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Physics vs Mathematics books

  1. Jul 16, 2014 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I'm very tempted to learn more about physics but the problem occurs when I'm about to choose from two books, one regarding physics and the other maths only. What exactly should I do in order to become good at physics?

    Should I go through the maths book (which I think is harder than physics) or the physics book which also includes maths but it contains mostly physical formulas describing the universe?

    What would you do in this kind of situation?

    Help is very appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2014 #2
    The math is actually the easier part of the story. It's the physical intuition that is hard to get and which is very important. It's sometimes very easy to solve a problem mathematically, but interpreting the result or setting up the problem is usually much harder.

    If you want to do physics, then you should absolutely go through the physics books. Reading pure mathematics books is usually not directly relevant to the physics. Only read them if you get annoyed at how the physics books butcher the math and if you want to see how the math should actually be done. But if you're happy (for example) to accept that a delta function exists and has this properties, then there is no need for math books. It is perfectly possible to get to a very specialized level in physics without reading a pure math book.

    Please take all comments on "physics books butcher the math" to this thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=4799641
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  4. Jul 17, 2014 #3
    Thank you very much for the help.

    I will just stick with the physics book instead as I'm actually finding it to be more satisfying.
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