Landau Series

Level with me IQfy, is this the "install gentoo" of the physics world, or is it actually something you recommend? It has really positive reviews for a supposed hard book, and surely they cannot all be posers.

Has it been surpassed?

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I think it's just something you namedrop for clout even here in Russia, like "Yeah, of course I 've read Landavshitz (opened it twice)". But you don't have to be a Nobel laureate to teach physics, there are surely better books around (not a physicist, so don't ask me).

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That sort of sounds like Knuth's Art of Computer Programming series. It's good, but people buy it for clout and claim they've read it. (It's also unfinished, and he never ever will finish)

      Also
      >Institute of Physical Problems
      Just sounds intimidating, and I'm sure the guys who designed Kinzhal missiles have all read Landau.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Depends on what you mean by "hard". They are harder than undergraduate books yes, but I didn't find them harder to use than the typical graduate texts (Goldstein, Jackson, Sakurai). You have to fill in a lot of the steps, but the equations you need are usually referenced.

      That sort of sounds like Knuth's Art of Computer Programming series. It's good, but people buy it for clout and claim they've read it. (It's also unfinished, and he never ever will finish)

      Also
      >Institute of Physical Problems
      Just sounds intimidating, and I'm sure the guys who designed Kinzhal missiles have all read Landau.

      Landau's books aren't difficult at all compared to other books covering the same subject. The problems are even worked out for you.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Landau's books aren't difficult at all compared to other books covering the same subject. The problems are even worked out for you.
        Are we talking about the same books? The book on classical mechanics is a tiny wide margin book of about 150 pages. There are 10 questions per chapter and no walk through.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          There are better books to learn from. That being said, on a second pass they are quite good, thorough and informative. They are also really good as a refresher. The biggest downside is very few problems, but afaik it wasn't really designed to be a problem book.

          I'm not sure what you're trying to say. It contains a broad overview of the subject without going too much into overly specific details. It leaves a lot of the in-between to the reader, but you'd normally either do that yourself or find an easier source.

          What was your favourite part of Landau?

          Since another anon mentioned the CM book and I've read it recently, there's a very nice part where LHO position is treated as complex and then solved by using the classical equivalent of the quantum creation/annihilation operators. I don't think I've seen that anywhere else, maybe it's in Goldstein but I haven't encountered it. I found it neat and insightful, it makes Dirac's contribution motivated instead of "he pulled it out of his ass". Similarly, I've found the proof for isochronicity (or lack thereof) for an arbitrary force oscillator neat.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        What was your favourite part of Landau?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I like that the field theory book uses 4-vectors from the start rather than introduce them at the end like Jackson does. I also like the inclusion of character theory of continuous groups in the quantum mechanics book. I haven't found any other book that covers that.

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If you have a graduate level of mathematics then there is a lot good in the series but there isn't so much a learning curve as a vertical slope. Think of them as reference books with the most rigorous mathematical derivations.

    tl;dr If you want to learn physics, pick other books first.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      How about the Pauli lectures, same deal?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        No idea. I didn't even know they existed until now so they can't be that popular.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Same, I found out about them from the wiki.
          https://IQfy-science.fandom.com/wiki/Physics_Textbook_Recommendations#Required_Reading

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The Pauli lectures are more of a mixed bag, some volumes are relatively accessible but others are completely unreadable even if you already know the subject, volume 6 is especially bad. I definitely wouldn't recommend trying to learn from them as a first book and IR's nor even good as a reference since it leaves out so much stuff.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >tl;dr If you want to learn physics, pick other books first.
      I figured they couldn't just be perfect for anyone with a high IQ as the primary prerequisite, otherwise elite universities would just hand it to their first year undergrads and tell them to have a lot of fun.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It's the Fichtenholz of physics

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Which would be the Dieudonné of French Mathematics?

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >and surely they cannot all be posers
    You would be surprised.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      With so many ITT claiming that it's not hard, I think "posers could be here."

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It's inevitable to some degree as every board has its touted books that as a result have become a bit of a meme, just look at IQfy and SICP

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I never found SICP to be that tough to be honest. Knuth on the other hand, back when I was a mathlet, seemed intimidating.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I don't think that SICP is considered to be that hard, just that some people on IQfy haven't gone through it despite the fact that they talk about it

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    landau is good, like bourbaki for physics

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The texts are phisically rigorous and straigh to the point.

    That said, wwmastery of basic mathematic (i.e. multivariate calculus, tensor analysis is required

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They're perfectly fine books, the "hardness" of the book is more to do with the fact that its graduate level material rather than how the material is presented.

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I studied first year physics and did a minor in mathematics along with 2 classes on applied mathematics
    Is there a good textbook which will revise both my physics and my mathematics all at once?
    Preferably one with very good pedagogy so I can study it myself

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I have Landau 1, 2 and 5 because an acoustician I work with told me they'd be helpful for understanding acoustic physics.

    As an EE who is not a physicist (though I do the systems side of EE so it's not too far away) I find them interesting and rigorous but very tedious. If you aren't either highly motivated or required to for a course you probably won't get through them.

    They kind of remind me of Rudin's books from analysis or Kallenberg's book in probability theory. Considered a Bible of the field for a reason, but who actually reads the Bible cover to cover unless they are either extremely self motivated or more or less forced to?

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    To those that have read it, would you read Arnold's 'Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics' first?

    Assume the reader is sufficiently autistic to have worked through the Amann/Escher trilogy and has an understanding of ODE/PDEs. I'm not a Physicist, my background is in computer science and mathematics, with a growing interest in electronics, radio applications, and signal processing; which provides the motivation to study the physics behind these things.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Signal Processing is mostly math. If you want to learn signal processing your best bet is to learn some basics of Fourier analysis from a signals and systems book and then jump right into a digital signal processing book like Oppenheim or Proakis.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Right, what I meant was that as my interest in signal processing grew, I became more interested in how the physical side of things actually worked, beyond just being abstract inputs and outputs. I have read Oppenheimer's first book (some time ago) and also recommend it.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      What is the Amann/Escher of the physics world? For those unfamiliar, it's a very rigorous self-contained set of books on Analysis. It would be nice to have a physics equivalent, but that's probably wishing for too much. Maybe in 30 years I'll just write it myself.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Is Amann/Escher actually any good? Germans seem to love that series, but it seems a little odd that they call it analysis when that series really seems to be almost entirely just "advanced calculus."

        They just barely tickle you with a bit of proper analysis in the third book with their "elements of measure theory" section, but the rest just seems to be "calculus but with proofs" rather than a proper analysis series.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Is Amann/Escher actually any good?
          Yes.
          The issue is that in Europe they do not distinguish calculus/analysis like the US. Amann Escher over 3 volumes encompasses Calc 1-3, plus 1 or 2 analysis courses at a standard American school. Obviously it's to the final story to Analysis, and a student who works through that is well positioned to study any more advanced material.

          My favourite part about that series is that they took great pains to make it self-contained.

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The more important question, are the Landau Lifshitz books fun?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Depends, what make a physics text fun?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        A reward worth the struggle.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          In that case, sure. Though its not like the Pauli lectures or Sommerfield are bad in terms of how they cover the material.

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Reddit thinks
    >No sane person would expect you to digest Landau & Lifshitz in one year, let alone a month. Putting this kind of pressure on a second year grad student makes me believe your PI is a sociopath and I would stay the frick away.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskPhysics/comments/qva6nq/is_mechanics_by_landau_and_lifshitz_hard_to/

    Yet on IQfy, people say it isn't even hard. Is this the power of IQfy?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Consider this:
      >L&L has 10 volumes and they are many decades old.
      >You're supposed to have caught up to modern research once you have finished your degree.
      If you're as slow as those failures on reddit then you will never be able to do research yourself.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        This makes sense, and their collective failures probably explains why they are trying to gate-keep the subject online; they failed, so should you! I have noticed that tone and approach even on some of the more palatable subs.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >I remember that thread
          I actively try to avoid reddit, yet somehow, I have a recollection of a vast number of their threads, it's quite disturbing. Almost every time I go, one of them says something so strange that it sticks with me forever, now I can add this hamiltonianlet to the list.

          >redditors are the gays that complain about reddit the most
          lol

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Viewing reddit does not make one a redditor.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >taking dicks up my ass does not make me a homosexual

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Oh I get in now, they're engineers!

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            If you watched a video of that sordid act, you may have homosexual tendencies, or you may just be curious, or you somehow viewed it by "accident" (It was in my search results!!!)

            Creating an account and actually posting something on reddit is the equivalent to taking it in the ass. Both make you a gay, one makes you a redditor.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The only way it would take someone a whole year to work their way through that book is if it was their very first introduction to classical mechanics and had no prior knowledge of the math prerequisites.

      If you've studied through Goldstein you should definitely be able to get through L&L in a month easy.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This

      The only way it would take someone a whole year to work their way through that book is if it was their very first introduction to classical mechanics and had no prior knowledge of the math prerequisites.

      If you've studied through Goldstein you should definitely be able to get through L&L in a month easy.

      L&L is a primer for graduate physics and it was written assuming that you have the prerequisite undergraduate knowledge in each of the topics.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I remember that thread, you've just reminded me how much I hate redditors.
      >brainlet wants to join a research group too advanced for him
      >somehow even more moronic prof tells him "sure, here's a book, impress me if you're good enough" instead of just telling him to frick off
      >brainlet proceeds to complain how he has to learn and it's hard
      >muh toxic academia, muh sociopathic professor
      >the brainlet (who doesn't know what's lagrangian/hamiltonian formalism) is unanimously absolved of his stupidity by midwits
      Anything related to physics on reddit gets immediately infested by spineless homosexuals.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >I remember that thread
        I actively try to avoid reddit, yet somehow, I have a recollection of a vast number of their threads, it's quite disturbing. Almost every time I go, one of them says something so strange that it sticks with me forever, now I can add this hamiltonianlet to the list.

  13. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Since the thread is still going, what's the closest "modern" series to this? In terms of comparable depth of coverage, but with the latest pedagogy, type setting etc.

    I know the Fenyman lectures received a modern face-lift, but they're not really in the same class.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >In terms of comparable depth of coverage
      Sommerfield or the Pauli lectures
      >but with the latest pedagogy, type setting
      But I don't know how recent the latest editions are

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      For what it's worth a friend loved Greiner and Scheck.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Walter Greiner has a series of books as well, which go into depth. I wouldn't necessarily call them pedagogical though, very dense and all problems are just additional derivations that he didn't fit into the chapter.

        Thanks, will check out Greiner, the list of topics looks interesting.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Walter Greiner has a series of books as well, which go into depth. I wouldn't necessarily call them pedagogical though, very dense and all problems are just additional derivations that he didn't fit into the chapter.

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There was an anon one or two years ago who made a bunch of threads showing how Landau wasn't nearly as rigorous as some people like to claim

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I thought it was pretty common knowledge that Physics is never really mathematically rigorous. That said, we have a lot of anons, with a myriad of odd opinions about things.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You say that as if mathematicians won't base their work on conjectures that haven't even been proven

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Well, yes, but theoretical Physics is neither mathematically rigorous nor strictly based in empiricism. They do this odd dance where they axiomatically construct the discipline based on what appears to be true from empirical verification (which of course can never actually be fully verified without experimental errors).

          As a result mathematical/theoretical physics ends up being both too axiomatic/platonic to actually be reflective of material reality (except in some average sense), but not axiomatic enough to actually be sound pure mathematics.

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