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Physics Major/Math Minor

  1. Jul 17, 2006 #1
    I'm majoring in physics and getting a math minor. I have to take 3 upper division math classes to get the minor. I'm wondering which math classes I should look at taking that would be good for physics majors.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2006 #2
    I would think classes in vector field theory(think Stoke's theorem), partial differential equations, and numerical analysis/numerical methods would rank high under "applicability to physics" in general.

    Alternatively, differential geometry may be appropriate as well (in the context of general relativity) and also upper-level linear algebra (in the context of quantum mechanics)
  4. Jul 17, 2006 #3
    complex analysis if you don't cover it in a physics class. Otherwise, the best is probably differential equations (both ODE and PDE)
  5. Jul 23, 2006 #4
    if you haven't taken linear algebra, take that. preferrably a proof-based one.

    can't go wrong with complex variables and more differential equations, either.
  6. Jul 23, 2006 #5
    I would take linear algebra, ordinary DEs, and partial DEs.
  7. Jul 23, 2006 #6
    PDEs, Dynamical Systems, Numericals
  8. Jul 24, 2006 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    I assume you already have to take calculus (including multivariable) and ordinary differential equations as part of your physics major requirements. In that case I would pick linear algebra, complex variables, and either numerical methods (if you're into programming), partial differential equations, or group theory (if you're inclined towards theoretical physics).

    When I started grad school, I soon found out that I really wished I had been able to take a complex variables course as an undergraduate. My small college didn't offer one. But my first semester included an E&M course taught by an instructor who was really into conformal mapping for solving electrostatics problems. And in other courses I encountered integration in the complex plane. I ended up taking complex variables as one of my two required "cognate courses" (courses outside the physics department).
  9. Jul 26, 2006 #8

    i can honestly say that complex variables was my favorite math class i've ever taken.
  10. Jul 28, 2006 #9
    differential geometry, if your so inclined to get into general relativity
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