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Mathematicians and physicists, do you get intimidated by equations?

  1. May 15, 2013 #1
    suppose you are just about to read a book about some new mathematical subject.

    but you didn't start at page one. instead you open up to the middle of the book.

    and of course in that page you see lines upon lines of equations and symbols.

    do you get intimidated?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2013 #2
    No. Why would I?

    That's pretty much the way I do read math texts (not quite at random; I peruse the index for the parts that I care about and open to those, then back search if I encounter terms or concepts I'm not familiar with).
  4. May 15, 2013 #3
    I do get intimidated if I do that. I always like to read a book from page 1 and continue on. I don't feel comfortable if I just start in the middle of the book, unless I know the subject already.

    Of course, intimidated doesn't mean I put the book down. It usually motivates me to understand it.
  5. May 15, 2013 #4
    Whenever I do that I get excited because it looks intense :P
    I tell myself I'm going to be able to understand it soon. Then I start the book. Like micromass I like to start on page 1. But I do look ahead just to see what I will be learning
  6. May 15, 2013 #5
    Not really, but when I'm just starting a new problem that seems difficult I sometimes get intimidated by it.
  7. May 15, 2013 #6


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    I identify with this more so than what was stated in the OP. If the problem looks difficult / challenging and I am just starting it, I immediately get very scared.
  8. May 15, 2013 #7


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    I'm far from a mathematician but unknown equations and symbols makes me more curious than intimidated.Of course there's a point where you seriously lack the background necessary to even try to understand them , in that case you just tell yourself "one day I'll understand them" and move on to more self-teachable material.

    What is more likely to intimidate me is if I'm starting a problem , understand all the notations , and struggle to understand it anyway.
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  9. May 15, 2013 #8
    I used to, but I think my astrophysics class cured that somehow. I used to look at some of the stuff wannabenewton talks about...and even his signature and I would think "holy living hell." But now when I look at his signature I feel like it makes sense...even though I have not the slightest idea of its application :biggrin:

    One equation that really intimidated me just upon sight was the equation for the nuclear energy generation rate for the proton-proton chain. But once I learned how it is applied, I could not believe how easy it was to understand.
  10. May 15, 2013 #9


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    I think "sweet in just 200 pages I'll know all this stuff"

    Then 10 pages later I never read the book again :/ but that's a motivational issue
  11. May 16, 2013 #10
  12. May 16, 2013 #11


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    I have changed it for your viewing pleasure trololol (as random as the equation may seem, it is actually quite important in proving a theorem that allows you to then construct the most general form of the metric tensor for a stationary, axisymmetric space-time whose axial and time-like killing vector fields satisfy a few specific conditions).
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  13. May 16, 2013 #12

    Well looking at this one....
    it looks like it has something to do with either loops or matrices, probability functions (due to ψ), and spatial distance :biggrin:
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  14. May 16, 2013 #13


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    It's my order number from starbucks loolz

    Have you tried randomly flipping to a page in a QFT book? I did and I was like O.O and then I was like T_T and then I was like X.X
  15. May 16, 2013 #14

    no I haven't but if that happened to you, I'm sure I'd be like x_X
  16. May 17, 2013 #15


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    X_x x_x x_X >.< >.> <.< ^.^ V.V ... ok I'll stop now (yes I'm that bored lol)
  17. May 17, 2013 #16
    lololol V.V
  18. May 17, 2013 #17


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    I love equations, and I love textbooks. There's something wondrous about having so much information available. I love having hard copies of textbooks. It's tremendously fun to be able to open up a book and learn.
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