Physics with Math minor

  • #1
neosoul
29
7
Should I take abstract algebra. I was going to double major but I don't want to be at school for more than four years or pay for extra classes. Therefore, I decided minor in mathematics instead. I registered for abstract algebra before I decided to just minor in mathematics. I have a hard time registering for classes since the physics department hired a new adviser which is why I haven't gotten out of it yet. So, should I stay in the class? Will it be helpful for a physics major?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
13,722
7,720
Yes its used in physics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_algebra

In physics, groups are used to represent symmetry operations, and the usage of group theory could simplify differential equations. In gauge theory, the requirement of local symmetry can be used to deduce the equations describing a system. The groups that describe those symmetries are Lie groups, and the study of Lie groups and Lie algebras reveals much about the physical system; for instance, the number of force carriers in a theory is equal to dimension of the Lie algebra, and these bosons interact with the force they mediate if the Lie algebra is nonabelian.[2]
 
  • #3
Dishsoap
1,016
309
I also took abstract algebra as a physics major, and group theory is useful in some upper-level courses. However, if possible, I believe there are other courses that are more relevant such as discrete mathematics, differential equations, and real analysis.
 
  • #4
neosoul
29
7
I also took abstract algebra as a physics major, and group theory is useful in some upper-level courses. However, if possible, I believe there are other courses that are more relevant such as discrete mathematics, differential equations, and real analysis.

I know, but Abstract Algebra is the only math class I could get into. My school is so small that most math and physics courses only have one section each. I've been looking for reasons to stay in Abstract Algebra. I think I found a book that might help me. It's entitled "Group Theory and Quantum Mechanics" and was written by Michael Tinkham. Based on the reviews, it's very helpful for understanding the relationship behind abstract algebra and quantum mechanics.
 

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