The present Handbook has been designed to provide scientific investigators and students with a comprehensive and self-contained summary of the mathematical functions that arise in physical and engineering problems.
Numerical tables of mathematical functions are in continual demand by scientists and engineers. A greater variety of functions and higher accuracy of tabulation are now required as a result of scientific advances and, especially, of the increasing use of automatic computers. In the latter connection, the tables serve mainly for preliminary surveys of problems before programming for machine operation. For those without easy access to machines, such tables are, of course, indispensable. The primary aim has been to include a maximum of useful information within the limits of a moderately large volume, with particular attention to the needs of scientists in all fields. An attempt has been made to cover the entire field of special functions. To carry out the goal set forth by the Ad Hoc Committee, it has been necessary to supplement the tables by including the mathematical properties that are important in computation work, as well as by providing numerical methods which demonstrate the use and extension of the tables.
The Handbook was prepared under the direction of the late Milton Abramowitz, and Irene A. Stegun.
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