To what degree can mathematicians research physics and vice versa

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indeed, this is the question:
"to what degree can mathematicians research physics and vice versa ?"
also, say you're in the analysis department of math for instance, to what degree is your research confined to the branch of analysis?
thanks
 

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  • #2
Dr Transport
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David Hilbert said : "Physics is getting too difficult for Physicists"
 
  • #3
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wow, that's one hell of a coincidence! I just read that yesterday :D
 
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David Hilbert said : "Physics is getting too difficult for Physicists"

No wonder there's a controversy regarding Hilbert's contribution to general relativity.
 
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dextercioby
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No wonder there's a controversy regarding Hilbert's contribution to general relativity.

There's no controversy, Einstein constantly supplied him with ideas and the status of his work, so that Hilbert's article of 1915 didn't pop out of thin air.
 
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Well, obviously Hilbert's article didn't pop out of thin air!

But couldn't Einstein have formulated his theory quicker if he had been more adept in mathematics?
 
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dextercioby
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Perhaps...

As to the original question of this thread, there's still a lot of room being left for mathematicians to write papers in (mathematical) physics, no doubt about it. After all, the tradition of the 20th century: Hilbert, von Neumann, Weyl, Wigner, Gelfand, Naimark, K. Friedrichs, I.E. Segal, Mackey, etc. must be carried forward.
 
  • #8
samalkhaiat
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indeed, this is the question:
"to what degree can mathematicians research physics and vice versa ?"
also, say you're in the analysis department of math for instance, to what degree is your research confined to the branch of analysis?
thanks
Mathematicians can do good work in physics if, and only if they are able to ill-define their mathematical concepts, i.e. if they understand that physics is ill-defined mathematical structure.

sam
 
  • #9
samalkhaiat
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Well, obviously Hilbert's article didn't pop out of thin air!

But couldn't Einstein have formulated his theory quicker if he had been more adept in mathematics?
Hilbert knew all the mathematical structures of GR 20 years before 1916, so why didn't he formulate GR 20 years ealier than Einstein?

Sam
 
  • #10
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so everybody thinks that mathematicians (whether specialized in analysis, geometry, or algebra) can choose topics in physics - I mean professors, but also post-doc researchers and people working on their PhD ?
 

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