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Minimal Surfaces

  1. Jul 10, 2012 #1
    What mathematics are necessary for understanding and using minimal surfaces particularly in quantum field theory? As of now I have a very limited mathematical background as I will be taking Calc III, Diff Eq, and Linear Algebra next semester but I hope to get into a quantum field theory research group by the end of the summer.
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  3. Jul 10, 2012 #2


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    Hey JPBenowitz.

    I'm taking a quick look at a book on Minimal Surfaces, and it looks like the pre-requisites include some differential geometry. This in the first chapter and afterwards they jump straight into the minimal surfaces.
  4. Jul 10, 2012 #3
    Do you think I could jump into Differential Geometry while doing Diff Eq or should I wait?
  5. Jul 10, 2012 #4


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    You could if you have a good enough foundation in Multivariable and Vector calculus, but if it interferes with your DE course, I'd wait until the course is over.

    If you plan on doing stuff with General Relativity, then I would wait until you've done some PDE's first and for that you need a solid background in DE's.

    Maybe what you could do is first familiarize yourself with the tensor theory and get used to the notation and how the generalized co-ordinate system theory works before you look at differential geometry with the theorems and things like Gauss-Bonnet and curvature. You need to understand this before you touch the more formal stuff.

    You should be able to do tensor theory with the Multivariable and Vector calculus background so if you are keen just get a good book on tensor theory: different people use it including mathematicians, physicists (and other scientists) as well as engineers so there are plenty of different perspectives that should suit you to choose from.
  6. Jul 10, 2012 #5


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    Complex variables, differential geometry, PDE's (elliptic).
  7. Jul 10, 2012 #6
    Thank you for your advice!
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