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How much is a major in math useful for theoretical physics?

  1. Apr 15, 2013 #1
    Title.

    I want to get a second degree (major) in something besides physics. If I would like to do theoretical physics (in any subfield of it, including mathematical physics), how much would a math major influence in my skills for developing the models?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2013 #2
    The utility will vary tremendously based on what you decide to take as a math major and what you are interested in in physics.

    Can you specify any further what your interests are?
     
  4. Apr 16, 2013 #3
    With theoretical physics, I'm interested in theoretical CM, theoretical ecology (which can be reforced by physics), mathematical physics, relativity, and that's like most I can remember now.

    In math I have only a little conceptual approach; besides analysis, I haven't done or learn much about several topics. However, as far as I know in concept I'm interested in analysis and topology.
     
  5. Apr 16, 2013 #4

    micromass

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    True.

    Also, don't neglect majors such as computer science or some engineering. Chances are pretty big that you'll have to find a job outside academia anyway, so such majors would be really helpful with that. And being able to program will also be very helpful when doing physics research.

    I guess what I'm saying is that a math major would be nice. But it would be nicer if you would just take some extra math and programming classes.

    That said, if you're into hard mathematical physics, then knowing math well is indispensable.
     
  6. Apr 16, 2013 #5
    That's what I've considered too as a second major, just as a backup in case of not making it into academia, it's quite a long journey up to there, but I need to start taking courses for both majors if I don't want to waste time.
     
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