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Courses Thinking particle physics for grad school. Undergrad course questions

  1. Jun 14, 2012 #1

    I am hoping to pursue high energy physics in graduate school. I have a few extra math electives I need to take for my math degree(majoring in math and physics). I was wondering if these classes would be of any real relevance

    Abstract Algebra
    Algebraic Geometry
    Lie Algebras

    Differential Geometry
    Manifold Theory
    Riemannian geometry

    They are all grad courses, but I can take about 3 of them. The prereq for Manifolds is Diff Geo, and the prereq for Riemannian is Manifolds. The same reasoning goes for the algebra sequence. Basically I was thinking of either taking the algebra courses or the geometry ones. Would this be a good idea? I guess algebraic geometry is as it sounds also?

    edit: Also, by the time I will be able to take any of these(spring semester next year), I will have taken graduate linear algebra and real analysis 2 at the undergrad level.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2012 #2
    If you are interested in particle physics, I will say the algebra courses are more helpful. If you are interested in gravity on the other hand, the geometry courses are more helpful.
  4. Jun 14, 2012 #3
    Does your physics department have a graduate course on Lie Groups? It may be called Lie groups, or advanced mathematical methods, or something else but that will be the most useful.
  5. Jun 14, 2012 #4
    I am afraid they do not. The only Lie-type course available is Lie Algebras in the math department, and it is a 700 level course(the highest level grad school courses here). I was thinking this could be overkill though for physics? Or would a full blown Lie Algebras and in general algebra sequence be very applicable?
  6. Jun 14, 2012 #5
    I am not a graduate student or a physicists so I can not comment on the utility of something so advanced but generally, graduate math courses are a ways away from what one actually does in physics. Will it help with physics? Yeah, maybe a bit. But is it the best way to spend ones time to prepare for particle physics? Probably not.
  7. Jun 14, 2012 #6
    Yes I understand and agree. I just want to make learning quantum field theory as "easy" as I can. Thanks for the advice. I will probably go with the algebra sequence. I will still probably take differential geometry though, since I love multivariate calculus
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