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Courses Hopelessly indecisive physics student -- help please

  1. Apr 27, 2016 #1
    Hello PF I'm a regular lurker here :whale: nice to have the chance to make a topic so please respond! even if you don't have much good advice I'm sure you can dig in

    I'm going into my third year BSc physics next year and I'm trying to choose my courses, problem is I'm very indecisive so I want to get it right. I'm interested in theory (not completely useless in the lab but it's not my strength for sure,) I loved the QM module last semester and I enjoy maths so this the direction I want to go in.

    I'm going to be taking advanced qm the as option for the first semester but the 2nd is more tricky. I am considering:
    general relativity: I'm not interested in astronomy so this might not be the best option but I'm drawn to it as it looks interesting from the point of view of the maths involved, but I'm assured it won't be easy.

    Integral transforms: I like the sound of this because I took a complex variables course last semester and liked that a lot, however it seems more useful for engineering/applied maths than physics... but maybe I'm wrong.

    Intro to Hilbert Spaces: this is taught as a pure maths module so I might find this difficult. I know that this is important for the foundations of qm, but the question is if I went on to further study in QM would it even help if I could prove the spectral theorem etc

    There is also a course in more general modern physics including variational methods, perturbation, Lagrangian mechanics and relativistic electrodynamics. But I'm not sure about this as I like courses which are a bit more self-contained.

    So I would like to know, what course is not worth missing. Thankyou
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2016 #2
    Once you get to grad school, you will focus on your strengths.

    Focus on your weaknesses now.
  4. Apr 27, 2016 #3


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    If you are truly a regular lurker here, then this question that I'm asking you will sound familiar, because I've asked this numerous times whenever I encounter a question like yours: Have you asked your academic advisor, and what did he/she had to say? If you haven't, why not?

  5. Apr 27, 2016 #4
    yes I will be meeting my tutor next week to talk about it, Zz, but more importantly, which course is best to take? maybe some other physics forum will know...
  6. Apr 27, 2016 #5
    There is no course that is best to take. All depends on your preferences, your goals, etc. Just pick the course that you think is the most enjoyable to you. If you have a more specific question other than "which is best", then I'll be happy to answer it. But as of now, your question is really too vague for us..
  7. Apr 28, 2016 #6
    you're right micro, sorry I'll be more specific

    I'm probably going to go for either of the two maths courses, integral transforms or hilbert spaces. Obviously these are very different choices however. I am leaning towards the integral transforms because I have the idea that this is the kind of maths that might come in useful as well as feature some complex variable theory which I found interesting when I last encountered it. I want to know if it really is that useful though when all things considered you can just look it up in a table for a lot of transforms...

    The hilbert spaces course is tempting for me because I like quantum mechanics, so I think it might be relevant to my interests. However it might be that a pure course in hilbert spaces would be mostly completely irrelevant to quantum physics. And I would need to brush up on my analysis as I didn't take that module.

    I enjoy maths as I said but I don't find it easy, so if I pick a maths module I want to know that I might use what I learnt someday
  8. Apr 28, 2016 #7

    Dr Transport

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    The course in transforms would be much more useful than a course in the theory of Hilbert Spaces...... Transform theory is used in more areas of physics than Hilbert Spaces is....
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