# Physics and Abstract Algebra

• Courses
My university offers two different two-semester sequences for learning abstract algebra, and I can't decide which one would be better for me, a physics major. Here are the two sequences and their course descriptions, copied and pasted from the university website:

Algebra 1: Theory of groups, Sylow theory, the structure of finite Abelian groups, ring theory, ideals, homomorphisms, and polynomial rings.
Algebra 2: Algebraic field extensions, Galois theory. Classification of finite fields. Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.
OR
Abstract Algebra I and Number Theory: Structure of the integers, congruences, rings, ring homomorphisms, ideals, quotient rings. A writing course with an emphasis on proofs.
Abstract Algebra II: Permutation groups, groups of transformations, normal subgroups, homomorphism theorems, modules. Principal ideal rings, unique factorization domains, noncommutative rings, rings of fractions, ideals.

Which one of these sequences would be the most beneficial for me (a physics major with aspirations to enter high energy physics) to take?

(It might be worth noting that the first sequence is an honors sequence, and as such, I would expect it to be taught in a smaller setting and I think it would be the harder of the two sequences.)

## Answers and Replies

Related STEM Academic Advising News on Phys.org
Staff Emeritus
2019 Award
You have started several threads on "Physics and XXX". Given that the potential range of XXX is enormous, what did your advisor say when you asked him or her? And why do you think our advice is any better?

You have started several threads on "Physics and XXX". Given that the potential range of XXX is enormous, what did your advisor say when you asked him or her? And why do you think our advice is any better?
I thought it would be most appropriate not to pepper my advisor with daily emails and questions before I’ve even met him in person. I also figured that a website full of ex and current physics majors would be able to help me with questions that pertain to majoring in physics.

Math_QED