2
$\begingroup$

I would like to know if there is any data on this topics out of curiosity. I know that telling everyone which textbooks they used isn't a common habit, but I am certain there are textbooks that some of the greatest (most famous, most revolutionary and/or most important in the development of physics and/or mathematics) physicists and mathematicians of the history recommended.

Is there any article or something like that on this topic?

Feel free to mention any book by the greatest physicists and mathematicians of history that contains a recommended bibliography or references to textbooks too.

$\endgroup$
6
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There is a great turnover in textbooks over time, please narrow down the time period and the subject. Euclid's Elements, Euler's Analysis of the Infinite, Cauchy's Course of Analysis, etc., were once used by people famous and non-famous alike, but they won't be used as textbooks today. Times do change. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Aug 17 '20 at 6:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ From my own unstructured research, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence as to which mathematicians were inspired by which books. Sophie Germain, for example, was directly inspired by J. E. Montucla's L'Histoire des Mathématiques, but there were many other works in her father's library that she studied, e.g. Traité d'Arithmétique by Étienne Bézout and Le Calcul Différentiel by Jacques Antoine-Joseph Cousin. It would be an interesting research project to study in its own right. $\endgroup$ – Prime Mover Aug 17 '20 at 8:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It makes no sense to make a general survey on this question, since at different times different books were available and relevant. For example, Newton mostly studied Descartes (and Euclid, of course). But for 19th century mathematicians, Descartes was already not very relevant. Not even speaking of 20th century. George Green read only one book in his youth, and this was Laplace. This does not imply that reading Laplace is a good idea to study mathematics in 21 century:-) $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko Aug 17 '20 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexandreEremenko I never, — I repeat — never said that I was looking for good books to study. $\endgroup$ – user743574 Sep 6 '20 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ So what answer do you expect? A list of all famous physicists and mathematicians and the books they studied?? The list will be too long. $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko Sep 6 '20 at 13:00