Main Question or Discussion Point
I kind of doubt that I have the intelligence to become a theorist but let's just pretend for a minute that I do. How much math would I need to learn? So far I've completed multivariable calculus and linear algebra and the only other math course that I'm required to do for my physics major is differential equations. But from what I understand to be a theorist you need to go beyond that and know some very advanced math. What courses specifically would I need to take? And does a theoretical physicist really need to understand those more advanced topics as well as a mathematician does or do they just need a more basic superficial understanding? One problem for me is that I really hate mathematical rigor and I'm not very interested in or very good at writing proofs. It all seems really tedious to me. Are those things essential to being a theoretical physicist? And do the people who became theorists usually have to take tons of math courses or can you learn the necessary math in your physics courses? Clearly I don't know much about it. I'm only in my first year of undergrad physics. But I'm trying to plan ahead so I have as many options available to me as possible in my future because right now I think it would be more interesting to be a theoretical physicist than an experimental physicist but I'm not sure if I actually have the ability to do it.