Choose Math or Physics? Convince Me!

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In summary, the conversation is about a person who is having a dilemma between choosing math or physics as their focus in university studies. They find both subjects equally interesting but in different ways. The person is looking for arguments to be convinced to choose either math or physics. The speaker shares their personal experience and perspective, stating that they find physics more relatable to reality and easier to understand compared to math. They also suggest considering a Mathematical Physics program if available. However, they ultimately emphasize that the decision should be based on personal preference.
  • #1
Kurret
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Okey, I have this dilemma that I don't know which one to focus on in my university studies. So please come with arguments why i should choose math, or why i should choose physics (i think I am most into physics, but I am still not 100% sure). I find the subjects equally fun and interesting, but in different ways (mathematics have very fascinating and elegant solutions/problems and proofs, but physics are dealing with the real world and therefor are interesting in its own way). So convince me! :)
 
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  • #2
Well to me, math seems to detached from reality. Besides that, it's hard (I say this as someone with a math degree). The introductory level courses, namely the calculus sequence, are very different from the "real" math courses that you'll take your second two years of college. I've personally found it very difficult to follow and reproduce the logic that goes into mathematical proofs. Physics, on the other hand, is something I can understand. Even abstract topics like advanced quantum mechanics have some basis in reality. So while I might get lost in the jargon of unitary and Bogoliubov transformations, occupation number representation, Hilbert spaces, etc., everything has at least some physical basis for me to understand. That's why I became a physicist instead of a mathematician. Plus, the great thing about being in experimental physics is that you get to build cool stuff from time to time.

Having said that, I'm not necessarily trying to convince you to do physics. You should do whatever you want. But these are just my reasons for being in physics rather than math.
 
  • #3
My school offers a Mathematical Physics program, so it might be a good idea to check if your school does too. From your post it seems that you like both, so why not do both?
 

1. What is the difference between math and physics?

Math and physics are two closely related fields of study, but they have distinct differences. Math is the study of numbers, symbols, and patterns, while physics is the study of matter and energy and how they interact with each other. Math is more abstract and deals with theoretical concepts, while physics is more concrete and focuses on the real world.

2. Which one is more useful in everyday life?

Both math and physics have practical applications in everyday life. Math is used in tasks such as budgeting, cooking, and measuring, while physics is used in understanding how things work, such as the mechanics of a car or the principles of electricity. Ultimately, the usefulness of each field depends on the individual's interests and career path.

3. Is one subject more challenging than the other?

This is subjective and can vary from person to person. Some may find math more challenging due to its abstract nature and reliance on logic and problem-solving skills. Others may find physics more challenging due to its application of complex mathematical concepts and experimentation. Both subjects require dedication and critical thinking skills to master.

4. Which subject has more career opportunities?

Both math and physics offer a wide range of career opportunities. Math skills are valuable in fields such as finance, data analysis, and computer science, while physics is essential in engineering, research, and technology. Ultimately, the career opportunities depend on the individual's interests and strengths.

5. Can I study both math and physics?

Absolutely! In fact, many universities offer joint or dual degree programs in math and physics. Studying both subjects can provide a well-rounded education and open up even more career opportunities. However, it is important to consider the workload and make sure you have a strong interest in both subjects before committing to a dual degree program.

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