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An Introduction to Tensors and Group Theory for Physicists

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The second edition of this highly praised textbook provides an introduction to tensors, group theory, and their applications in classical and quantum physics. Both intuitive and rigorous, it aims to demystify tensors by giving the slightly more abstract but conceptually much clearer definition found in the math literature, and then connects this formulation to the component formalism of physics calculations. New pedagogical features, such as new illustrations, tables, and boxed sections, as well as additional “invitation” sections that provide accessible introductions to new material, offer increased visual engagement, clarity, and motivation for students.

Part I begins with linear algebraic foundations, follows with the modern component-free definition of tensors, and concludes with applications to physics through the use of tensor products. Part II introduces group theory, including abstract groups and Lie groups and their associated Lie algebras, then intertwines this material with that of Part I by introducing representation theory.  Examples and exercises are provided in each chapter for good practice in applying the presented material and techniques.

Prerequisites for this text include the standard lower-division mathematics and physics courses, though extensive references are provided for the motivated student who has not yet had these.  Advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students in physics and applied mathematics will find this textbook to be a clear, concise, and engaging introduction to tensors and groups.

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