- #1

Avaro667

- 52

- 8

Recently i have been thinking about the importance of math in physics . There are many times that i read books or papers that contain tons of hard math and yet i feel it doesn't really add that much to my understanding . On the other hand there are sources that provide a very good description of the physical situation , use a bit of algebra and a bunch of pictures and diagrams and seem much more intuitive and easier material to go through .

I remember for example taking a course in vector calculus just before taking any EM related course . But what i realised later on was that i could be introduced to the same ideas and understand the physical laws without knowing how to calculate say surface and volume integrals etc. Sure vector calculus provided the language to express problems in three dimensions but it was more messy than insightful .

Now i know that there are some areas like quantum mechanics where having a solid knowledge in linear algebra etc. is really helpful , but what's your experience ? Do you think an explanation that uses the least and simplest possible math is the best ?