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Groups and Symmetries

  1. Nov 14, 2007 #1
    Hi, I wanna take this course next term. One reason is because I think it will help me with mechanics, classical and quantum, which are taken next year at advanced level.

    The problem is I'm taking calc2 atm, and its a listed prereq for this group course. I got all the other prereq's, including linear alg 2 and abstract math intro(number fields and congruences). I don't know if asbtract algebra really requires calc, and my assumption is they want you to have calc 2 in order the have the proper mathematical maturity. Maybe I'm wrong, because I don't know a thing about abstract algebra aside from the bits from linear algebra. I always thought it logical to do algebra before the required calc, as its more fundamental. So can I take this course while concurrently taking calc 2?


    Course Desrp:
    Congruences and fields. Permutations and permutation groups. Linear groups. Abstract groups, homomorphisms, subgroups. Symmetry groups of regular polygons and Platonic solids, wallpaper groups. Group actions, class formula. Cosets, Lagrange’s theorem. Normal subgroups, quotient groups. Classification of finitely generated abelian groups. Emphasis on examples and calculations.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2007 #2
    Hang on if you are taking calc 2 currently, then how would you be taking this class conceuurently with calc 2? I don't really think there would be a problem with taking the two classes at the same time, however, because they are rather different in nature, and you will probably use almost nothing directly from calculus, so the only reason it is a prerequisite is probably to assure that you have the mathematical maturity.
  4. Nov 14, 2007 #3
    co-currently? lol

    next term id do algebra, calc2 is a year course which im doing now. and you sorta rephrased my question into an answer =P
  5. Nov 14, 2007 #4

    Chris Hillman

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    Howers, to state the obvious: you should verify your tentative conclusions with officials at your school. It seems that you gave an outline syllabus for the abstract algebra course but not for the groups and symmetries course. At a guess, the latter might require knowledge of differential equations, for example in order to treat a "flow" (the one parameter group of transformations generated by a vector field). For example, this is how Killing vector fields on some Riemannian manifold are related to the isometry group of the manifold. This is also how one defines the "symmetries" of a differential equation, or system of differential equations, e.g. Maxwell's equations (which gives an interesting group including the Lorentz group, which was more or less the genesis of relativistic physics).
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  6. Nov 15, 2007 #5
    Groups and Symmetries is the course title, but I'm pretty sure its a course on abstract algebra judging by the book we're using. In Canada, we don't use the term system (ie calc I, calc II, calc III), we do it by year, ie. calc 1 = calcI+calcII and calc2 = calcIII+vectorcalc.

    I asked the prof he said the course changes every year and he said some calc may be used...
  7. Nov 15, 2007 #6


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    Yeah right. I've never seen Calculus in a first course in Abstract Algebra.

    It's probably only for mathematical maturity.
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