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Pre calc

  1. Jan 31, 2013 #1
    While my math struggles continue. I find my self asking if this is the right major I want to chose (astrophysics) i'm in precalculus college level lol.. We are doing domains of comp functions.. and I find it all pointless.. Im very good at algebra and trig...

    Is this fog (x) stuff really used much when it comes to physics?

    I love astronomy witch got me into physics.. I want to research and learn about the universe and space.. Not domains of functions.. Are domains even needed realistically when it comes to astrophysics? Maybe some mathematicians can help me out. When I look at formulas and equations like gravity, gen relativity. They seem so simple e=mc^2 etc.. And all the formulas look like sqrt over a fraction etc.. Simple stuff, so why do I need to learn domains and functions. ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    The language of physics is mathematics, so if you intend to major in astrophysics, you will need to take a lot a math classes along the way. Mathematical equations and functions are used to model physical phenomena of all kinds.

    What you're doing right now is learning the basics of mathematics, similar to what you would be doing to learn how to play an instrument or to become proficient in some athletic endeavor. To become a good musician or good athlete you have to put in many hours at the basic skills.
  4. Jan 31, 2013 #3
    It's common misconception that relativity is all about basic formulas like E=mc^2 and things like that. Infact the functions that you are learning right now are way too simple to be useful for any real world problem. When you progress you will have to do much more complicated stuff with functions and even deal with functions of n variables. You will have to understand abstract objects like tensors and such.

    You realy have to understand that math is very important for physics. You need to find some motivation that will show you how useful it is in realiy. The universe is very hard thing to understand. The only known way to try to understand it is mathematics.

    I think that when you start learning the basics of the real calculus like limits, derivatives and integrals and start to solve basic physics problems about moving objects you will see that all this stuff feels very natural.
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