these conclusions, but we can point them in the
general direction, and let them discover these results on their own by varying
the amplitudes of the separate normal modes.
E&M BOUNDARY VALUE PROBLEMS:
For the beginning student, it is easy to become overwhelmed
by boundary value problems. With the power of Mathematica, it is easy to
show how straightforward these solutions are--especially with the help of
the different coordinate systems built into Mathematica. When the student
finishes the problem with pen and paper, they have only a set of formulas
that may mean very little to the student. With Mathematica, we encourage
the student to plot the final solution so that they can verify visually if
the boundary conditions are satisfied. This techniques encourages the student
to think about the solution, and not simply grind out the math.
In the standard solution of the hydrogen atom, the
student is completely lost in the mathematics. Mathematica is able to recognize
that the solution of the radial equation is a Laguerre polynomial, assemble
the constants to form the principal quantum number, and plot the solutions.
The student then has the energy and the curiosity to numerically investigate
the behavior of the wavefunctions, and consider the disastrous consequences
of choosing a non-integral value for the principal quantum number.