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Number Theory in physics?

  1. Aug 30, 2012 #1
    This semester I decided to take elementary number theory instead of intro to philosophy.

    While I so far am enjoying the class, I'm a physics major, and am looking to pursue research in gravity later down the road (only a freshman, so that's far away).

    The description for the course: This course introduces the basic concepts of number theory including the Euclidean algorithm, congruences, number-theoretic functions, and the Chinese remainder theorem.

    My question is: Would any of these topics come up at in gravity, or any other field in physics?

    Thanks for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2012 #2
    Not very likely, but who knows. There are some theories that describe space as a finite lattice, so number theory could have some implications there.
  4. Aug 30, 2012 #3


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    It is not really widespread, but there are some people working on the connection between quantum physics, especially quantum optics and number theory.

    Have a look at the research web page of Wolfgang Schleich at the university of Ulm (http://www.physik.uni-ulm.de/quan/research/nth.html) and check some of the publications linked there. He has done some interesting research on what the Gauss sum has to do with the particle-in-a-box problem and how the Riemann zeta function is connected to the thermal phase state of an anharmonic oscillator. However, I am not aware of direct applications in terms of research on gravity.
  5. Sep 2, 2012 #4
    That is a pretty cool :).

    Thanks for the help!
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