Hello!! This is my second thread in here. I'm just finished my high school and waiting for the results to get admission in an undergrad physics program. I was confused about career guidance and academic guidance feel free to move my thread if I'm in the wrong place I was wondering about major options between mathematical physics and Theoretical physics. To reduce the confusion I can simply define mathematical physics to be a branch of theoretical physics but that doesn't work and my question is deeper I had a look in these pages https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=742511&highlight=mathematical+physics https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=675730&highlight=mathematical+physics https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=660169&highlight=mathematical+physics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoretical_physics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_physics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_physics One of the reasons I fell in love with physics was because of it's mathematical accuracy and elegance and how equations can tell so much what happens in nature. I understand perfection in mathematics is most important skill needed to learn/know physics. Theoretical physics seemed a good way to go. All I know about it is it has many branches,,, eg. QM, GR, Particle physics etc. What I din't understand was about quantum mechanics GR is a geometric theory of gravity,, gravitational red shift and all tensor analysis and getting solutions to equations etc (I'm well versed with Special relativity) Particle physics is all about muon, meson, electron, etc and their interactions Then there is also QED!!!! (I don't know anything about codensed mater physics or statistical physics but i know it's an extension of thermodynamics but that's again very incomplete knowledge.) QM from what I 'Understand' is about solving Schrodinger equation for different systems But there sure seems something bigger which I don't understand/know I also love pure maths - Number Theory (Enough to fall in love with proof based maths ), Higher algebra, Combinatorics (very elementary), probability (also very elementary) etc.. I've started Set theory from Schaum , I hope to do a lot more in future Mathematical physics uses rigorous maths techniques like those from pure maths to solve problems in physics Wiki article says that "mathematical physicists solves some problems which are considered already solved by theoreticians" This was disturbing. But again I don't know how much to trust wiki. but again my knowledge is limited If I decide to do mathematical physics there are some topics like quaternions which I could start learning earlier than what they expect in the college. Whereas I could look into some other topics which are prerequisites for theoretical physics earlier if i decide to do that In the past,, knowing the things before they teach it to you benefited more than i expected Also I like the fantasy world of any subject which has less or no applications in real world. I know it's bad and discouraging but still.. I feel something is wrong with what I think and sensing that I have some misconceptions which I have tried to express but fail to see myself To do what I love I should know what I love and to know what I love I should study/learn/know more and more things so here are the questions 1.) What am I missing? (something big?) 2.) What should I do? I hope the questions are not too vague! 3.) Can I become an undergrad maths teacher with a major in mathematical physics? 4.) Am I over thinking or worring too much? (((I understand it just keeps getting more and more tough from this point in my life and job market is bad for a theoretician. I want to be prepared very well under any conditions))) If anything else pops in I'll add in the process as the thread develops My apologies for any mistakes or the length.. And thank you to everybody in advance for taking out time to read all this and answering it And lastly your'e all awesome!!!