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Hello,

I'm currently going to the University of Alberta taking a double major in Mathematics & Physics (although I can still switch to an Honours Astrophysics degree, which I really want to do... but I think it would be specializing too quickly).

I'm essentially wondering how intertwined high-level Math is into Physics at the Graduate school and Post-doc research level. I'm absolutely fascinated by Pure Math and it's always neat when something overlaps into Physics, and while at the early undergraduate level it's easy to see "Pure Math" concepts in Multivariable Calculus applicable to Physics, but it seems to dwindle off as the math becomes more advanced. I want my career path to be in Physics and not a Mathematician, but I never want to stop learning Math (even if it has no overlap on the physical world whatsoever), so is there any sort of sub-field that would be perfect for me? My main interests from the Physics side of things are: Space Science (ionosphere modeling, atmospheric composition, etc. of the Earth and Exoplanets), the Interstellar Medium & Intergalactic Medium, and Experimental Plasma Physics.

Basically, given my described interests, what sort of graduate program for a PhD that is heavily math based will lead me towards a Physics career? Theoretical Physics? Astrophysics? Mathematical Physics?... the list can go on and on and I really need help distinguishing what the best path for me would be as there are so many sub-disciplines that I am interested in, but know I want to specialize in a place that I will continue to learn Math, not just use undergraduate level math techniques!

Thanks if you actually read this, let me know if you can give me any pointers or advice.

I'm currently going to the University of Alberta taking a double major in Mathematics & Physics (although I can still switch to an Honours Astrophysics degree, which I really want to do... but I think it would be specializing too quickly).

I'm essentially wondering how intertwined high-level Math is into Physics at the Graduate school and Post-doc research level. I'm absolutely fascinated by Pure Math and it's always neat when something overlaps into Physics, and while at the early undergraduate level it's easy to see "Pure Math" concepts in Multivariable Calculus applicable to Physics, but it seems to dwindle off as the math becomes more advanced. I want my career path to be in Physics and not a Mathematician, but I never want to stop learning Math (even if it has no overlap on the physical world whatsoever), so is there any sort of sub-field that would be perfect for me? My main interests from the Physics side of things are: Space Science (ionosphere modeling, atmospheric composition, etc. of the Earth and Exoplanets), the Interstellar Medium & Intergalactic Medium, and Experimental Plasma Physics.

Basically, given my described interests, what sort of graduate program for a PhD that is heavily math based will lead me towards a Physics career? Theoretical Physics? Astrophysics? Mathematical Physics?... the list can go on and on and I really need help distinguishing what the best path for me would be as there are so many sub-disciplines that I am interested in, but know I want to specialize in a place that I will continue to learn Math, not just use undergraduate level math techniques!

Thanks if you actually read this, let me know if you can give me any pointers or advice.

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