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Maths needed for Road To Reality

  1. Feb 11, 2015 #1
    I am reading the book Road to Reality by Roger Penrose.

    However he goes over the maths so fast I don't understand it all, I am studying maths and Further maths and getting over 90% almost all the time so maths normally comes quite easily.

    What maths topics do I have to know - the contents doesn't really help with knowing what to look up. I would much rather watch a lecture on the topics and understand them in detail.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2015 #2


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    Where are you stuck at exactly ?
  4. Feb 11, 2015 #3
    I'd use it more as a supplement to studying things more seriously from other books. It's still useful that way. I still had a little trouble with it when I was starting graduate school, but now I can understand most of it pretty easily after a PhD. Still, for some of the physics stuff, I would have to get physics books out to really understand. It's basically PhD level to understand the whole book, I think, so you just have to take what you can from it.

    He does have some book recommendations. For the chapter on complex analysis, Penrose recommends the same thing I would, Visual Complex Analysis, written by a student of his. I'm not sure there are very good video lectures that cover all the topics. You'd be better off with books, I think.
  5. Feb 11, 2015 #4


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    Are you talking about the physics parts or did you have a little trouble understanding the maths parts as well ?
    @yup790 : You are probably stuck at the complex numbers stuff (complex analysis), at least that is where it got difficult for me on my first reading. This makes Visual Complex Analysis a good recommendation.
  6. Feb 11, 2015 #5
    Even the math, a little bit, when I started it after finishing my undergraduate degree. There's all that index notation and advanced some differential geometry stuff that I wasn't that familiar with when I started it.
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