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The role of probability in Quantum Physics

  1. Jun 30, 2011 #1
    I am going into my second year as a physics major and I am trying to prepare myself for undergraduate and graduate courses in quantum physics so I am thinking about taking some Probability classes and I wanted to know would it be worth it to take a Probability Series with these features:

    MATH 394 Probability I (3) NW
    Sample spaces; basic axioms of probability; combinatorial probability; conditional probability and independence; binomial, Poisson, and normal distributions. Prerequisite: either 2.0 in MATH 126 or 2.0 in MATH 136; recommended: MATH 324 or MATH 327. Offered: jointly with STAT 394; AWS.

    MATH 395 Probability II (3) NW
    Random variables; expectation and variance; laws of large numbers; normal approximation and other limit theorems; multidimensional distributions and transformations. Prerequisite: 2.0 in STAT/MATH 394. Offered: jointly with STAT 395; WSpS.

    MATH 396 Probability III (3) NW
    Characteristic functions and generating functions; recurrent events and renewal theory; random walk. Prerequisite: 2.0 in MATH 395 or 2.0 in STAT 511. Offered: jointly with STAT 396; Sp.

    Please give me an idea whether i should take this Series ... Thanks i really appreciate it...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2011 #2


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    You don't need those courses to prepare for QM or other physics courses. It's better to make sure you know linear algebra well. I think you are much more likely to find the statistics stuff useful in the future if you become an experimental physicist than if you become a theoretical physicist. If you're more interested in the theoretical stuff, you're better off taking an advanced analysis course with lots of proofs, just to make it easier for you to study that kind of stuff on your own later.

    Of course, knowing this stuff well certainly can't be bad for you. So I'm not saying that you shouldn't take those course, only that they will be less useful than you seem to think.
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