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Theoretical Physics Math Question

  1. Jul 25, 2010 #1
    I am an undergraduate physics major aspiring to study theoretical
    physics in graduate school. I was wondering if it is better to double
    major in math and physics, at the expense of taking less physics
    classes and more rigorous proof based math, or minor in math and take
    the two semester 'Mathematical Methods of Physics' course and a few other math
    courses and more physics courses. I guess I really want to know if the
    rigorous proof based math courses will help me become a better
    theoretical physicist, or if I should just learn how to apply higher
    level math techniques to problems of physics. I appreciate any advice
    you can give me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2010 #2
    I believe you would benefit in the context of acquiring a broader knowledge in advanced math and complex pure mathematical subjects (These are used primarily in theoretical physics: Group Theory, Number Theory, Differential Geometry, Topology...), the aspect of proofs will also allow one to process and understand certain concepts in a distinct persepctive. I don't believe that proofs are not used in the nature of Theoretical Physics, since pure mathematics concentrates on unnatural concepts it is the only way of of proving a certain idea. Theoretical Physics relies on experiment as a substitution for a proof therefore rigorous quantitative proofs in Mathematics aren't used as substantially.
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