As a year II physics major, when should I take linear algebra

  • #1
sdefresco
29
1
After seeing so much higher-level physics and proofing for special relativity, I imagine I'll need to take this at some point to continue do grad-level physics. I'm taking calc III at the start of year two, and then on to diff eq. When should I take linear algebra in that case? My adviser seemed to think I could wait to take it - and it's not even a requirement at my university's program - but seeing late classes convinces me that I need to take it at some point.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
At my university, physics students take linear algebra in their first semester of their first year together with the mathematic students. I can't imagine how a physicist doesn't use linear algebra.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #3
fresh_42
Mentor
Insights Author
2021 Award
17,242
17,235
After seeing so much higher-level physics and proofing for special relativity, I imagine I'll need to take this at some point to continue do grad-level physics. I'm taking calc III at the start of year two, and then on to diff eq. When should I take linear algebra in that case? My adviser seemed to think I could wait to take it - and it's not even a requirement at my university's program - but seeing late classes convinces me that I need to take it at some point.
How did you manage to solve multivariate differential equation systems? With vectors, matrices and tensors basically everywhere in physics, I cannot understand the advice you've been given.
 
  • Like
Likes member 587159
  • #4
Orodruin
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
Gold Member
2021 Award
19,550
9,930
Ar my university linear algebra is among the courses students take first. Trying to do any kind of advanced physics without linear algebra is like trying to fill a bathtub from a lake using only a teaspoon.
 
  • #5
plasmon_shmasmon
60
35
Take linear algebra with either of the other math classes. You'll probably be taking a lot of your physics classes your 3rd year, so take it before then.
 
  • #6
sdefresco
29
1
At my university, physics students take linear algebra in their first semester of their first year together with the mathematic students. I can't imagine how a physicist doesn't use linear algebra.
I guess it's because this sort of stuff kind of gets integrated into our fundamental physics courses (the major-specific ones), as well as the calcs. Linear algebra is not usually taken until at least year 2 in my university it seems, unless you're an already-started math major. I know a lot of first-semester sophomores take it with multivariable, but I'll end up doing it with diff eq. My schedule is a little too loaded to take another math course.
 

Suggested for: As a year II physics major, when should I take linear algebra

  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
347
Replies
2
Views
358
Replies
6
Views
445
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
496
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
373
Replies
11
Views
2K
Replies
22
Views
2K
Replies
8
Views
230
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
40
Views
2K
Top