Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering: A Comprehensive Guide (Revised)

K. F. Riley (Author) M. P. Hobson (Author)
& 1 more
Backorder (temporarily out of stock)


The third edition of this highly acclaimed undergraduate textbook is suitable for teaching all the mathematics for an undergraduate course in any of the physical sciences. As well as lucid descriptions of all the topics and many worked examples, it contains over 800 exercises. New stand-alone chapters give a systematic account of the 'special functions' of physical science, cover an extended range of practical applications of complex variables, and give an introduction to quantum operators. Further tabulations, of relevance in statistics and numerical integration, have been added. In this edition, half of the exercises are provided with hints and answers and, in a separate manual available to both students and their teachers, complete worked solutions. The remaining exercises have no hints, answers or worked solutions and can be used for unaided homework; full solutions are available to instructors on a password-protected web site,

Product Details

Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
March 13, 2006
6.9 X 2.2 X 9.7 inches | 5.95 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

K. F. Riley read mathematics at the University of Cambridge and proceeded to a Ph.D. there in theoretical and experimental nuclear physics. He became a Research Associate in elementary particle physics at Brookhaven, and then, having taken up a lectureship at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, continued this research at the Rutherford Laboratory and Stanford; in particular he was involved in the experimental discovery of a number of the early baryonic resonances. As well as having been Senior Tutor at Clare College, where he has taught physics and mathematics for over 40 years, he has served on many committees concerned with the teaching and examining of these subjects at all levels of tertiary and undergraduate education. He is also one of the authors of 200 Puzzling Physics Problems.
M. P. Hobson read natural sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in theoretical physics, and remained at the Cavendish Laboratory to complete a Ph.D. in the physics of star-formation. As a Research Fellow at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and subsequently an Advanced Fellow of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, he developed an interest in cosmology, and in particular in the study of fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background. He was involved in the first detection of these fluctuations using a ground-based interferometer. Currently a University Reader at the Cavendish Laboratory, his research interests include both theoretical and observational aspects of cosmology, and he is the principal author of General Relativity: An Introduction for Physicists. He is also a Director of Studies in Natural Sciences at Trinity Hall and enjoys an active role in the teaching of undergraduate physics and mathematics.
Stephen Bence obtained both his undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Cambridge. He then became a Research Associate with a special interest in star-formation processes and the structure of star-forming regions. In particular his research has concentrated on the physics of jets and outflows from young stars. He has had considerable experience of teaching mathematics and physics to undergraduate and pre-university students.


'... the book provides scientists who need to use the tool of mathematics for practical purposes with a single, comprehensive book. I recommend this book not only to students in physics and engineering sciences, but also to students in other fields of natural sciences.' P. Steward, Optik
From reviews of previous editions: '...a great scientific textbook. It is a tour de force ... to write mathematical sections that are both complete and at an appropriate academic level. The authors have clearly succeeded in this challenge, making this a remarkable pedagogical book ... The choice of exercises is excellent and possibly the best feature of the book. In summary, this textbook is a great reference at undergraduate levels, particularly for those who like to teach or learn using lots of examples and exercises.' R. Botet, European Journal of Physics
'This textbook is a well-written, modern, comprehensive, and complete collection of topics in mathematical methods ranging from a review of differential and integral calculus to group and representation theory, probability, the calculus of variations, and tensors.' Science Books and Films
'... this highly acclaimed undergraduate textbook is suitable for teaching all the mathematics ever likely to be needed for an undergraduate course in any of the physical sciences. As well as lucid descriptions of all the topics covered and many worked examples, it contains more than 800 exercises.' L'enseignement mathematique
This is a valuable book with great potential use in present-day university physics courses. Furthermore, the book will be useful for graduate too, and researchers will find it useful for looking up material which they have forgotten since their undergraduate days.' J. M. Thijssen, European Journal of Physics
'... suitable as a textbook for undergraduate use ... this is a book that in view of its content and its modest softcover price, will find its way on to many bookshelves.' Nigel Steele, The Times Higher Education Supplement
'Riley et al. has clear, thorough and straightforward explanations of the subjects treated. It rigorously adopts a three-stage approach throughout the book: first a heuristic, intuitive introduction, then a formal treatment, and finally one or two examples. This consistent presentation, the layout, and the print quality make the book most attractive ... and value for money. It contains a thousand pages, there are plenty of exercises with each chapter.' J. M. Thijssen, European Journal of Physics
'This is a very comprehensive textbook suitable for most students enrolling on undergraduate degree courses in engineering. It contains 31 stand-alone chapters of mathematical methods which enable the students to understand the principles of the basic mathematical techniques and the authors have produced a clear, thorough and straightforward explanation of each subject. ... finding a single textbook which covers the engineering student's need throughout their entire course is by no means an easy task. I believe the authors have achieved it ... complete fully worked solutions ... which I think is a useful asset for both students and lecturers.' Civil Engineering