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Phys and Maths

  1. Oct 1, 2006 #1
    I think everyone would agree that physicists often need to use very difficult mathematics to understand physical idea.

    how about the converse? How much physics do we, (mathematicians), need to know in order to understand Mathematics?

    Personally, I think Newtonian Mechanic helps me to understand Calculus, Lagrangian Mechanic helps me to understand Calculus of Variation, and etc. Many difficult ideas in Vector and Tensor Calculus were explained with physical aspect.

    I want to know how much Phys I should study further for a career in professional mathematician! Your personal experience is very appriciated.

    Thx You
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2006 #2


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    obviously if your'e heading to pure mathematics then none.
    but if you want applied maths or theoretical physics, most of your courses will be in physics.
  4. Oct 2, 2006 #3


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    I'd say that applied maths is more to do with general concepts, eg. methods for solving particular problems.

    `Physics' is a specific application - and as you go deeper into a particular area of physics, that specialisation increases.
  5. Oct 2, 2006 #4


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    yes, correct.
    but those who take applied maths, dont they need some course in physics.
    for example calculus of variations as far as i know is an applied maths field and most of the questions include physics concepts such as concepts from mechanics like velocity.

    so i would agree it depends on your specialisation.
  6. Oct 3, 2006 #5
    Math is a language for physicists, not the other way around. Physicists depend on math, the mathematicians have to supply it.
  7. Oct 6, 2006 #6
    I agree on that totally, this is why I want to know how much Phys I should know to work with Physicists.
  8. Oct 6, 2006 #7
    What if my specialisation is in Modern Analysis. Should I spend sometime on relativity?
  9. Oct 7, 2006 #8
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