Should I add a second major in Math?

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In summary, the speaker is considering adding a second major in Math to their undergraduate degree in Physics in order to specialize in three areas of interest: High Energy Theory, Condensed Matter Theory, and Quantum Optics. They are concerned about the usefulness of the additional courses and have found that none of the professors in the High Energy Theory area have an extensive background in mathematics. The speaker believes that a double major could help them understand physics better and may be necessary for certain areas of research. However, there may be a trade-off in terms of time and focus.
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GaugeSymmetry
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So I will soon be beginning an undergraduate degree in physics, going to a highly reputable university in Canada. My question is in regards to adding a second major in Math. I know that it's most likely to early for me to decide what area of physics I wan't to specialise in, but through lost of independent learning, and curiosity, I find my self interested in three main areas. High Energy Theory, Condensed Matter Theory, and Quantum Optics (particularly quantum information theory). Adding a second major means a slew of other courses, which I don't particularly mind, but I am concerned weather they will be of any use to me. I can definitely see courses like differential geometry, groups, rings, and complex analysis helping me out, but those are just a small number of courses that the second major would require. All of this got me thinking, so I checked the faculty website, and to my surprise, found that none of the professors in the High Energy theory area, had anything but the typical Bsc in physics. Most of the professors are older, so it could be that now one needs a more extensive background in order to enter those research areas, but I have been told that most if not all the mathematics required, is introduced in mathematical physics courses. What are your thoughts on this matter?
 
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Depends on what you want to do. There's a wide range of subjects and styles, from very mathematical to fairly non-mathematical.

I think there are several Nobel Prize winners who got a double major, if I remember right.

I'm more on the math side. It's my suspicion that getting a double major would help you to understand things better in physics. I took a graduate class in general relativity, and I think it definitely helps there. There are various areas that require PhD level math. String theory, loop quantum gravity, and anyonic condensed matter systems are very closely related to what I'm doing in my math PhD work (topological quantum field theory). Also, maybe it's helpful in terms of learning to think, even if you don't use it directly.

If complex analysis is relevant, then so is real analysis because it's close enough that it will add to your understanding of complex analysis. That, plus the other stuff you mentioned might cover enough for a degree. Electives like PDE would be helpful as well.

It's not necessary, but is a viable choice if you want to be more on the mathematical side of physics. The only thing is there might be a trade-off because maybe you could spend more time on physics stuff or doing research.
 

Related to Should I add a second major in Math?

1. What are the benefits of adding a second major in Math?

Adding a second major in Math can bring many benefits, including a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and problem-solving skills, as well as increased job opportunities and potential for higher salaries in fields such as finance, data analysis, and research.

2. Will adding a second major in Math be too difficult?

The difficulty of adding a second major in Math will depend on your current workload and academic abilities. It is important to carefully consider your time management skills and seek advice from academic advisors before making a decision. However, with dedication and hard work, it is possible to successfully complete a second major in Math.

3. How will adding a second major in Math impact my graduation timeline?

Adding a second major in Math may extend your graduation timeline, as it will require taking additional courses. However, with careful planning and considering overlapping coursework, it is possible to minimize the impact on your graduation timeline.

4. Can I still pursue a career in a different field with a second major in Math?

Yes, having a second major in Math does not limit your career options. It can actually make you a more well-rounded candidate and enhance your problem-solving abilities, which are valuable skills in any field.

5. Is it worth the extra time and effort to add a second major in Math?

Ultimately, the decision to add a second major in Math should be based on your personal interests and career goals. It may require extra time and effort, but the benefits of a deeper understanding of math and increased job opportunities may make it worth it for some individuals.

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