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Is it possible to love math and hate physics?

  1. Oct 19, 2011 #1
    I am a mechanical engineering student and I have realized that i do not like physics as much as i though i did. I seem to have a brain freeze everytime i start a physics problem. I only did a degree with physics because my mom is a physics teacher.
    I dont mind math and i love finance, but i seem to hate physics. In Engineering, people say that they hate it because every problem seems like a math problems to them, for me, i hate it because every problem seems to be a physics problem, i dont mind the math...?!
    I am taking fluid mechanics and thermo dynamics and just plain on dynamics and it all seems like physics brain fry!
    So is it possible to love math and hate physics at the same time?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2011 #2


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    it is, but it is wise to try to recover from that state. math is basically physics made precise. thus raw physics is hard to understand for those of us used to precise statements. but physics is useful for those of us wanting to understand where the ideas for the math came from. what i really hate is a lecture from a physicist who takes all the physics for granted and tries to show off how mathematical he can be. he teaches me nothing that way. i don't to hear about differentiable manifolds and tensors from a physicist, i want to hear why manifolds and tensors are the right model for the physics.
  4. Oct 20, 2011 #3
    Have a chat with "two quant" and other "finance gurus" here about the best courses you might take for finance! I'd guess... as much programming as possible, but that's just a guess... Given that you love it (how?), and given the wages, it seems like a no brainer. When you get a job, buy your mum good presents, teachers don't earn what they deserve. As you don't actually love Maths then I'm not sure mahwonk's advice is for you...
  5. Oct 20, 2011 #4
    It's definitely possible and from what I've seen, fairly common. Physics seems pretty loose in comparison to math and that don't fly with someone that needs tight structure. I've seen way more people change to math from physics than the opposite. The reason was usually to meet the needs of that structure.
  6. Oct 20, 2011 #5
    IDK, i have always found math less annoying than Physics. Ive acctually walked into a math class with a smile whereas physics has always been like, damn now i got physics.
    Maybe its just my parents, they have always sort off instilled in me that if i didnt to engineering i would be a worthless human. Which is why i have pushed through Phys 1, 2 ,3 and instrumental physics without enjoying any of them.
  7. Oct 20, 2011 #6
  8. Oct 21, 2011 #7
    Physics is just applied math. Hand and glove.

    Love math and hate physics?? Not likely, unless the math skills aren't up to par for the level of physics you are doing.
  9. Oct 21, 2011 #8
    I don't discount the possibility...

    I prefer mathematics to physics, although I do enjoy studying both.
  10. Oct 21, 2011 #9
    Of course it is, many of my math major friends are either completely disinterested in physics or put off by it because they think physicists are messy and unrigorous. One guy said he thinks educational subjects are games, he isn't interested in playing the game of physics but he loves the game of pure mathematics so that's what he does.
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