An Online Mathematics Reference Book

Started by Rick Lyons 4 weeks ago15 replieslatest reply 3 weeks ago454 views

Some of the "ol' timers" here may remember the valuable and popular book titled "CRC Standard Mathematical Tables" published by the Chemical Rubber Co., in Cleveland Ohio (USA). That book was referred to as "the CRC book". I have a copy of the 21st Edition printed in 1973 on my bookshelf.

As it turns out, the 33rd Edition of this super valuable reference book is available at:


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Reply by Rick LyonsAugust 28, 2023

Think of what your technical activities would be like if there was no Internet, no desktop computers, and no scientific pocket calculators. In that situation, fifty years ago, if you were skilled in using a slide rule you could compute sines, cosines, logarithms, and square roots (etc.) with up to three decimal digits of precision.

If you needed more precision in your mathematical calculations you had to turn to the "CRC Standard Mathematical Tables" reference book. That book contained a profoundly comprehensive set of mathematical tables for all manner of mathematical (including statistical) computations with up to six, and sometimes seven, decimal digits of precision. In addition that book presented an astoundingly wide-ranging collection of mathematical formulas.

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Reply by Rick LyonsAugust 28, 2023

Speaking of slide rules, my grandson is in his first year of engineering college. I enjoyed telling him that when I was in engineering college we computed the sine or cosine of a given angle by sliding two pieces of wood together. He looked at me like I was nuts. Ha ha.

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Reply by DanBoschenAugust 28, 2023
I have a copy my good friend gave me in college in 1986 that I pull of my work desk shelf every other day it seems, and then my mother's copy she had 20 years prior to that (not sure why she had that, she was an art teacher!)
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Reply by Rick LyonsAugust 28, 2023

Hi Dan.

I believe you. I regularly use my copy to look up mathematical identities and formulas for derivatives and integration.

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Reply by neiroberAugust 28, 2023

Thanks Rick.  My father had a CRC "Handbook of Chemistry and Physics".  His version was only about 5 x 7 " (but very thick).  Subsequent editions were quite a bit larger.

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Reply by John_GAugust 28, 2023

Thanks for sharing Rick! I have my 16th edition CRC still on the book shelf.

Another classic math reference has been updated for the web: "Handbook of Mathematical Functions with Formulas, Graphs and Mathematical Tables" by Abramowitz and Stegun of NBS (now NIST). Updates include color 3D graphs which greatly aid understanding.

In this age of computing, the tables have been deleted from the online version. But my bound copy has unbelievable precision: e.g. 23 digits for e^-x

Called NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions, you can find  it at: https://dlmf.nist.gov/


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Reply by CharlieRaderAugust 29, 2023

Yes John_G, I had a copy of Abramovitz and Stegun, soft cover, $4 and with enough scotch tape I kept it usable for over fifty years, and after the front and back covers were gone, I  still used it for another five years after that. Thank heavens the text is now on-line. 

Having found A&S, and having very little need for physical constants like densities, I eventually lost my CRC handbook, although it was in perfect condition when it was lost.

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Reply by TreefarmerAugust 28, 2023

I have two copies of "Handbook of Chemistry and Physics." Three inches thick, not counting the hard covers. I have the 44th edition and the 48th edition. Trigonometric functions are given to five significant figures. For my chemistry major (1969) I used a 12" slide rule, even for calculating entropy and enthalpy. I also have a six-inch slide rule that was one of my gift bags when I won a four-state regional award in the Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild in 1963. The principal of my 2000-student high school held a special assembly to honor my achievement. It was a big thing then. Google it.

But let's all remember that Euler, Lagrange, (let me go on) mathematicians did not have calculators or the internet. The Pythagorean Theorem requires only one digit to demonstrate (not prove).

By the way, have you seen the movie "Oppenheimer on the big screen"? The last conversation between Oppenheimer and Einstein by the pond will take your breath away.

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Reply by lamabrewAugust 28, 2023

I had a copy of the ITT Reference Data For Radio Engineers 5th edition (1968) given to me in the late 70s when my budding interest in technology was much younger. 

A lot is devoted to tubes; but as an example of sorts of what's old is new, chapter 37 is called "Quantum Electronics" though mostly devoted to masers, lasers, and optics, not what we would consider that field to be today.

Held on to it as I felt if the internet ever breaks I could find what I need in its pages and/or the ARRL Handbook (which I have lost somewhere along the line).

Anyone else have that book?

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Reply by kazAugust 28, 2023

I am interested in God's use of number system. I have always been mystified why religious people use number claims as proof of their hypothesis. I know it is the case with Bible and Quran at least.


The number 153 has puzzled and intrigued Christian thinkers for centuries. St. Jerome, who lived in the fifth century C.E., said that a zoologist told him that there were exactly 153 species of fish in the world, so the meaning of the 153 fish was that there was room in the Church (the "net") for all of the races of mankind.


Three: divine perfection

Four: completeness and universality in terms of creation

Seven: spiritual perfection

Ten: divine order

Twelve: governmental perfection

examples related to Qur'an:

Seven doors to hell (for heaven the number of doors is eight) 

Seven Earths and seven Heavens(though it has 8 doors)

Some also claim the Quran has mathematical structure based on the number 19. The gematrical value of WAHD = 6+1+8+4=19, Wahd means 'One' (God) to the first verse (1:1), known as Bas-malah, consists of 19 Arabic letters or the Quran consists of 114 (19x6) surat etc.


My question with full respect to God believers: does God use decimal system? If so can I guess he has ten fingers (both hands)?

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Reply by neiroberAugust 29, 2023

Don't some Indian deities have more than two hands?  

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Reply by kazAugust 29, 2023

In that case I will go for hex

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Reply by aa1wwSeptember 3, 2023

Well He did give us 10 commandments and having failed to master those I don't suppose I'd speculate in detail about his hands.  According to the Bible He spoke the world into being so there's that.

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Reply by bruceraymondAugust 29, 2023

Rick, thanks for sharing the link. I've had multiple copies of the CRC book. I even got one from my dad put out in the late 40's or early 50's. I'm downsizing (I hate that term), so no reason to hang on to them. I still have my slide rule somewhere  :-)

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Reply by aa1wwSeptember 3, 2023


Thanks for sharing the link.  I have a bunch of slide rules in a box (K & E, Dietzen, Pickett, British Thornton) and a hardcopy of the 18th CRC Math book.  Somebody at school (maybe 1973) had an HP-35 which just astounded the lot of us.

There are a number of old (and I mean old) electronics books at Pete Millett's tech books website:  http://www.tubebooks.org/technical_books_online.ht... 

These are quite out-of-scope for DSP and FPGA related topics so please excuse an old dinosaur.

Numerical Recipes and other similar gems are available in electronic for just a good web search.


PS: Eric Weisstein's Mathworld is a good resource at: https://mathworld.wolfram.com/