Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Math classes to self study physics

  1. Jun 29, 2011 #1
    I will be attempting to get a PhD in statistics eventually though I have yet to get my BS, however, in the mean time I have a few electives I need to fill and I want them to help me in my self study of relativity and quantum mechanics. I will not be surpassing a Master's knowledge of these areas and I probably won't even get that far, but I would like to know which math classes will give me the best grounding as I read up on physics in my spare time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2011 #2
    Any and all math is always nice to have in your toolkit when it comes to many things in general.

    For Special Relativity: linear algebra can be nice (i know its even formulated in chapter 6.9 by Friedberg's Linear Algebra axiomatically). Usually the second half of a second year pure math course will cover enough in inner spaces to help out.

    For General Relativity: Differential Geometry is -the- math that is used.

    For Quantum Mechanics: Linear Algebra again (used to be called Matrix Mechanics in Heisenberg's formulation), complex analysis, functional analysis, and stats.

    Like anything else, its good to get a background of these topics before delving into them directly if you're not used to a 'pure' mathematical approach.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook