- #1

Waxbear

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In about 4 hours (yes i realize this i last minute) i have to choose whether I want to take a course called "Computer Science for physicists" or "Analytical Mechanics". Both are 7.5 ECTS courses.

"CS for physicists" focus ONLY on the MATLAB suite and in-depth knowledge of the MATLAB language. It also briefly covers general procedures in making a program, such as efficiency, testing, debugging etc.

Analytical Mechanics is about, well.. Analytical Mechanics. Using generalized coordinates to re-write the equations of motion as Lagrangian equations. Canonical variables. Hamiltonian equations of motion, and transformation of generalized coordinates. The course also briefly covers Chaos and non-linear dynamic systems. The course also covers the history behind the development from Newtonian Mechanics to Analytical Mechanics and how this led to QM, which we will also be having next year.

I would love to hear some experiences, opinions and advice from someone who have progressed further down the academic path/career than i have. For example, is there anyone of these that is more important for an experimentalist/theoretical physicist? How important is it to know Analytical Mechanics vs. MATLAB etc.