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Pure math also used in physics

  1. Nov 8, 2011 #1
    Hello. I'm a physics major. But I'm really interested in maths.

    Lately I've been neglecting physics for Set Theory by Jech & Hrbacek, math is just awesome. Majoring in math is not possible (I already switched major twice). So yeah, I'm a bit indecisive but this time its more of an interest/serious hobby not indecision.

    I don't want to neglect physics so I want to study math which is relevant. The way math is taught in a physics class is crazy (I become confused constantly) and most math I'll be taking are math methods courses in the physics dept.

    What math should I study which would at least help me later on in physics? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2011 #2
    "What math should I study which would at least help me later on in physics?"

    I'm not sure there's any math that wouldn't help you, depending on what you want to specialise in (by the sounds of it, theoretical / computational physics). Set theory and other discrete math has been part of my required curriculum (built into statistics classes mind you). It is useful though, especially if you are ever writing software as you'll find that computers don't deal with continuum mathematics very gracefully, so a discrete version is a necessity :P

    Specifically, I've found basic calculus, analysis (especially series), differential equations (and also partial differential equations), vector calculus, linear algebra and statistics directly applicable in most of physics that I've studied so far.

    "The way math is taught in a physics class is crazy"

    For sure, I personally can't grok math nearly the same without rigourous proofs (I can't remember lists, but I can remember the "route" of a proof). This has made my life very hard this year with a number of "math for physics" modules that amount to formula lists and variable definitions only :yuck:
  4. Nov 8, 2011 #3
    Depends how far you are wanting to go, but perhaps differential geometry if you plan on delving deep into Relativity.
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