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Programs If math and physics research had a baby...

  1. Jan 24, 2017 #1
    Hello. Next fall I shall be applying to graduate programs in the fall. I will be graduating with undergrad degrees in both physics and math. This has made it difficult for me to figure out where to go from here. I am hoping to get some insight of what research fields would be a good fit for me.

    My attraction to physics is I love learning more about the fundamental nature of our world and learning about how things work. My attraction to math is I love solving problems in the structure of rigorous math. I see it as a powerful tool because it often produces general case answers that speak more about the fundamental nature of things rather than specific cases.

    My favorite courses have been quantum mechanics and real analysis.

    I'm not sure if mathematical theoretical physics or something like applied math. I'd love to hear your input.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2017 #2
    Although I'm not an expert in either field, I would say go theoretical physics. You get the best of both worlds: Intense math that relates to the universe. Obviously, though, you could apply math to basically any form of physics.
  4. Jan 24, 2017 #3
    There are mathematical physics programs in some graduate math departments.
  5. Jan 25, 2017 #4


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    And vice versa. It's really hard to tell which branch of mathematics is not used in physics. Maybe logic and number theory, but the latter is already on the brink. I once thought cohomology theory as purely mathematics, then I saw cosmology.
  6. Jan 25, 2017 #5


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    In some departments you can be coadvised by someone in the other department. For example, a physics student could have a secondary advisor in math. I think it may also work the other way around, but it depends on the programs. A lot of physics programs will let you work with someone in another department without any problems as long as you complete the degree requirements.
  7. Jan 28, 2017 #6
    If you like quantum mechanics and real analysis, I'd suggest you go for a math department rather than a physics department.
  8. Feb 7, 2017 #7
    I appreciate all the feed back.
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