1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Confused about the maths

  1. Dec 6, 2014 #1
    I want to become a theoretical physicist. I was wondering the LEVEL of maths i will need to do. For example i downloaded a book for sets "INTRODUCTION TO SET THEORY" BY HRBACEK, JECH. It has got a lot about sets. But when i look into another book it has limited concepts. So i don't have any idea how much math i need to do. and please recommend some books. before doing calculus i need to know about sets, relations, functions and conituity. so please recommend some books. It's like i want to completely study both mathematics and physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Dec 6, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey Gurasees.

    I would suggest you do what most do in mathematics courses and those who make heavy use of it.

    Get the intuition for mathematics by doing applied coursework and theoretical coursework without the graduate style approach to mathematics first.

    Once you get the intuition for what the symbols mean and what the ideas represent, then move towards a book with proofs and theorems.

    If you don't have the necessary intuition to know the ideas and the symbols in context then a proof book will just go way over your head.

    Focus on the physics courses to give you the applied intuition and focus on the mathematics courses in the order that they are recommended to get the theoretical ideas and the rigorous approach to mathematics.

    The subject that deals with the things you are talking about in upper undergraduate or graduate studies is known as analysis which is the rigorous approach to studying and proving things related to calculus - but in precise and general ways.

    Take it one step at a time - but always think about what you are studying and get the intuition for what the symbols and ideas really represent because you won't be able to look at the higher level stuff without this intuition.
  5. Dec 10, 2014 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    In what grade are you in? If you're already majoring in Physics, you should have the required math classses for now. If not, I'd take a look at a Physics program and see what kind of math they learn...
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook