Math for Physics | Learn to Interpret the Physical World

In summary, this book is a primer on the mathematics of physics and it is for physicists and mathematicians who want to understand physical principles.
  • #1
LouArnold
10
0
I have a degree in electrical engineering, but of some years ago.
For my own simple enjoyment, I wanted to learn the math of physics - specifically for cosmology. Key to my interest is the interpretation of the math in the physical world. In summary, what is the track in math topics?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Calculus and lots of it.
 
  • #3
FunkyDwarf said:
Calculus and lots of it.

Haha. That's a rather obvious answer, considering my degree. I'm sure that there is a more concise list. There has to be some one or some book that conveys what the math means in terms of a physical reality.

But considering that there has not been another answer to this, perhaps the question is poor. Explaining why or how its poor would be a help.

For those who at least looked at it - thanks. And to FunkyDwarf, a special thanks for responding.
 
  • #4
You won't need to use too much calculus (in the usual sense), actually, unless you think of the study of differentiable manifolds as generalization of calculus (in all honesty, it probably is, although I don't think many mathematicians think of it this way). A somewhat advanced introduction to the mathematics of cosmology is in Frankel's Geometry of Physics. The approach is very physics-oriented. If you wanted a more pure mathematics-oriented introduction, I would suggest Lee's Introduction to Smooth Manifolds or Jost's Riemannian Geometry and Geometric Analysis. All texts I mentioned are advanced in the sense that if you don't have a good pure mathematical background, you won't know what's going on, so if you never took such mathematically rigorous classes as Real/Complex Analysis or Topology as an EE major, you would need to go back and independently study these topics before looking into the books I suggested.
 
  • #5
phreak said:
You won't need to use too much calculus (in the usual sense), actually, unless you think of the study of differentiable manifolds as generalization of calculus (in all honesty, it probably is, although I don't think many mathematicians think of it this way). A somewhat advanced introduction to the mathematics of cosmology is in Frankel's Geometry of Physics. The approach is very physics-oriented. If you wanted a more pure mathematics-oriented introduction, I would suggest Lee's Introduction to Smooth Manifolds or Jost's Riemannian Geometry and Geometric Analysis. All texts I mentioned are advanced in the sense that if you don't have a good pure mathematical background, you won't know what's going on, so if you never took such mathematically rigorous classes as Real/Complex Analysis or Topology as an EE major, you would need to go back and independently study these topics before looking into the books I suggested.

Thanks, that makes sense. My background is in applied math, as befits engineers. But we covered Complex Analysis, but not topology or anything in the greater sense of pure math.
Perhaps I have too far to go to be realistically capable of catching up to most Masters level physics students.
 
  • #6
Hi LouArnold, I have a book that pretty well sums up what you want to know, it's called mathematics for physics and physicists by Walter Appel. It basically tell you the mathematical tools required to understand physical principles. :D
 

Related to Math for Physics | Learn to Interpret the Physical World

1. What is the importance of math in physics?

The language of physics is mathematics, and it is used to describe and understand the fundamental concepts and laws of the physical world. Without math, it would be impossible to accurately analyze and predict the behavior of objects and phenomena in the universe.

2. What math skills do I need to learn for physics?

To be successful in physics, you will need to have a strong foundation in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. It is also important to have a good grasp of mathematical concepts such as vectors, matrices, and differential equations.

3. Can I learn physics without being good at math?

While it is possible to have a basic understanding of physics without advanced math skills, a deeper understanding of the subject requires a strong mathematical background. Physics relies heavily on mathematical calculations and equations, so it is important to be comfortable with math in order to fully comprehend the concepts.

4. How can I improve my math skills for physics?

Practice is key when it comes to improving math skills for physics. It is important to work through problems and practice solving equations regularly. Seeking out additional resources such as textbooks, online tutorials, and study groups can also be helpful.

5. How can I apply math to real-world physics problems?

Math is essential for solving real-world physics problems. By understanding the mathematical concepts and equations, you can apply them to analyze and solve problems related to motion, forces, energy, and many other aspects of the physical world. Practice and familiarity with different types of problems will help you become more proficient in applying math to physics.

Similar threads

Replies
6
Views
486
Replies
2
Views
901
  • STEM Academic Advising
2
Replies
37
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
9
Views
1K
Replies
7
Views
1K
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
20
Views
4K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
804
Replies
16
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
8
Views
2K
Back
Top