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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...
    ther i should take this Series ... Thanks i really appreciate it...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2011 #2


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    Since probability theory is very important for understanding quantum theory, these courses look like they are quite worthwhile, especially the first two courses. From you description it looks like they are each one semester courses.

    If you don't take the courses, you will have to learn much of the material on your own, unless the quantum theory courses include it in its curriculum.
  4. Jul 1, 2011 #3
    Sounds worthwhile,

    The pure mathematics will give you a formal perspective on the theoretical quantative approach to probabilities....but not likely much insight into quantum physics. But the two approaches complement each other.

    From what I have read, European education often covers more mathematics and fewer physics details while American education often focues more narrowly on the specific mathematics required to solve {quantum} physics problems.

    I'd strongly suggest you ask a few physics professors what THEY recommend.
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