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Advice on being mathematically prepared (QM Griffiths and Cosmology Ryden)

  1. Jan 8, 2012 #1
    I was wondering whether I should brush up on ode's/pde's or just go through the math
    appendix of Griffiths to prepare myself. How much ode's/pde's is needed for Griffiths
    and Ryden? Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 8, 2012 #2
    Depends on how familiar you are with certain kinds of math :)

    We didn't use Griffiths, but I've looked into it a couple of times and it didn't look too heavy on the math. Hilbert spaces are important in QM, but I'm pretty sure Griffiths won't expect you to know it already.

    Things you definitely need to control are fourier transforms and solving differential equations by separation of variables, but that doesn't seem like a whole lot. Take a look at the appendices: fourier transforms will undoubedly be covered there, and as for solving differential equations by separation: well the name already pretty much says what there is to say, assuming you've seen it in a course before.

    My feeling is that you can dive right in.

    As for Ryden, no idea, unfamiliar with it.
  4. Jan 8, 2012 #3
    I cannot speak for Ryden, but, as I recall, Griffiths is not too demanding in terms of pde's. Sure, brush up on ode's, as you'll need them for the exercises, but nothing too demanding. Griffith's is very good at explaining the derivations, so you needn't worry too much.
  5. Jan 8, 2012 #4
    Awesome, thanks. So no systems of differential equations or change of variables?
  6. Jan 8, 2012 #5
    For Griffiths: If you want to follow all the derivations then you definitely need to have a good knowledge of ODE's, Separation of Variables in PDE's, Fourier Series and Transforms. To do the problems you just need to be a beast at algebra and doing integrals and have a lot of patience :)

    Griffiths isn't linear algebra heavy at all (this makes things boring IMO), unlike most of the graduate level texts.
  7. Jan 13, 2012 #6
    Speaking for Ryden, you basically need to know how to solve some differential equations, integrals (some of which will be tough or require numerical methods), and perhaps a little familiarity with 4D metric.
  8. Jan 13, 2012 #7
    I appreciate all the insight. What do you mean by numerical methods?
  9. Jan 13, 2012 #8
    Techniques for solving integrals without analytical solutions. The ability to use Wolphram Alpha will probably suffice. I remember the big things were all the integrals and differential equations. The book is well written though as well as Griffiths QM which I am using currently. They are both rather friendly books.
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