Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences


Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences
Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences.jpg
Second edition (1983)
AuthorMary L. Boas
SubjectApplied mathematics
Publication date
Media typePrint

Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences is a 1966 textbook by mathematician Mary L. Boas intended to develop skills in mathematical problem solving needed for junior to senior-graduate courses in engineering, physics, and chemistry. The book provides a comprehensive survey of analytic techniques and provides careful statements of important theorems while omitting most detailed proofs. Each section contains a large number of problems, with selected answers. Numerical computational approaches using computers are outside the scope of the book.

The book, now in its third edition, was still widely used in university classrooms as of 1999[1] and is frequently cited in other textbooks and scientific papers.


  1. Infinite series, power series
  2. Complex numbers
  3. Linear algebra
  4. Partial differentiation
  5. Multiple integrals
  6. Vector analysis
  7. Fourier series and transforms
  8. Ordinary differential equations
  9. Calculus of variations
  10. Tensor analysis
  11. Special functions
  12. Series solution of differential equations; Legendre, Bessel, Hermite, and Laguerre functions
  13. Partial differential equations
  14. Functions of a complex variable
  15. Integral transforms
  16. Probability and statistics


  1. ^ Spector, Donald (1999). "Book Reviews". American Journal of Physics. 67 (2): 165–169. doi:10.1119/1.19216.

Further reading

Reviews of 1st edition

  • Bronk, B. V. (1967). American Scientist. 55 (1): A118. {{cite journal}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Hupert, J. J. (1967). "Book reviews". IEEE Spectrum. 4 (7): 166–7. doi:10.1109/MSPEC.1967.5215873.
  • Milford, F. J. (1967). "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences". Science. 155 (3769): 1530–1531. doi:10.1126/science.155.3769.1526. JSTOR 1720976.
  • Moore, Walter J. (1967). "Mathematics for scientists. Mathematical methods in the physical sciences. Mathematics for quantum chemistry (Bak, Thor A.; Lichtenberg, Jonas; Boas, Mary L.; Anderson, Jay Martin)". Journal of Chemical Education. 44 (4): 246–A352. Bibcode:1967JChEd..44..246M. doi:10.1021/ed044p246.
  • Mullin, Albert A. (1968). "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences". American Journal of Physics. 36 (7): 644–5. Bibcode:1968AmJPh..36..644B. doi:10.1119/1.1975067.
  • Pipes, L. A.; Boas, Mary L. (1967). "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences". The American Mathematical Monthly. 74 (8): 1024–1025. doi:10.2307/2315314. JSTOR 2315314.

Reviews of 2nd edition

  • Peters, Philip (1984). "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, 2nd ed". American Journal of Physics. 52 (6): 572–3. Bibcode:1984AmJPh..52..572B. doi:10.1119/1.13607.
  • Phillies, G. D. J. (1984). "Book Reviews". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 106 (17): 5046. doi:10.1021/ja00329a600.