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Is Abstract Algebra practical?

  1. Dec 2, 2011 #1
    I hear a lot that group theory is important to condensed matter physics. Does it have any practical use? Like if I were to do industry work in materials, would I ever use it? Is it important enough to take a full course on abstract algebra?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2011 #2
    I hope not!

    Joking aside, it is foundational to almost all of mathematics so, in my opinion, it is well worth understanding the basics - if only to deepen the context of all the other math you do. As to direct application in physics, crystallography or cryptography, I will leave comment to the more practically-minded among us.
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