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Relevant Math Topics Ideal For Understanding Quantum Mechanics/Spectroscopy

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hey I'm in my first year of science and I plan on self studying for the majority of my undergrad experience.
I plan on going for a double mmajor math/phys

I like learning both (and chem too) and I want to know which mathematical concepts I would benefit from mastering before i began studying quantum mechanics.
I also wonder whether mastering classical mechanics has any advantages to someone who doesn't want to engineer large macroscopic systems.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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At the very least, I would say Multivariable Calculus and an introductory Linear Algebra course. You can *almost* wing the rest. An introductory course on differential equations would also be good (although according to a theoretical chem professor I know, "I've never had to use diff eq since I studied it in college.")

Once you have the linear algebra down, it's probably worthwhile to look into group theory: it really makes it easier to tackle chemical problems in quantum mechanics. This is something you could probably teach yourself with the right textbook, e.g. "Group Theory and Chemistry" by David M. Bishop.

As far as classical mechanics go, an intermediate classical mechanics course would definitely be advantageous to gain familiarity with the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics.

In short: study as much mathematics as you possibly can because it can never hurt! :)
 
  • #3
thank you ever so much !
 

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