Help me complete my knowledge

  • Thread starter Donaldson
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  • #1
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Hello, this is my first post. Anyway, when I was in high school I did not have my priorities in order so I missed out on my math education. About a year ago or more, I started reading a brief history of time. Now today I have read all the hawking books as well as several that covered specifically relativity, Quantum mechanics, String theory, M-theory etc. I have grown to love these subjects and I need to relearn basic math in order to go on to the complex math stuff so I can truly understand the subject. Is there a site or book that can dumb down the basics again so I can get a thorough refresher and move on to the really complex stuff? I am considering this as a degree choice and although I am good at math I forgot all the formulas and I am out of practice in general.
 

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  • #2
chiro
Science Advisor
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Hello, this is my first post. Anyway, when I was in high school I did not have my priorities in order so I missed out on my math education. About a year ago or more, I started reading a brief history of time. Now today I have read all the hawking books as well as several that covered specifically relativity, Quantum mechanics, String theory, M-theory etc. I have grown to love these subjects and I need to relearn basic math in order to go on to the complex math stuff so I can truly understand the subject. Is there a site or book that can dumb down the basics again so I can get a thorough refresher and move on to the really complex stuff? I am considering this as a degree choice and although I am good at math I forgot all the formulas and I am out of practice in general.
Hey there Donaldson and welcome to the forums.

If you really want to understand string theory, you need to get up to speed on a lot of math. When you hear about university math most of the math you learn in an undergraduate course is usually 17th/pre-17th century math up till say late 19th/late 20th century math.

The graduate courses usually focus on modern math which is 20th century.

On top of the math you need to be well versed in physics.

Although this doesn't directly deal with string theory per se, but the book by Roger Penrose called "The Road To Reality - The Complete Guide to the Laws of The Universe" is a good book that goes through the actual math and concepts in physics, but in a way that isn't completely dumbed down, and not filled with a plethora of greek symbols and complex proofs. In fact its over a thousand pages and it leads the reader up to a chapter that is about string theory. It is 1100 pages so its a long read, but if you want to get a better understanding of physics without becoming a PhD, this might be a good book for you.
 
  • #3
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Sounds like it may be a long read for me but I got nothing better to do while at work. I will definitely check it out
 
  • #4
chiro
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Sounds like it may be a long read for me but I got nothing better to do while at work. I will definitely check it out
The guy that wrote the book, Roger Penrose, is a very qualified mathematician and theoretical physicist. He's done a lot of collaboration with Stephen Hawking and is known for his singularity theorems and also for his Twistor Theory of Space-time. There are books on these but they are at a very high level.

I have the book and in the Acknowledgements he says it took about eight years to complete and if you get the book it definately shows that there is a lot of effort put in to make it concise, comprehensive, and also accessible to a wide audience.
 

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