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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.
     
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