Necessary maths for undergraduate physics

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  • #1
maxim07
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I’m starting a physics BSc in the Uk in September, just brushing up on some maths skills before. To speed the process up I’m wondering what maths is not absolutely necessary.

I‘m brushing up on all pure ,ash’s and mechanics, but statistics is included in the UK A level too which I am not too strong at.

I’m assuming a knowledge of basic probability, probability distributions (normal and binomial distributions are covered in the a level) and a knowledge of measures of central tendency, spread and correlation are going to be necessary.

what about things like box and whisker plots, histograms and cumulative frequency diagrams, will a knowledge of these ever be needed. Also what about hypothesis testing?
 

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  • #2
pbuk
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Is there a summer reading list for your course? Follow that because it will be tailored to fit in with your first-term courses.

Hypothesis testing is really important, but because stats content varies between A-levels this is likely to be well covered in the first term.

Read and/or watch Feynman. Learn how to code, in Python and ideally Matlab. Try to keep up/get into a habit of study, recreation, sleep and taking care of yourself.
 
  • #3
maxim07
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Hypothesis testing is really important, but because stats content varies between A-levels this is likely to be well covered in the first term.
Thanks, I’ll have a look for a reading list. I’m guessing this applies not just to statistics but all of the A-level maths, and you are given time to review ideas learned at a level not thrown in the deep end?

Also, I’m assuming that hypothesis testing and data representation is mainly going to be important in lab work which is all coursework based. But what statistics is going to be useful in first year quantum mechanics?
 
  • #4
MidgetDwarf
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Calculus, ODE, PDE, Complex Analysis, Geomtry/Trig, Linear Algebra. Probability and it's distributions. Should serve you well.

I am not sure what one learns in math methods course, since I dueled majored in Math (pure) and Physics. So I read the applications as I needed them. But, essentially for those majoring in physics, you pick up what you need, but the above topics are the essential one needs to complete a BS in Physics.
 
  • #5
gwnorth
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I am not sure what one learns in math methods course, since I dueled majored in Math (pure) and Physics.
At my son's school Mathematical Physics I is predominantly PDE. Mathematical Physics II is a combination of Complex Analysis and Stats/Probability. There are separate courses for Calc I-III, Lin Alg I, and ODE.
 

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