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Mathematics vs Physics

  1. Feb 1, 2006 #1
    What is the difference between Mathematics and Physics?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2006 #2

    JasonRox

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    Is this even worth answering?

    There is a big difference between the two, so if you can't see that difference maybe you should be studying someth...
     
  4. Feb 1, 2006 #3
    "so if you can't see that difference maybe you should be studying someth..."

    Mabey that is why I am here.......... .................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    Yes, I am currently talking algebra classes at the local college. I have been looking for a bigger difference or better explanation other than the " one deals with the physical and one dose not need to" answer.
     
  5. Feb 1, 2006 #4

    Pengwuino

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    Well there isn't much to say about the differences. Math is just math, it doesn't need physics to exist, its simply counting numbers ... along with a lot more complex things. Physics, on the other hand, is the modeling of the physical world around us. Physics uses mathematics to describe the world around us.
     
  6. Feb 1, 2006 #5
    math relies on a set of postulates and logic to prove something, where as physicist use experimental results to "prove" something
     
  7. Feb 1, 2006 #6
    That isn't really correct either- alot of phyics is proved theoreticly without experimental data. Proved using mathmathiimatics.
     
  8. Feb 1, 2006 #7

    Pengwuino

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    Well something is never really proven in physics until an experiment confirms it and even at that, its never 100% proven.
     
  9. Feb 1, 2006 #8

    JasonRox

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    Well, you have Applied and Theoritical Physics... don't forget that.
     
  10. Feb 2, 2006 #9

    cepheid

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    Ummm...no. Physical theories are formulated mathematically to describe the physical world. That doesn't mean that anything has been "proved" about physics though. If they are good theories, then they should be predictive, i.e. one should be able to go out and do an experiment that may or may not bear out the predictions of the theory. If it does, then that lends credence to the theory. On the other hand, if it the experimental results are inconsistent with the theoretical predictions, the theory is scrapped, even though it was mathematically correct and self-consistent. I hope that this illustrates the difference between science and mathematics.
     
  11. Feb 2, 2006 #10

    dextercioby

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    I can't tell you that, but i can tell you the similarity between Theoretical Physics and Mathematics: they have isomorphic Lie algebras...:tongue2:

    Daniel.
     
  12. Feb 2, 2006 #11
    "they have isomorphic Lie algebras..."

    Way over my head. O.k. so Physics is the modeling of the physical world. Mathematics deals with theories and logic to prove something. Once you get into Theoretical Physics then you start to blur the line between the two. Is this correct?:confused:
     
  13. Feb 2, 2006 #12
    Mathematics and Physics are two different classes you can enrol into.
    The goals are the same. Make sure you pass the exams.
    The contents will surely be abit of this and abit of that.
     
  14. Feb 2, 2006 #13

    matt grime

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    Theoretical physics is still a model of the physical world, it is just one that is not necessarily testable by experiments (though it might become so later).


    Mathematics is the study of maths, phyics the study of physics, there really is no nice absolute clean line drawn between the two, and no nice set of rules for saying what either one is (we can usually say what it isn't). But as someone once said: i might not be able to define it but i know it when i see it.
     
  15. Feb 2, 2006 #14
    Very nice question !! I'm answering as a physicist, the answer is that there is no different in fact, because the physics is called the in past the mathematics of the nature, and in this century we see that mathematics has become bigger and bigger and reached a very giant levels, thats why they spreaded them into 2 parts named physics and mathematics,

    and if you can observe this, every physics scientist is a mathematics scientist also, like Gauss, Airy, Fresnel, ... and too many others, while you can't see or in little cases that chemistry people aren't friends with maths or physics, and the one who hate mathematics will hate also physics

    AND TAKE THIS FOR NOTE, THE PHYSICIST WHO HATE OR DON'T LIKE MATHEMATICS IS A LOOOOOOSER, AND CAN DO NOTHING WITH HIS SCIENCE :P thanks for reading my nonsense :P:P:P:P
     
  16. Feb 2, 2006 #15

    matt grime

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    I must protest, as a mathematician, that not all physicists are mathematicians. Using a subject does not make one a student or researcher of it. Frequently the need to distinguish between the two is unhelpful, and do not forget that we have the handy phrase mathematical physics. Is someone looking at open-closed conformal field theories doing maths or physics?

    But someone who experiments with, say, semiconductors is not in general attempting to prove anything about mathematics, nor contribute to the study of mathematics as a subject.
     
  17. Feb 2, 2006 #16
    what is "the study of mathematics"?
     
  18. Feb 2, 2006 #17
    I guess that mathematical ideas is just the study of relationships between numbers ,shapes, etc and does not nesessary go about to explain the physical world.

    where as physics just use math as tools that seem to fit and predict outcomes of the physical world
     
  19. Feb 2, 2006 #18
    where do these "numbers ,shapes, etc" come from?
     
  20. Feb 2, 2006 #19
    i guess they are abstrations of the physical world, like for example, i don't think it is possible to physically create a flawless circle but on an imaginary plane you can; and there is no such thing as an infinte plane in the world but math allows it to do geometry on and find proofs
     
  21. Feb 2, 2006 #20
    by imagining this plane, have i not created it?

    I do not believe that any bits of my brain is out of this world.
     
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