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How much maths in a theoretical physics degree?

  1. Aug 28, 2011 #1
    I am soon to apply for either theoretical physics, theoretical physics with maths, or joint honours - maths and physics year 1 and then transfer to theoretical physics.

    Only just finished A levels and unsure of the math content in a theoretical physics degree. At the moment I am more or less certain that I am more passionate about physics, however with only A levels I do not think I am in a position to say for sure?

    With the joint honours option in year 1, would I miss out on any physics and is the maths always relevant to the physics? Or does this seem like the better option as I will then be in a better position to judge how passionate I am about maths.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2011 #2


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    I'm not sure how things work in your university but generally this would be my approach:

    focus on physics, then fill up the remaining timeslots in a regular schedule with fundamental math course (but not so fundamental that they become a waste of time and money), then invest in advanced math textbooks for reference.

    this is if you are primarily interested in physics, if you prefer maths then it is a whole different story...
  4. Aug 28, 2011 #3
    I've not done a theoretical physics degree but I have done a straight physics one, and there was a hell of a lot of maths, there's no getting away from it. I can only imagine a theoretical physics degree being even heavier on the mathematics. That's not to say it won't be manageable though.
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