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Take Partial Differential Equations? Senior

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Textbook by Asmar. Would this class help me a lot for grad courses, like Jackson Electrodynamics or Sakurai Quantum? Debating to just finish up my upper levels and get As
 

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  • #2
Dr. Courtney
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Probably not if you've had good undergrad qm and e&m.
 
  • #3
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I have taken a course out of this book (in fact, Asmar is a professor at my school, though interestingly enough he did not teach the course...). It is a great book, and I would say even if you do not take the course, definitely buy the book! It is a great reference and is fairly cheap if you get the paperback version. This was by far my favorite and most useful math course as a physics major. However, I took the class as a first semester Junior and it helped me immensely with upper-level E&M and Quantum. I think having the formal foundation for PDE's is pretty indispensable for any physics major. You will learn a lot of tips and tricks for solving PDE's using this book. A lot of it you may have seen before, but I don't recall ever solving the heat equation using a Fourier Transform, even in thermo. Also, this is where I first learned to solve PDE's using eigenfunction expansions.

In other words, I think it is useful.
 
  • #4
I find learning the math "on the job" helps me retain the information much better. I'm opting to skip a PDE class since I feel I'll learn everything I need in my upper levels. What do you guys think?
 
  • #5
BvU
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Some would argue the other way around: if you have become familiar with the tools, there is more room to learn grasp the physics involved
 
  • #6
Vanadium 50
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I find learning the math "on the job" helps me retain the information much better.
Really? In this thread, you don';t want to take it because you are afraid you won't get an A in it. And in this thread, you worry about a low score on a standardized math test. These are not the writings of someone who is so good at math that they can pick it all up without wasting time on classes which are beneath him.
 
  • #7
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Moderators note. Two very similar threads have been merged.
 
  • #8
BvU
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Thanks Dale; provides a context for the postings.
Looked at the book and wholeheartedly agree with @jbrussel93 : this isn't so much math math as it is math phys: more or less the "on the job" idea Lagraaa mentions. Pretty much essential material for a physicist, well worth investing in.
But of course this is my opinion.
 
  • #9
[[Moderators note, and another similar thread merged]]

They're at the same time (PDE and vector calculus), can only choose one. Which is more useful for grad school?
 
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  • #10
QuantumCurt
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I find it hard to believe that anyone would even have the option of taking PDEs without having taken vector calculus. There's a drastic difference in difficulty between the two. Did you cover any vector calculus in your calculus sequence?
 
  • #11
Calc 3 is partial derivatives, lagrange multipliers, triple integrals, etc. This course is Gauss and Stokes theorem, Differential Forms, etc
 
  • #12
QuantumCurt
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I see. When I took calculus 3 it covered the fundamental theorems of vector calculus. Different schools structure it differently though.
 

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